From Student to Practicing Oncology Nurse: A Novel Collaboration to Create a Transition to Practice Program in Ambulatory Cancer Care

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Abstract

Background:

Healthcare reform and the shift of care to the ambulatory setting has created challenges for preparing nurses to practice in these complex clinical settings. Oncology is an area where dramatic transitions to ambulatory care have occurred, and the ambulatory oncology setting holds great potential for teaching evidence-based care to nursing students.

Objectives:

The article summarizes the collaboration between a baccalaureate nursing program and a cancer clinic to establish a dedicated education unit (DEU).

Methods:

A pilot project was undertaken to create the DEU and residency program.

Findings:

The collaboration has provided a clinical setting for baccalaureate nursing students to learn and develop clinical competencies, advance their critical thinking skills, and enhance advanced pathophysiology knowledge. The scope of the program includes a transition-to-practice model which maximizes the use of the DEU as students graduate and are eligible to apply for the oncology residency program. The DEU has created a pipeline for new nurses.

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