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1.  Oncology Nursing Minimum Data Set (ONMDS): can we hypothesize a set of prevalent Nursing Sensitive Outcomes (NSO) in cancer patients? 
ecancermedicalscience  2013;7:345.
Background
The nursing minimum data set (NMDS) was created in 1977 in the United States to collect uniform standardised data that could be comparable among different nursing areas or patients. So far, in the literature, an NMDS in an oncology setting has not yet been described. Considering an oncology nursing minimum data set (ONMDS), which data could be chosen to define this tool regarding cancer patient care?
Material and methods
At the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), 20 experienced oncology nurses representing surgical, medical, and critical areas participated in a nursing record working group. All nurses followed an educational course on NMDS, and they shared clinical experiences to find which data common among different areas could be useful to care. To identify these data, nurses considered three issues: what is nursing care for nurses in the IEO? What is the nurses’ responsibility in the IEO? What is the organisational nursing model in the IEO? Nurses in the IEO are autonomous in decision making and recognised by patients and by a multi-professional team; the organisational nursing model is primary nursing with patient-centred care. Nursing data must therefore show the quality and results of this care. With this in mind, the working group decided to orient the ONMDS toward nursing-sensitive outcomes (NSOs), meeting also with psychologists, physiotherapists, and dieticians. Nurses analysed Oncology Nursing Society outcomes, and through focus groups, experiential meetings, role playing, and case studies, they integrated them with other NSOs.
Results
The ONMDS is composed of 49 NSOs recognised as the most common and frequent oncologic outcomes regardless of the treatment that the patient undergoes. These outcomes were clustered into 15 categories. The categories are: gastrointestinal outcomes, genitourinary outcomes, respiratory outcomes, skin outcomes, fluid and electrolyte balance outcomes, neurological outcomes, security, functional status, vascular access outcomes, nutritional status, pain, psychosocial discomfort, activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities daily living (IADL), and self-care outcomes.
Conclusions
Efforts to identify an ONMDS based on NSOs allow us to develop an tool that can standardise language, assessment, and intervention, but overall could be used to measure nursing care. To evaluate these potentialities, the ONMDS was introduced into nursing records, and it was tested with a pre–post research study.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2013.345
PMCID: PMC3757958  PMID: 24009644
cancer patient; oncology nursing; Nursing Minimum Data Set; ONMDS; Nursing Sensitive Outcome; NMDS; NSO; nursing record; documentation
2.  Value of intensified nursing 
The concept "intensified nursing" is mentioned in differentiation to concepts of "nursing care" or "nursing" which intensifies resources or patient contact. Especially psychic and social needs of patients are very appreciated in nursing. A similar type of nursing is known under the concept "advanced nursing practice" (ANP) which means, that a specialised, academically trained nurse offers an extended nursing care in which a focus on the published knowledge of evidence based research is made.
From the thin literature to this topic a selection of predetermined topics was analysed where at least two articles with a sufficient high methodical quality were available. The selected topic groups were: „Infant and paediatric nursing", "gerontology" and "oncology". Generally the five publications concerning infant and paediatric nursing could conclusive show a benefit of intensified nursing. Further research is still needed to prove intensified nursing care. Two publications could be found to the gerontological intensified nursing; both used an extended nursing model and an enlarged use of resources. Both studies demonstrated a measurable success in the applied parameters. Two studies also could be analysed in the oncological field in which successes were also provable by the applied parameters. The success was given especially in a higher patient satisfaction, one study showed an improved scheduling (time planning) of nurses.
There was not one article concerning economic questions of intensified nursing care. It has to be taken into account that the financial resources have to be used effectively also in nursing nowadays. It has to be assumed that the costs are driven by increased use of resources. Savings can be achieved, however, in the form of avoided therapies and days in hospital by intensified nursing. The intensified nursing can be considered as similar cost-effective as conventional models of nursing.
Ethically it is necessary to consider that the possibilities of the intensified nursing should be exhausted as much as possible for the patients. The daily work is limited, due to restrictions of resource. This means a conflict for nurses between knowledge and the predefined resource requirements which often leaded to overtaxing and dissatisfaction. It is desirable that decision makers of the health policy appreciate the evidence and promote intensified nursing care models.
Nursing science has to do special research to prove the meaning and effectiveness of intensified nursing and establish this in the health care delivery system.
PMCID: PMC3011351  PMID: 21289955
3.  Nursing Practice Environment and Outcomes for Oncology Nursing 
Cancer nursing  2013;36(3):206-212.
Background
It is commonly assumed that oncology nurses experience high job-related burnout and high turnover because their work involves inherent stressors such as caring for patients with serious and often life-threatening illness.
Objectives
The objectives of this study were to examine the differences in outcomes such as job dissatisfaction and burnout between oncology nurses and medical-surgical nurses, and to identify factors that affect oncology nurse outcomes.
Methods
A secondary analysis of nurse survey data collected in 2006 including 4047 nurses from 282 hospitals in 3 states was performed; t test and χ2 test compared differences between oncology nurses and medical-surgical nurses in nurse outcomes and their assessments of nurse practice environment, as measured by the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index. Logistic regression models estimated the effect of nurse practice environment on 4 nurse-reported outcomes: burnout, job dissatisfaction, intention to leave the current position, and perceived quality of care.
Results
Oncology nurses reported favorable practice environments and better outcomes than did medical-surgical nurses. All 4 subscales of the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index studied were significantly associated with outcomes. Specifically, nurses who reported favorable nursing foundations for quality of care (eg, active in-service or preceptorship programs) were less likely to report burnout and leave their current position.
Conclusions
Better practice environments, including nurse foundations for quality care, can help to achieve optimal nurse outcomes.
Implications for Practice
Improving hospital practice environments holds significant potential to improve nurse well-being, retention, and quality of care. Specifically, hospitals should consider preceptor programs and continuing education and increase nurses’ participation in hospital decision making.
doi:10.1097/NCC.0b013e31825e4293
PMCID: PMC3593758  PMID: 22751101
Burnout; Job satisfaction; Nurse practice environment; Oncology nurse; Quality of care
4.  Overview and Experiences of a Nursing e-Mentorship Program 
Little is known regarding the feasibility and efficacy of an online continuing education program for oncology nurses. The Multiple Myeloma Mentorship Program, a quality improvement project for the Institute for Medical Education and Research, was designed to meet the educational needs of oncology nurses caring for patients with multiple myeloma. Twenty-five expert nurses with expertise in multiple myeloma from 23 cancer centers in the United States partnered with 50 oncology nurses in an electronic format from July 2009 to January 2010. The purpose of the program was to educate oncology nurses about the latest treatments and strategies for optimal side-effect management for patients with multiple myeloma. Nurse mentees selected their preferred form of learning—webcast, in-person speaker, or monograph. Two live webcasts allowed for didactic discussion between mentors and mentees. During and after the program, mentors conducted informal, unscripted interviews with nurse participants to determine preferred learning format, challenges, and implications for practice. Twelve nurses preferred Web-based learning to in-person presentations, citing flexibility and convenience as reasons for that choice. Time constraints with Web-based and in-person learning were a barrier to nurse mentees completing assigned modules. Several nurses implemented practice changes as a result of the program. Nurses who participated in the mentorship program were satisfied with the content. Learning styles and format should be considered in future mentorship programs.
