High Quality Oncology Nursing in the Community

Most cancer care occurs in the community, yet academic health systems which care for 20 percent of cancer patients, have robust comprehensive programs and expertise. Many small or rural community-based oncology practices and inpatient units have limited access to resources for quality improvement and professional development.

Creating a cancer care network between an academic health system and community health systems provides access to expert oncology nursing, advanced technology, education, resources, and links to similar oncology practices. Implementing standards and providing resources to independent institutions requiring a multi-dimensional approach in order to respect local practices.

The network offers education opportunities, chemotherapy/biotherapy and oncology nursing certification support, leadership coaching, program development, quality improvement strategies, mentoring program, research support, and a comprehensive oncology nursing information web based portal.

Nursing - Affiliate Oncology Nursing Excellence Program

The Cancer Care Network supports oncology nursing at each network site through the Affiliate Oncology Nursing Excellence Program. This program is organized into four initiatives patterned after the Oncology Nursing Society Pillars:

  • Knowledge - Providing education and resources for clinical staff to provide excellent cancer care.
  • Leadership - Supporting and mentoring clinical leaders and empowering staff to become effective cancer care advocates.
  • Quality - Development, dissemination, and evaluation of patient-centered interventions for staff and organizations to deliver care.
  • Technology - Leveraging technology and using it to collaborate and learn.

The Oncology Nursing Society is the largest specialty nursing organization, with over 35,000 members nationally and internationally. It's mission is to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.

While each site reports to different community health care organizations, the network affiliation and the Affiliate Oncology Nursing Excellence program is one commonality among the sites, linking them in improving and measuring quality in oncology nursing.

Provider and Nursing Education

A wide variety of options are available for ongoing education for providers, nurses, and other personnel.  Classes are provided based on an agreed upon and identified need basis. Nursing orientation and competency program development examples include:

Inpatient Oncology Care

  • Preparation of inpatient nurses for oncology admissions, assessment, and symptom management for patients undergoing treatment

Oncologic Emergencies

  • Recognition, assessment, and nursing management of oncologic emergencies

Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course

  • Preparation and review classes for the Oncology Nursing Society’s Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course

On-site Mentoring

  • Available through UC Davis Cancer Center Clinics, Infusion Centers, Radiation Oncology Department, and the Inpatient Medical Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit tailored to individual learning needs

Quarterly Educational Videoconferences

  • Developed by CCN committee on identified topics of need, includes didactic portion and case studies

Safe Handling

  • Departments trained on safe handling of chemotherapy drug waste, excreta, chemotherapy spill management, and appropriate personal protective equipment

Skills/Simulation Labs

  • Bi-annual didactic and simulation sessions in the UC Davis Center for Virtual Care on adverse reaction management and patient resuscitation, with updates on nursing practice

Transition to Oncology

  • Two day inter-professional course featuring an overview of cancer basics, treatment, symptom management, and oncology nursing standards of care

Vascular Access

  • Management of central lines including assessment, problem-solving and interventions for complications, and CLABSI prevention education