The professional development framework for specialist prostate cancer nursing
Resources for prostate cancer nursing
The value of nurses, and specialist nurses in particular, cannot be underestimated. This is affirmed in evidence such as the NICE Prostate Cancer Quality Standard, where it is stated that, in the first instance, people with prostate cancer should have a discussion with a named nurse specialist. Nurse specialists are the key points of contact for people with prostate cancer, providing information, answering questions or concerns, and supporting patients to make decisions about their care. This allows them to feel informed about their treatment options and side effects, as well as supported to make decisions about their treatment. Not only does access to a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) help patients feel informed and supported, but it also improves overall patient experience and outcomes, including survival.
Despite this, 18% of patients in the 2021 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey were unable to access a specialist professional to contact, which is usually a specialist nurse. This should not be the case - access to a CNS should be guaranteed for all men.
‘The co-ordination they do is necessary, it reduces uncertainty and anxiety and increases patient confidence’ – prostate cancer service user
The Nursing Framework
The Framework has been developed by prostate cancer nurses, researchers, as well as men with lived experience. The aim of this work is to help guide both existing and aspiring prostate cancer nurses, as well as line managers, employers, and policymakers on the core skills, knowledge and training that the prostate cancer nursing staff will need and gain as they progress through their role.
This guidance considers the capabilities of professional practice required to provide the complex care that prostate cancer patients need, the different levels of nursing practice evident in this care - and the career possibilities and routes that the nursing workforce can take from entry to advancement. Case studies from support workers to consultant nurses are included illustrate this.
This Framework has been designed to align with and support both general nursing frameworks and cancer-specific frameworks such as the UKONS’ Career Pathway and Education Framework for Cancer Nursing and the ACCEND Framework.
The Framework includes four case studies at each stage of the nursing profession:
- Rebecca Heimann, Macmillan Cancer Support Worker, Urology Prostate Cancer Team, Guys Hospital
- Josiane Kento, Specialist Nurse, London
- Transition role trainee, Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital
- Tracey Blackmore, Macmillan Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Jersey
- Kal Kaur, Consultant Nurse, Royal Free NHS Trust
- NICE (2021), Quality Statement Prostate Cancer: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs91/chapter/quality-statement-1-discussion-with-
a-named-nurse-specialist accessed June 2023
- Alessy et al. (2022), Clinical nurse specialists and survival in patients with cancer: the UK National Cancer Experience Survey, BMJ Support Palliat Care
- Picker (2021), National Cancer Patient Experience Survey: https://picker.org/research_insights/national-cancer-patient-experience-
survey-2021, accessed June 2023