doi:10.1188/11.CJON.418-423
PMCID: PMC3467309  PMID: 21810575
5.  Predictors of Practice Patterns for Lymphedema Care Among Oncology Advanced Practice Nurses 
Lymphedema, a debilitating and chronic condition, is considered to be one of the most distressing adverse effects of cancer treatment. The purpose of this study was to understand the practice patterns in lymphedema care and identify predictors influencing those patterns among oncology nurses, with a focus on advanced practice nurses. Random and purposive sampling was utilized to recruit 238 oncology nurses who completed the Web-based study. Participants included advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists), nurse navigators/case managers, staff nurses, and directors/managers/coordinators. Data focused on perceived knowledge of and perceived competence in risk reduction, treatment, and self-management of lymphedema and practice patterns in lymphedema care. Actual knowledge of lymphedema care was evaluated. Descriptive, comparative, and regression analyses were performed. The study showed that perceived knowledge and perceived competence were highly correlated. Perceived competence was a predictor of practicing lymphedema care. Advanced practice nurses scored in the midrange for perceived knowledge and perceived competence in risk reduction and self-management, but obtained lower scores in perceived knowledge and perceived competence for treatment. The odds of advanced practice nurses delivering lymphedema care were less than those of staff nurses. This study identifies gaps and opportunities for advanced practice nurses to play an important role in providing lymphedema care, an essential aspect of cancer survivorship.
PMCID: PMC4093356  PMID: 25031960
6.  Survey of Nursing Integration of Genomics Into Nursing Practice 
Purpose
Translating clinically valid genomic discoveries into practice is hinged not only on technologic advances, but also on nurses—the largest global contingent of health providers—acquiring requisite competencies to apply these discoveries in clinical care. The study aim was to assess practicing nurse attitudes, practices, receptivity, confidence, and competency of integrating genomics into nursing practice.
Design
A convenience sample of practicing nurses was recruited to complete an online survey that assessed domains from Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations Theory and used family history utilization as the basis for competency assessment.
Methods
Results were tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques.
Findings
Two-hundred-thirty-nine licensed registered nurses, 22 to 72 years of age, with a median of 20 years in practice, responded, for an overall response rate of 28%. Most were White (83%), female (92%), and held baccalaureate degrees (56%). Seventy-one percent considered genetics to be very important to nursing practice; however, 81% rated their understanding of the genetics of common diseases as poor or fair. Per-question response rates varied widely. Instrument assessment indicated that modifications were necessary to decrease respondent burden.
Conclusions
Respondents’ perceived genomic competency was inadequate, family history was not routinely utilized in care delivery, and the extent of family history varied widely. However, most nurses indicated interest in pursuing continuing genomic education.
Clinical Relevance
Findings from this study can lead to the development of targeted education that will facilitate optimal workforce preparation for the ongoing influx of genetics and genomics information, technologies, and targeted therapies into the healthcare arena. This pilot study provides a foundation on which to build the next step, which includes a national nursing workforce study.
doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2012.01475.x
PMCID: PMC3515630  PMID: 23205780
7.  Improving neuro-oncological patients care: basic and practical concepts for nurse specialist in neuro-rehabilitation 
Background
Neuro-oncological population well expresses the complexity of neurological disability due to the multiple neurological deficits that affect these patients. Moreover, due to the therapeutical opportunities survival times for patients with brain tumor have increased and more of these patients require rehabilitation care. The figure of nurse in the interdisciplinary specialty of neurorehabilitation is not clearly defined, even if their role in this setting is recognized as being critical and is expanding.
The purpose of the study is to identify the standard competencies for neurorehabilitation nurses that could be taught by means of a specialization course.
Methods
A literature review was conducted with preference given to works published between January 2000 and December 2008 in English. The search strategy identified 523 non-duplicated references of which 271 titles were considered relevant. After reviewing the abstracts, 147 papers were selected and made available to a group of healthcare professionals who were requested to classify them in few conceptual main areas defining the relative topics.
Results
The following five main areas were identified: clinical aspects of nursing; nursing techniques; nursing methodology; relational and organisational models; legal aspects of nursing. The relative topics were included within each area. As educational method a structured course based on lectures and practical sessions was designed. Also multi-choices questions were developed in order to evaluate the participants’ level of knowledge, while a semi-structured interview was prepared to investigate students’ satisfaction.
Conclusions
Literature shows that the development of rehabilitation depends on the improvement of scientific and practical knowledge of health care professionals. This structured training course could be incorporated into undergraduate nursing education programmes and also be inserted into continuing education programmes for graduate nurses. Developing expertise in neuro-rehabilitation for nurses, will be critical to improve overall care and care management of patients with highly complex disabilities as patients affected by brain tumors. The next step will be to start discussing, at the level of scientific societies linked to the field of neurorehabilitation and oncology, the development of a specialisation course in neurorehabilitation nursing.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-31-82
PMCID: PMC3527182  PMID: 23031446
Neurorehabilitation; Nurses; Education; Certification; Core curriculum; Team; Brain tumors
8.  Expanding the role of the oncology nurse 
Oncology nursing continues to evolve in response to advances in cancer treatment, information and biotechnology. As new scientific and technological discoveries are integrated into cancer care, oncology nurses need to play a key role in the management of this patient population. The role of the oncology nurse has expanded significantly and can differ greatly across cultures. Sophisticated treatments and the growth of targeted therapies will create the challenge of ensuring that all nurses working in this arena are well-educated, independent thinkers. Thus the future success of oncology nurses will focus on enhancement of nursing practice through advanced education. The increased globalisation of healthcare offers exciting opportunities to accomplish this goal by allowing for collaborative relationships among oncology nurses across the globe.
doi:10.2349/biij.4.3.e34
PMCID: PMC3097730  PMID: 21611002
Nursing; cancer; oncology
9.  Nurses’ research utilization two years after graduation—a national survey of associated individual, organizational, and educational factors 
Background
Nurses’ research utilization (RU) as part of evidence-based practice is strongly emphasized in today’s nursing education and clinical practice. The primary aim of RU is to provide high-quality nursing care to patients. Data on newly graduated nurses’ RU are scarce, but a predominance of low use has been reported in recent studies. Factors associated with nurses’ RU have previously been identified among individual and organizational/contextual factors, but there is a lack of knowledge about how these factors, including educational ones, interact with each other and with RU, particularly in nurses during the first years after graduation. The purpose of this study was therefore to identify factors that predict the probability for low RU among registered nurses two years after graduation.
Methods
Data were collected as part of the LANE study (Longitudinal Analysis of Nursing Education), a Swedish national survey of nursing students and registered nurses. Data on nurses’ instrumental, conceptual, and persuasive RU were collected two years after graduation (2007, n = 845), together with data on work contextual factors. Data on individual and educational factors were collected in the first year (2002) and last term of education (2004). Guided by an analytic schedule, bivariate analyses, followed by logistic regression modeling, were applied.
