Specialist Cancer Nurses
Some nurses will choose to become specialists in cancer control. Most Specialist Cancer Nurses work in dedicated cancer services and may be primarily responsible for care of people at a specific phase of their journey (e.g. radiotherapy), or across all phases of the cancer journey (e.g. Specialist Breast Nurse). Others may work in a broader context but provide a specialist resource in cancer control to a range of generalist providers (e.g. a Cancer Nurse Coordinator).
The EdCaN Framework specifies a set of competency standards that reflect the specialised knowledge and skills required to provide safe and competent care to people affected by cancer. These standards have been adapted from the competency standards for Specialist Breast Nurses developed by the National Breast Cancer Centre. They are consistent with the generic competency standards for advanced nurses established by the Australian Nursing Federation.
The Specialist Cancer Nurse competencies are a minimum standard. It is expected that as their practice advances, Specialist Cancer Nurses demonstrate more effective integration of theory, practice and experience. They should also demonstrate increasing degrees of autonomy in judgements and interventions for people affected by cancer. There is currently no accepted national educational standard for Specialist Cancer Nurses, but development of competency standards such as those specified in this Framework would normally require further education in cancer control at postgraduate level.
The case based learning resources and supporting modules have been developed to help nurses meet the competency standards for the Specialist Cancer Nurse.