Paediatric oncology nurse education: the development of a national framework

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It is recognized that there is a need for specialist nursing courses in a range of paediatric nursing specialities. Paediatric oncology nurses are facing challenges with clinical advances and the need for specialized care. At present there are no available courses in Scotland offering preparation for nurses working in a paediatric oncology setting.

Aims and objectives

This project, supported by Macmillan Cancer Relief, addresses this deficit by developing a comprehensive framework for a small and widely dispersed speciality.


Information on the needs and expectations of nurses and service managers in this field was obtained through postal questionnaires and focus groups. Due to the need for collaboration between higher educational institutions and service colleagues the views of educators were also established through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.


Problematic practice issues were cited and these issues were further discussed and recognized as the main educational needs. Availability and accessibility of education were of great importance.


The framework developed aims to provide ongoing opportunities for continuing professional development within this speciality. Development of the educational framework is required to provide a course accessible to a wide geographical area of nurses.

Relevance to clinical practice

A National Framework for Paediatric Oncology Nurse Education was developed in response to views of experts working in the field, to the views of other stakeholders and to what is known about needs and preferences of children with cancer and their families.

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