Results
Of the variables associated with RU in the bivariate analyses, six were found to be significantly related to low RU in the final logistic regression model: work in the psychiatric setting, role ambiguity, sufficient staffing, low work challenge, being male, and low student activity.
Conclusions
A number of factors associated with nurses’ low extent of RU two years postgraduation were found, most of them potentially modifiable. These findings illustrate the multitude of factors related to low RU extent and take their interrelationships into account. This knowledge might serve as useful input in planning future studies aiming to improve nurses’, specifically newly graduated nurses’, RU.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-46
PMCID: PMC3503782  PMID: 22607663
10.  Developing an efficient scheduling template of a chemotherapy treatment unit 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(10):575-588.
This study was undertaken to improve the performance of a Chemotherapy Treatment Unit by increasing the throughput and reducing the average patient’s waiting time. In order to achieve this objective, a scheduling template has been built. The scheduling template is a simple tool that can be used to schedule patients' arrival to the clinic. A simulation model of this system was built and several scenarios, that target match the arrival pattern of the patients and resources availability, were designed and evaluated. After performing detailed analysis, one scenario provide the best system’s performance. A scheduling template has been developed based on this scenario. After implementing the new scheduling template, 22.5% more patients can be served.
Introduction
CancerCare Manitoba is a provincially mandated cancer care agency. It is dedicated to provide quality care to those who have been diagnosed and are living with cancer. MacCharles Chemotherapy unit is specially built to provide chemotherapy treatment to the cancer patients of Winnipeg. In order to maintain an excellent service, it tries to ensure that patients get their treatment in a timely manner. It is challenging to maintain that goal because of the lack of a proper roster, the workload distribution and inefficient resource allotment. In order to maintain the satisfaction of the patients and the healthcare providers, by serving the maximum number of patients in a timely manner, it is necessary to develop an efficient scheduling template that matches the required demand with the availability of resources. This goal can be reached using simulation modelling. Simulation has proven to be an excellent modelling tool. It can be defined as building computer models that represent real world or hypothetical systems, and hence experimenting with these models to study system behaviour under different scenarios.1, 2
A study was undertaken at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario to identify the issues behind the long waiting time of a emergency room.3 A 20-­‐day field observation revealed that the availability of the staff physician and interaction affects the patient wait time. Jyväskylä et al.4 used simulation to test different process scenarios, allocate resources and perform activity-­‐based cost analysis in the Emergency Department (ED) at the Central Hospital. The simulation also supported the study of a new operational method, named "triage-team" method without interrupting the main system. The proposed triage team method categorises the entire patient according to the urgency to see the doctor and allows the patient to complete the necessary test before being seen by the doctor for the first time. The simulation study showed that it will decrease the throughput time of the patient and reduce the utilisation of the specialist and enable the ordering all the tests the patient needs right after arrival, thus quickening the referral to treatment.
Santibáñez et al.5 developed a discrete event simulation model of British Columbia Cancer Agency"s ambulatory care unit which was used to study the impact of scenarios considering different operational factors (delay in starting clinic), appointment schedule (appointment order, appointment adjustment, add-­‐ons to the schedule) and resource allocation. It was found that the best outcomes were obtained when not one but multiple changes were implemented simultaneously. Sepúlveda et al.6 studied the M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre Orlando, which is a cancer treatment facility and built a simulation model to analyse and improve flow process and increase capacity in the main facility. Different scenarios were considered like, transferring laboratory and pharmacy areas, adding an extra blood draw room and applying different scheduling techniques of patients. The study shows that by increasing the number of short-­‐term (four hours or less) patients in the morning could increase chair utilisation.
Discrete event simulation also helps improve a service where staff are ignorant about the behaviour of the system as a whole; which can also be described as a real professional system. Niranjon et al.7 used simulation successfully where they had to face such constraints and lack of accessible data. Carlos et al. 8 used Total quality management and simulation – animation to improve the quality of the emergency room. Simulation was used to cover the key point of the emergency room and animation was used to indicate the areas of opportunity required. This study revealed that a long waiting time, overload personnel and increasing withdrawal rate of patients are caused by the lack of capacity in the emergency room.
Baesler et al.9 developed a methodology for a cancer treatment facility to find stochastically a global optimum point for the control variables. A simulation model generated the output using a goal programming framework for all the objectives involved in the analysis. Later a genetic algorithm was responsible for performing the search for an improved solution. The control variables that were considered in this research are number of treatment chairs, number of drawing blood nurses, laboratory personnel, and pharmacy personnel. Guo et al. 10 presented a simulation framework considering demand for appointment, patient flow logic, distribution of resources, scheduling rules followed by the scheduler. The objective of the study was to develop a scheduling rule which will ensure that 95% of all the appointment requests should be seen within one week after the request is made to increase the level of patient satisfaction and balance the schedule of each doctor to maintain a fine harmony between "busy clinic" and "quiet clinic".
Huschka et al.11 studied a healthcare system which was about to change their facility layout. In this case a simulation model study helped them to design a new healthcare practice by evaluating the change in layout before implementation. Historical data like the arrival rate of the patients, number of patients visited each day, patient flow logic, was used to build the current system model. Later, different scenarios were designed which measured the changes in the current layout and performance.
Wijewickrama et al.12 developed a simulation model to evaluate appointment schedule (AS) for second time consultations and patient appointment sequence (PSEQ) in a multi-­‐facility system. Five different appointment rule (ARULE) were considered: i) Baily; ii) 3Baily; iii) Individual (Ind); iv) two patients at a time (2AtaTime); v) Variable Interval and (V-­‐I) rule. PSEQ is based on type of patients: Appointment patients (APs) and new patients (NPs). The different PSEQ that were studied in this study were: i) first-­‐ come first-­‐serve; ii) appointment patient at the beginning of the clinic (APBEG); iii) new patient at the beginning of the clinic (NPBEG); iv) assigning appointed and new patients in an alternating manner (ALTER); v) assigning a new patient after every five-­‐appointment patients. Also patient no show (0% and 5%) and patient punctuality (PUNCT) (on-­‐time and 10 minutes early) were also considered. The study found that ALTER-­‐Ind. and ALTER5-­‐Ind. performed best on 0% NOSHOW, on-­‐time PUNCT and 5% NOSHOW, on-­‐time PUNCT situation to reduce WT and IT per patient. As NOSHOW created slack time for waiting patients, their WT tends to reduce while IT increases due to unexpected cancellation. Earliness increases congestion whichin turn increases waiting time.
Ramis et al.13 conducted a study of a Medical Imaging Center (MIC) to build a simulation model which was used to improve the patient journey through an imaging centre by reducing the wait time and making better use of the resources. The simulation model also used a Graphic User Interface (GUI) to provide the parameters of the centre, such as arrival rates, distances, processing times, resources and schedule. The simulation was used to measure the waiting time of the patients in different case scenarios. The study found that assigning a common function to the resource personnel could improve the waiting time of the patients.
