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Kelly D, Lankshear A, Wiseman T The experiences of cancer nurses working in four European countries: a qualitative study. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2020; 49

Inspiring a new generation

26 May 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 10

Currently, the nursing profession is facing several challenges. The national and global shortage of nurses is an obvious issue, with many nurses retiring in the next few years. There are also challenges brought about by continuously evolving health care, new ways of delivering care and less funding to support professional growth and development among nurses.

Cancer nurses are expected to undergo specialist training and education to achieve the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills needed to enable them to carry out their roles, and to support patients safely and confidently. In recent years, we have seen great advances in cancer treatments such as targeted anti-cancer treatment drugs.

These developments improve survival outcomes and lessen the impact on patients' quality of life, which is excellent news. For cancer nursing, the introduction of new treatments and novel ways of delivering treatment means there is a need for additional skills and specialist knowledge. Burnout, compassion fatigue and moral distress are common among cancer nurses due to the complexities associated with carrying out nursing roles within cancer settings. With all these factors and issues, novice or young cancer nurses may find the specialist cancer role quite challenging. Hence, experienced senior nurses, as well as professional cancer nursing organisations, should be committed to supporting younger and early career nurses and guiding them as they navigate in an already very demanding and challenging profession.

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