Redefining the primary nurse role in oncology care: A 21st century perspective
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Oncology nursing is a rapidly evolving specialty with increasing demands upon nurses to respond to the complex needs of cancer patients and their families. Primary nursing (PN) has been the model of care delivery utilized at our cancer centre for more than two decades. The nursing department determined it was time that a review and redefining of the role be undertaken. These objectives were achieved through the implementation of the Primary Nurse Role Development Project. This article discusses: a brief background of why the existing role needed to be reviewed and revised; an overview of how primary nursing has been applied historically at the centre; and details regarding the project plan and its implementation. Results from the project provided a competency-based oncology primary nurse role description, which will be outlined along with proposals for improving nursing practice. Our goal is to achieve optimal care for our patients.
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