The objective of this study is to develop an efficient scheduling template that maximises the number of served patients and minimises the average patient's waiting time at the given resources availability. To accomplish this objective, we will build a simulation model which mimics the working conditions of the clinic. Then we will suggest different scenarios of matching the arrival pattern of the patients with the availability of the resources. Full experiments will be performed to evaluate these scenarios. Hence, a simple and practical scheduling template will be built based on the indentified best scenario. The developed simulation model is described in section 2, which consists of a description of the treatment room, and a description of the types of patients and treatment durations. In section 3, different improvement scenarios are described and their analysis is presented in section 4. Section 5 illustrates a scheduling template based on one of the improvement scenarios. Finally, the conclusion and future direction of our work is exhibited in section 6.
Simulation Model
A simulation model represents the actual system and assists in visualising and evaluating the performance of the system under different scenarios without interrupting the actual system. Building a proper simulation model of a system consists of the following steps.
Observing the system to understand the flow of the entities, key players, availability of resources and overall generic framework.
Collecting the data on the number and type of entities, time consumed by the entities at each step of their journey, and availability of resources.
After building the simulation model it is necessary to confirm that the model is valid. This can be done by confirming that each entity flows as it is supposed to and the statistical data generated by the simulation model is similar to the collected data.
Figure 1 shows the patient flow process in the treatment room. On the patient's first appointment, the oncologist comes up with the treatment plan. The treatment time varies according to the patient’s condition, which may be 1 hour to 10 hours. Based on the type of the treatment, the physician or the clinical clerk books an available treatment chair for that time period.
On the day of the appointment, the patient will wait until the booked chair is free. When the chair is free a nurse from that station comes to the patient, verifies the name and date of birth and takes the patient to a treatment chair. Afterwards, the nurse flushes the chemotherapy drug line to the patient's body which takes about five minutes and sets up the treatment. Then the nurse leaves to serve another patient. Chemotherapy treatment lengths vary from less than an hour to 10 hour infusions. At the end of the treatment, the nurse returns, removes the line and notifies the patient about the next appointment date and time which also takes about five minutes. Most of the patients visit the clinic to take care of their PICC line (a peripherally inserted central catheter). A PICC is a line that is used to inject the patient with the chemical. This PICC line should be regularly cleaned, flushed to maintain patency and the insertion site checked for signs of infection. It takes approximately 10–15 minutes to take care of a PICC line by a nurse.
Cancer Care Manitoba provided access to the electronic scheduling system, also known as "ARIA" which is comprehensive information and image management system that aggregates patient data into a fully-­‐electronic medical chart, provided by VARIAN Medical System. This system was used to find out how many patients are booked in every clinic day. It also reveals which chair is used for how many hours. It was necessary to search a patient's history to find out how long the patient spends on which chair. Collecting the snapshot of each patient gives the complete picture of a one day clinic schedule.
The treatment room consists of the following two main limited resources:
Treatment Chairs: Chairs that are used to seat the patients during the treatment.
Nurses: Nurses are required to inject the treatment line into the patient and remove it at the end of the treatment. They also take care of the patients when they feel uncomfortable.
Mc Charles Chemotherapy unit consists of 11 nurses, and 5 stations with the following description:
Station 1: Station 1 has six chairs (numbered 1 to 6) and two nurses. The two nurses work from 8:00 to 16:00.
Station 2: Station 2 has six chairs (7 to 12) and three nurses. Two nurses work from 8:00 to 16:00 and one nurse works from 12:00 to 20:00.
Station 3: Station 4 has six chairs (13 to 18) and two nurses. The two nurses work from 8:00 to 16:00.
Station 4: Station 4 has six chairs (19 to 24) and three nurses. One nurse works from 8:00 to 16:00. Another nurse works from 10:00 to 18:00.
Solarium Station: Solarium Station has six chairs (Solarium Stretcher 1, Solarium Stretcher 2, Isolation, Isolation emergency, Fire Place 1, Fire Place 2). There is only one nurse assigned to this station that works from 12:00 to 20:00. The nurses from other stations can help when need arises.
There is one more nurse known as the "float nurse" who works from 11:00 to 19:00. This nurse can work at any station. Table 1 summarises the working hours of chairs and nurses. All treatment stations start at 8:00 and continue until the assigned nurse for that station completes her shift.
Currently, the clinic uses a scheduling template to assign the patients' appointments. But due to high demand of patient appointment it is not followed any more. We believe that this template can be improved based on the availability of nurses and chairs. Clinic workload was collected from 21 days of field observation. The current scheduling template has 10 types of appointment time slot: 15-­‐minute, 1-­‐hour, 1.5-­‐hour, 2-­‐hour, 3-­‐hour, 4-­‐hour, 5-­‐hour, 6-­‐hour, 8-­‐hour and 10-­‐hour and it is designed to serve 95 patients. But when the scheduling template was compared with the 21 days observations, it was found that the clinic is serving more patients than it is designed for. Therefore, the providers do not usually follow the scheduling template. Indeed they very often break the time slots to accommodate slots that do not exist in the template. Hence, we find that some of the stations are very busy (mostly station 2) and others are underused. If the scheduling template can be improved, it will be possible to bring more patients to the clinic and reduce their waiting time without adding more resources.
In order to build or develop a simulation model of the existing system, it is necessary to collect the following data:
Types of treatment durations.
Numbers of patients in each treatment type.
Arrival pattern of the patients.
Steps that the patients have to go through in their treatment journey and required time of each step.
Using the observations of 2,155 patients over 21 days of historical data, the types of treatment durations and the number of patients in each type were estimated. This data also assisted in determining the arrival rate and the frequency distribution of the patients. The patients were categorised into six types. The percentage of these types and their associated service times distributions are determined too.
ARENA Rockwell Simulation Software (v13) was used to build the simulation model. Entities of the model were tracked to verify that the patients move as intended. The model was run for 30 replications and statistical data was collected to validate the model. The total number of patients that go though the model was compared with the actual number of served patients during the 21 days of observations.
Improvement Scenarios
After verifying and validating the simulation model, different scenarios were designed and analysed to identify the best scenario that can handle more patients and reduces the average patient's waiting time. Based on the clinic observation and discussion with the healthcare providers, the following constraints have been stated:
The stations are filled up with treatment chairs. Therefore, it is literally impossible to fit any more chairs in the clinic. Moreover, the stakeholders are not interested in adding extra chairs.
The stakeholders and the caregivers are not interested in changing the layout of the treatment room.
Given these constraints the options that can be considered to design alternative scenarios are:
Changing the arrival pattern of the patients: that will fit over the nurses' availability.
Changing the nurses' schedule.
Adding one full time nurse at different starting times of the day.
