Cancer Nursing Practice: A Textbook for the Specialist Nurse

Reviewed by:


N Kearney et al (Eds)
Published by Churchill Livingstone (2000)
ISBN : 0443 060401. 196 pages plus index.
RRP: A$108.35

Cancer Nursing Practice attempts a review of the current complexities of modern cancer nursing given societal changes across Europe and recent significant developments in the management of cancer. This text is for cancer nurses operating at an advanced level; it is not a prescriptive text for the beginning practitioner. This, together with its Eurocentric view, makes it a welcome text in the limited market place of materials for senior clinical cancer nurses in management and education, post-graduate students, researchers and academics.

The editors are highly respected cancer nurses from Europe and the United Kingdom. The additional contributors are similarly recognisable nurses from a range of clinical practice settings and academic perspectives.

The basis for the text is the World Health Organisation’s new health policy for Europe, ‘Health 21’. This document purportedly identifies nurses “as having a key role to play throughout the whole continuum of care”. The text draws heavily on published nursing literature and evidence, and on the activities of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS).

There are nine chapters in the book: Cancer Nursing as a Specialty, The Practice Base of Cancer Nursing, Leadership and Management, Influencing the Shape of Advanced Cancer Nursing Practice, Clinical Decision-Making, Nursing Education in Cancer Care, Nursing Research in Cancer Care, Information and Education for Patients and Families, Some Ethical Issues in Cancer Nursing, and Towards a European Framework for Cancer Nursing Services. The chapters that were of particular interest to me in my current role included leadership and management, and information and education for patients and families.

In the final chapter, the authors intelligently reflect on the vast differences in the state of play regarding the scope and delivery of cancer care and cancer nursing in the many countries that comprise Europe, and discuss in a most articulate manner the gaps in nursing knowledge and research. Given the strategies and resources dedicated to core curricula for cancer nursing education in some countries and the admirable collaborative efforts of the EONS, gaps are being addressed to ensure that nurses can demonstrate valuable contributions to cancer care and can demonstrate the importance to the wider community of developing and enabling this speciality area of nursing practice.

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