Facing forward: The development of a cancer nursing knowledge and practice framework

Allyson Nowell, Colleen Campbell


The Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO) is the national organization supporting nurses to develop and promote excellence in oncology nursing practice, education, research and leadership. To support their mission, CANO/ACIO has developed Standards of Care for cancer patients and Standards and Competencies for Oncology Nurses caring for these individuals (CANO, 2001, 2006). Since the creation of the first standards for specialized oncology nursing in 2006, cancer care has changed considerably with increased cancer occurrence and prevalence, new therapies including oral agents, and cancer care transitioning from specialized treatment centres (Canadian Cancer Society, 2019). Given the changing landscape for nursing practice, CANO/ACIO embarked on a process to update the current standards with the aim of including the role of nurses caring for cancer patients and families in all settings.  Through this process experts identified the need for a national nursing framework to assist with the integration of current standards and describe nursing contributions to high quality cancer care. This article describes the process that CANO/ACIO utilized to establish the CANO Nursing Knowledge and Practice Framework and Toolkit for Cancer Care.

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