Figure 2 compares the available number of nurses and the number of patients' arrival during different hours of a day. It can be noticed that there is a rapid growth in the arrival of patients (from 13 to 17) between 8:00 to 10:00 even though the clinic has the equal number of nurses during this time period. At 12:00 there is a sudden drop of patient arrival even though there are more available nurses. It is clear that there is an imbalance in the number of available nurses and the number of patient arrivals over different hours of the day. Consequently, balancing the demand (arrival rate of patients) and resources (available number of nurses) will reduce the patients' waiting time and increases the number of served patients. The alternative scenarios that satisfy the above three constraints are listed in Table 2. These scenarios respect the following rules:
Long treatments (between 4hr to 11hr) have to be scheduled early in the morning to avoid working overtime.
Patients of type 1 (15 minutes to 1hr treatment) are the most common. They can be fitted in at any time of the day because they take short treatment time. Hence, it is recommended to bring these patients in at the middle of the day when there are more nurses.
Nurses get tired at the end of the clinic day. Therefore, fewer patients should be scheduled at the late hours of the day.
In Scenario 1, the arrival pattern of the patient was changed so that it can fit with the nurse schedule. This arrival pattern is shown Table 3. Figure 3 shows the new patients' arrival pattern compared with the current arrival pattern. Similar patterns can be developed for the remaining scenarios too.
Analysis of Results
ARENA Rockwell Simulation software (v13) was used to develop the simulation model. There is no warm-­‐up period because the model simulates day-­‐to-­‐day scenarios. The patients of any day are supposed to be served in the same day. The model was run for 30 days (replications) and statistical data was collected to evaluate each scenario. Tables 4 and 5 show the detailed comparison of the system performance between the current scenario and Scenario 1. The results are quite interesting. The average throughput rate of the system has increased from 103 to 125 patients per day. The maximum throughput rate can reach 135 patients. Although the average waiting time has increased, the utilisation of the treatment station has increased by 15.6%. Similar analysis has been performed for the rest of the other scenarios. Due to the space limitation the detailed results are not given. However, Table 6 exhibits a summary of the results and comparison between the different scenarios. Scenario 1 was able to significantly increase the throughput of the system (by 21%) while it still results in an acceptable low average waiting time (13.4 minutes). In addition, it is worth noting that adding a nurse (Scenarios 3, 4, and 5) does not significantly reduce the average wait time or increase the system's throughput. The reason behind this is that when all the chairs are busy, the nurses have to wait until some patients finish the treatment. As a consequence, the other patients have to wait for the commencement of their treatment too. Therefore, hiring a nurse, without adding more chairs, will not reduce the waiting time or increase the throughput of the system. In this case, the only way to increase the throughput of the system is by adjusting the arrival pattern of patients over the nurses' schedule.
Developing a Scheduling Template based on Scenario 1
Scenario 1 provides the best performance. However a scheduling template is necessary for the care provider to book the patients. Therefore, a brief description is provided below on how scheduling the template is developed based on this scenario.
Table 3 gives the number of patients that arrive hourly, following Scenario 1. The distribution of each type of patient is shown in Table 7. This distribution is based on the percentage of each type of patient from the collected data. For example, in between 8:00-­‐9:00, 12 patients will come where 54.85% are of Type 1, 34.55% are of Type 2, 15.163% are of Type 3, 4.32% are of Type 4, 2.58% are of Type 5 and the rest are of Type 6. It is worth noting that, we assume that the patients of each type arrive as a group at the beginning of the hourly time slot. For example, all of the six patients of Type 1 from 8:00 to 9:00 time slot arrive at 8:00.
The numbers of patients from each type is distributed in such a way that it respects all the constraints described in Section 1.3. Most of the patients of the clinic are from type 1, 2 and 3 and they take less amount of treatment time compared with the patients of other types. Therefore, they are distributed all over the day. Patients of type 4, 5 and 6 take a longer treatment time. Hence, they are scheduled at the beginning of the day to avoid overtime. Because patients of type 4, 5 and 6 come at the beginning of the day, most of type 1 and 2 patients come at mid-­‐day (12:00 to 16:00). Another reason to make the treatment room more crowded in between 12:00 to 16:00 is because the clinic has the maximum number of nurses during this time period. Nurses become tired at the end of the clinic which is a reason not to schedule any patient after 19:00.
Based on the patient arrival schedule and nurse availability a scheduling template is built and shown in Figure 4. In order to build the template, if a nurse is available and there are patients waiting for service, a priority list of these patients will be developed. They are prioritised in a descending order based on their estimated slack time and secondarily based on the shortest service time. The secondary rule is used to break the tie if two patients have the same slack. The slack time is calculated using the following equation:
Slack time = Due time - (Arrival time + Treatment time)
Due time is the clinic closing time. To explain how the process works, assume at hour 8:00 (in between 8:00 to 8:15) two patients in station 1 (one 8-­‐hour and one 15-­‐ minute patient), two patients in station 2 (two 12-­‐hour patients), two patients in station 3 (one 2-­‐hour and one 15-­‐ minute patient) and one patient in station 4 (one 3-­‐hour patient) in total seven patients are scheduled. According to Figure 2, there are seven nurses who are available at 8:00 and it takes 15 minutes to set-­‐up a patient. Therefore, it is not possible to schedule more than seven patients in between 8:00 to 8:15 and the current scheduling is also serving seven patients by this time. The rest of the template can be justified similarly.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2011.837
PMCID: PMC3562880  PMID: 23386870
11.  Enhancing Self-Efficacy for Optimized Patient Outcomes through the Theory of Symptom Self-Management 
Cancer nursing  2013;36(1):E16-E26.
Background
In today’s world, greater patient empowerment is imperative since 90 million Americans live with one or more chronic conditions such as cancer. Evidence reveals that healthy behaviors such as effective symptom self-management can prevent or reduce much of the suffering from cancer. Oncology nurses play a pivotal role in developing a symptom self-management plan that is critical to optimizing a patient’s symptom self-management behaviors.
Objective
This article uses exemplars to describe how oncology nurses can apply a tested middle-range theory, the Theory of Symptom Self-Management, to clinical practice by incorporating interventions to increase a patient’s perceived self-efficacy to optimize patient outcomes.
Methods
The Theory of Symptom Self-Management provides a means to understand the dynamic aspects of symptom self-management and provides a tested framework for the development of efficacy enhancing interventions for use by oncology nurses in clinical practice.
Results
Exemplars based on the Theory of Symptom Self-Management that depict how oncology nursing can use perceived self-efficacy enhancing symptom self-management interventions to improve the functional status and quality of life of their patients.
Conclusion
Guided by a theoretical approach, oncology nurses can have a significant positive impact on the lives of their patients by reducing the symptom burden associated with cancer and its treatment.
Implications for Practice
Oncology nurses can partner with their patients to design tailored approaches to symptom self-management. These tailored approaches provide the ability to implement patient specific behaviors that recognize, prevent, relieve, or decrease the timing, intensity, distress, concurrence, and unpleasant quality of symptoms.
doi:10.1097/NCC.0b013e31824a730a
PMCID: PMC3526102  PMID: 22495550
12.  Native Cancer Navigation: The State of the Science 
The purpose of this literature review is to determine the current state of the science for the effectiveness of patient navigation on improving outcomes of cancer care across the continuum among Native Americans. The research will help healthcare professionals ascertain potential evidence-based practice guidelines and gaps in knowledge, which may provide direction for future research. Data synthesis included the use of Native navigation for cancer care, which has been demonstrated in limited, nonrandomized studies to improve cancer knowledge, access to care, and quality of life for Native Americans. Those studies had limitations, including small sample size, self-report of outcome measures, and lack of randomization. Evidence is insufficient to conclude that the use of Native navigation is superior to usual cancer care for Native American patients. Oncology nurses have a role in training personnel to serve as cancer navigators. Nurses need to be supportive of culturally appropriate navigation programs and know about services provided by navigators. In addition, nurse educators need to encourage Native Americans in their communities to consider choosing nursing as a profession. If an oncology nurse has an interest in research, opportunities exist to assist with or conduct research projects regarding Native cancer navigation. A particular need exists for addressing the gaps in research identified in this article.
doi:10.1188/12.CJON.73-82
PMCID: PMC3544394  PMID: 22297010
13.  The factors facilitating and inhibiting effective clinical decision-making in nursing: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2004;3:2.
Background
Nurses' practice takes place in a context of ongoing advances in research and technology. The dynamic and uncertain nature of health care environment requires nurses to be competent decision-makers in order to respond to clients' needs. Recently, the public and the government have criticized Iranian nurses because of poor quality of patient care. However nurses' views and experiences on factors that affect their clinical function and clinical decision-making have rarely been studied.
Methods
Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze the participants' lived experiences and their viewpoints regarding the factors affecting their clinical function and clinical decision-making. Semi-structured interviews and participant observation methods were used to gather the data. Thirty-eight participants were interviewed and twelve sessions of observation were carried out. Constant comparative analysis method was used to analyze the data.
Results
Five main themes emerged from the data. From the participants' points of view, "feeling competent", "being self-confident", "organizational structure", "nursing education", and "being supported" were considered as important factors in effective clinical decision-making.
Conclusion
As participants in this research implied, being competent and self-confident are the most important personal factors influencing nurses clinical decision-making. Also external factors such as organizational structure, access to supportive resources and nursing education have strengthening or inhibiting effects on the nurses' decisions. Individual nurses, professional associations, schools of nursing, nurse educators, organizations that employ nurses and government all have responsibility for developing and finding strategies that facilitate nurses' effective clinical decision-making. They are responsible for identifying barriers and enhancing factors within the organizational structure that facilitate nurses' clinical decision-making.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-3-2
PMCID: PMC411049  PMID: 15068484
14.  Implementing advance care planning: a qualitative study of community nurses' views and experiences 
Background
Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of discussion about goals of care and a means of setting on record preferences for care of patients who may lose capacity or communication ability in the future. Implementation of ACP is widely promoted by policy makers. This study examined how community palliative care nurses in England understand ACP and their roles within ACP. It sought to identify factors surrounding community nurses' implementation of ACP and nurses' educational needs.
Methods
An action research strategy was employed. 23 community nurses from two cancer networks in England were recruited to 6 focus group discussions and three follow up workshops. Data were analysed using a constant comparison approach.
Findings
Nurses understood ACP to be an important part of practice and to have the potential to be a celebration of good nursing care. Nurses saw their roles in ACP as engaging with patients to elicit care preferences, facilitate family communication and enable a shift of care focus towards palliative care. They perceived challenges to ACP including: timing, how to effect team working in ACP, the policy focus on instructional directives which related poorly to patients' concerns; managing differences in patients' and families' views. Perceived barriers included: lack of resources; lack of public awareness about ACP; difficulties in talking about death. Nurses recommended the following to be included in education programmes: design of realistic scenarios; design of a flow chart; practical advice about communication and documentation; insights into the need for clinical supervision for ACP practice.
Conclusions
Nurses working in the community are centrally involved with patients with palliative care needs who may wish to set on record their views about future care and treatment. This study reveals some important areas for practice and educational development to enhance nurses' use and understanding of ACP.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-9-4
PMCID: PMC2854100  PMID: 20377876
15.  Developing an organizing framework to guide nursing research in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) 
Seminars in oncology nursing  2013;30(1):17-25.
Objectives
To describe the development and application of an organizing research framework to guide COG Nursing research.
Data Sources
Research articles, reports and meeting minutes
Conclusion
An organizing research framework helps to outline research focus and articulate the scientific knowledge being produced by nurses in the pediatric cooperative group.
Implication for Nursing Practice
The use of an organizing framework for COG nursing research can facilitate clinical nurses’ understanding of how children and families sustain or regain optimal health when faced with a pediatric cancer diagnosis through interventions designed to promote individual and family resilience.
The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is the sole National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported cooperative pediatric oncology clinical trials group and the largest organization in the world devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. It was founded in 2000 following the merger of the four legacy NCI-supported pediatric clinical trials groups (Children’s Cancer Group [CCG], Pediatric Oncology Group [POG], National Wilms Tumor Study Group, and Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group). The COG currently has over 200 member institutions across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and a multidisciplinary membership of over 8,000 pediatric, radiation, and surgical oncologists, nurses, clinical research associates, pharmacists, behavioral scientists, pathologists, laboratory scientists, patient/parent advocates and other pediatric cancer specialists. The COG Nursing Discipline was formed from the merger of the legacy CCG and POG Nursing Committees, and current membership exceeds 2000 registered nurses. The discipline has a well-developed infrastructure that promotes nursing involvement throughout all levels of the organization, including representation on disease, protocol, scientific, executive and other administrative committees (e.g., nominating committee, data safety monitoring boards). COG nurses facilitate delivery of protocol-based treatments for children enrolled on COG protocols, and Nursing Discipline initiatives support nursing research, professional and patient/family education, evidence-based practice, and a patient-reported outcomes resource center. The research agenda of the Nursing Discipline is enacted through a well-established nursing scholar program.
doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2013.12.004
PMCID: PMC4159101  PMID: 24559776
Childhood cancer; Pediatric oncology nursing; Cooperative group; Nursing research; Clinical trial; Theoretical framework, Resilience
16.  New perspectives in radiation oncology: Young radiation oncologist point of view and challenges 
Aim
To assess the role of the young radiation oncologist in the context of important recent advancements in the field of radiation oncology, and to explore new perspectives and competencies of the young radiation oncologist.
Background
Radiation oncology is a field that has rapidly advanced over the last century. It holds a rich tradition of clinical care and evidence-based practice, and more recently has advanced with revolutionary innovations in technology and computer science, as well as pharmacology and molecular biology.
Materials and methods
Several young radiation oncologists from different countries evaluated the current status and future directions of radiation oncology.
Results
For young radiation oncologists, it is important to reflect on the current practice and future directions of the specialty as it relates to the role of the radiation oncologist in the comprehensive management of cancer patients. Radiation oncologists are responsible for the radiation treatment provided to patients and its subsequent impact on patients’ quality of life. Young radiation oncologists must proactively master new clinical, biological and technical information, as well as lead radiation oncology teams consisting of physicists, dosimetrists, nurses and technicians.
Conclusions
The role of the young radiation oncologist in the field of oncology should be proactive in developing new competencies. Above all, it is important to remember that we are dealing with the family members and loved ones of many individuals during the most difficult part of their lives.
doi:10.1016/j.rpor.2012.07.002
PMCID: PMC3885889  PMID: 24669303
Oncology; Evidence-based; Radiotherapy
17.  Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
Objective
To assess the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for the treatment and management of urinary incontinence (UI) in community-dwelling seniors.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Urinary incontinence defined as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine” was identified as 1 of the key predictors in a senior’s transition from independent community living to admission to a long-term care (LTC) home. Urinary incontinence is a health problem that affects a substantial proportion of Ontario’s community-dwelling seniors (and indirectly affects caregivers), impacting their health, functioning, well-being and quality of life. Based on Canadian studies, prevalence estimates range from 9% to 30% for senior men and nearly double from 19% to 55% for senior women. The direct and indirect costs associated with UI are substantial. It is estimated that the total annual costs in Canada are $1.5 billion (Cdn), and that each year a senior living at home will spend $1,000 to $1,500 on incontinence supplies.
Interventions to treat and manage UI can be classified into broad categories which include lifestyle modification, behavioural techniques, medications, devices (e.g., continence pessaries), surgical interventions and adjunctive measures (e.g., absorbent products).
The focus of this review is behavioural interventions, since they are commonly the first line of treatment considered in seniors given that they are the least invasive options with no reported side effects, do not limit future treatment options, and can be applied in combination with other therapies. In addition, many seniors would not be ideal candidates for other types of interventions involving more risk, such as surgical measures.
Note: It is recognized that the terms “senior” and “elderly” carry a range of meanings for different audiences; this report generally uses the former, but the terms are treated here as essentially interchangeable.
Description of Technology/Therapy
Behavioural interventions can be divided into 2 categories according to the target population: caregiver-dependent techniques and patient-directed techniques. Caregiver-dependent techniques (also known as toileting assistance) are targeted at medically complex, frail individuals living at home with the assistance of a caregiver, who tends to be a family member. These seniors may also have cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits. A health care professional trains the senior’s caregiver to deliver an intervention such as prompted voiding, habit retraining, or timed voiding. The health care professional who trains the caregiver is commonly a nurse or a nurse with advanced training in the management of UI, such as a nurse continence advisor (NCA) or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The second category of behavioural interventions consists of patient-directed techniques targeted towards mobile, motivated seniors. Seniors in this population are cognitively able, free from any major physical deficits, and motivated to regain and/or improve their continence. A nurse or a nurse with advanced training in UI management, such as an NCA or CNS, delivers the patient-directed techniques. These are often provided as multicomponent interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), education on bladder control strategies, and self-monitoring. Pelvic floor muscle training, defined as a program of repeated pelvic floor muscle contractions taught and supervised by a health care professional, may be employed as part of a multicomponent intervention or in isolation.
Education is a large component of both caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions, and patient and/or caregiver involvement as well as continued practice strongly affect the success of treatment. Incontinence products, which include a large variety of pads and devices for effective containment of urine, may be used in conjunction with behavioural techniques at any point in the patient’s management.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions for the treatment of UI in community-dwelling seniors (see Appendix 1).
Research Questions
Are caregiver-dependent behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in medically complex, frail community-dwelling seniors with/without cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits?
Are patient-directed behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in mobile, motivated community-dwelling seniors?
Are behavioural interventions delivered by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting effective in improving incontinence outcomes in community-dwelling seniors?
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology and GRADE Working Group. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Executive Summary Table 1 summarizes the results of the analysis.
The available evidence was limited by considerable variation in study populations and in the type and severity of UI for studies examining both caregiver-directed and patient-directed interventions. The UI literature frequently is limited to reporting subjective outcome measures such as patient observations and symptoms. The primary outcome of interest, admission to a LTC home, was not reported in the UI literature. The number of eligible studies was low, and there were limited data on long-term follow-up.
Summary of Evidence on Behavioural Interventions for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors
Prompted voiding
Habit retraining
Timed voiding
Bladder training
PFMT (with or without biofeedback)
Bladder control strategies
Education
Self-monitoring
CI refers to confidence interval; CNS, clinical nurse specialist; NCA, nurse continence advisor; PFMT, pelvic floor muscle training; RCT, randomized controlled trial; WMD, weighted mean difference; UI, urinary incontinence.
Economic Analysis
A budget impact analysis was conducted to forecast costs for caregiver-dependent and patient-directed multicomponent behavioural techniques delivered by NCAs, and PFMT alone delivered by physiotherapists. All costs are reported in 2008 Canadian dollars. Based on epidemiological data, published medical literature and clinical expert opinion, the annual cost of caregiver-dependent behavioural techniques was estimated to be $9.2 M, while the annual costs of patient-directed behavioural techniques delivered by either an NCA or physiotherapist were estimated to be $25.5 M and $36.1 M, respectively. Estimates will vary if the underlying assumptions are changed.
Currently, the province of Ontario absorbs the cost of NCAs (available through the 42 Community Care Access Centres across the province) in the home setting. The 2007 Incontinence Care in the Community Report estimated that the total cost being absorbed by the public system of providing continence care in the home is $19.5 M in Ontario. This cost estimate included resources such as personnel, communication with physicians, record keeping and product costs. Clinic costs were not included in this estimation because currently these come out of the global budget of the respective hospital and very few continence clinics actually exist in the province. The budget impact analysis factored in a cost for the clinic setting, assuming that the public system would absorb the cost with this new model of community care.
Considerations for Ontario Health System
An expert panel on aging in the community met on 3 occasions from January to May 2008, and in part, discussed treatment of UI in seniors in Ontario with a focus on caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions. In particular, the panel discussed how treatment for UI is made available to seniors in Ontario and who provides the service. Some of the major themes arising from the discussions included:
Services/interventions that currently exist in Ontario offering behavioural interventions to treat UI are not consistent. There is a lack of consistency in how seniors access services for treatment of UI, who manages patients and what treatment patients receive.
Help-seeking behaviours are important to consider when designing optimal service delivery methods.
There is considerable social stigma associated with UI and therefore there is a need for public education and an awareness campaign.
The cost of incontinent supplies and the availability of NCAs were highlighted.
Conclusions
There is moderate-quality evidence that the following interventions are effective in improving UI in mobile motivated seniors:
Multicomponent behavioural interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, PFMT (with or without biofeedback), education on bladder control strategies and self-monitoring techniques.
Pelvic floor muscle training alone.
There is moderate quality evidence that when behavioural interventions are led by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting, they are effective in improving UI in seniors.
There is limited low-quality evidence that prompted voiding may be effective in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers.
There is insufficient evidence for the following interventions in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers:
habit retraining, and
timed voiding.
PMCID: PMC3377527  PMID: 23074508
18.  A Blueprint for Genomic Nursing Science 
Purpose
This article reports on recommendations arising from an invitational workshop series held at the National Institutes of Health for the purposes of identifying critical genomics problems important to the health of the public that can be addressed through nursing science. The overall purpose of the Genomic Nursing State of the Science Initiative is to establish a nursing research blueprint based on gaps in the evidence and expert evaluation of the current state of the science and through public comment.
Organizing Constructs
A Genomic Nursing State of the Science Advisory Panel was convened in 2012 to develop the nursing research blueprint. The Advisory Panel, which met via two webinars and two in-person meetings, considered existing evidence from evidence reviews, testimony from key stakeholder groups, presentations from experts in research synthesis, and public comment.
Findings
The genomic nursing science blueprint arising from the Genomic Nursing State of Science Advisory Panel focuses on biologic plausibility studies as well as interventions likely to improve a variety of outcomes (e.g., clinical, economic, environmental). It also includes all care settings and diverse populations. The focus is on (a) the client, defined as person, family, community, or population; (b) the context, targeting informatics support systems, capacity building, education, and environmental influences; and (c) cross-cutting themes. It was agreed that building capacity to measure the impact of nursing actions on costs, quality, and outcomes of patient care is a strategic and scientific priority if findings are to be synthesized and aggregated to inform practice and policy.
Conclusions
The genomic nursing science blueprint provides the framework for furthering genomic nursing science to improve health outcomes. This blueprint is an independent recommendation of the Advisory Panel with input from the public and is not a policy statement of the National Institutes of Health or the federal government.
Clinical Relevance
This genomic nursing science blueprint targets research to build the evidence base to inform integration of genomics into nursing practice and regulation (such as nursing licensure requirements, institutional accreditation, and academic nursing school accreditation).
doi:10.1111/jnu.12007
PMCID: PMC3594405  PMID: 23368636
19.  Increasing Nursing Faculty Research: The Iowa Gerontological Nursing Research and Regional Research Consortium Strategies 
Purpose
Research development and regional consortium strategies are described to assist schools in all countries extend their gerontological nursing research productivity. The strategies, collaboration and mentoring experiences, and outcomes are also shared to illustrate a highly successful approach in increasing faculty programs of nursing research in a focused area of inquiry.
Design
A case description of gerontological nursing research development and regional consortium strategies in schools of nursing is used. The regional consortium included 17 schools of nursing that are working to increase faculty programs of gerontological nursing research. Survey responses describing publications, presentations, and research funding awards from 65 of 114 total faculty participants in consortium opportunities (pilot and mentoring grant participants, participants in summer scholars’ grantsmanship seminars) were collected annually from 1995 through 2008 to describe outcomes.
Findings
From 1994 through 2008, faculty participants from the consortium schools who responded to the annual surveys reported a total of 597 gerontological nursing publications, 527 presentations at research conferences, funding of 221 small and internal grants, and 130 external grant awards, including 47R-series grants and 4 K awards.
Conclusions
There is an urgent need for more nurse faculty with programs of research to inform the health care of persons and support the preparation of nurse clinicians and faculty. The shortage of nurse scientists with active programs of gerontological research is especially serious and limits the number of faculty who are needed to prepare future gerontological nurses, particularly those with doctoral degrees who will assume faculty positions. Further, junior faculty with a gerontological nursing research foci often lack the colleagues, mentors, and environments needed to develop successful research careers. The outcomes of the development and regional consortium strategies suggest that the principles of extending collaboration, mentoring, and resource sharing are useful to augment faculty research opportunities, networking and support, and to increase productivity in individual schools.
Clinical Relevance
Clinical relevance includes: (a) implications for preparing nurse scientists and academicians who are and will be needed to train nurses for clinical practice, and (b) development of more faculty programs of research to provide systematic evidence to inform nursing practice.
doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01309.x
PMCID: PMC3419471  PMID: 19941587
Gerontological nursing research; faculty programs of research; nursing school research capacity; nursing school research resource sharing
20.  A postal survey to identify and describe nurse led clinics in genitourinary medicine services across England 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2002;78(2):98-100.
Background: Nurses in genitourinary medicine (GUM) services are progressively extending their roles to conduct "comprehensive care" nurse led clinics. In such roles the nurse coordinates the first line, comprehensive care of patients presenting with sexual health conditions and issues.
Objectives: To identify and describe comprehensive care nurse led clinics in GUM services across England.
Methods: A postal questionnaire consisting of 17 closed response questions was sent to 209 GUM services across England. A second questionnaire was sent to non-responders to increase the response rate. Data were single entered and analysed using SPSS.
Results: Of the 190 GUM clinic respondents (91% response rate), 44 (23%) reported providing some form of comprehensive care nurse led clinic, 90% of which were initiated since 1995. Key results show staff development featured as the main reason for initiating such services and there was general consistency in the aspects of care undertaken by these nurses. There was evidence of guideline development specific to nurse led care and some patient group direction use for supplying medication. The level of support from medical staff while nurse led clinics were being conducted varied between services. Few services have conducted any audit or research to monitor/evaluate nurse led care. There was little consistency in the clinical experience and educational prerequisites to undertake comprehensive care nurse led clinics. Continuing professional development opportunities also varied between services.
Conclusions: The steady growth of comprehensive care nurse led clinics indicates that the skills of GUM nurses are being recognised. Nurses working in advanced practice roles now require courses and study days reflecting these changes in practice. Locally agreed practice guidelines can define nursing practice boundaries and ensure accountability, as will the development of patient group directions to supply medication. Monitoring and evaluation of nurse led clinics also require attention.
doi:10.1136/sti.78.2.98
PMCID: PMC1744443  PMID: 12081193
21.  Nursing faculties’ knowledge and attitude on evidence-based practice 
Background:
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is one of the main professional competencies for health care professionals and a priority for medicine and nursing curriculum as well. EBP leads to improve effective and efficient care and patient outcomes. Nurse educators have responsibility to teach the future nurses, and an opportunity to promote patient outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe nurse educators’ knowledge and attitude on EBP.
Materials and Methods:
This was a descriptive study conducted in nursing faculties of two major universities of medical sciences affiliated to Ministry of Health and Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. Data were gathered using a three-section questionnaire. Content and face validity was further enhanced by submitting it to nursing research and education experts. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 11 software.
Results:
According the results, nursing faculties’ knowledge of EBP was mainly moderate (47.1%). Significant statistical relationship was found between the level of knowledge with education and teaching experience in different nursing programs. Nurses generally held positive attitudes toward EBP (88.6%) and there was no statistical significant relationship with demographic variables.
Conclusion:
Nursing educators are in a position to influence nursing research in clinical practice in the future. Therefore, it is critical to achieve implementation of EBP and be a change agent for a paradigm shift toward EBP.
PMCID: PMC3730454  PMID: 23922597
Attitude; evidence-based practice; Iran; knowledge
22.  Role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Washington State 
Journal of Oncology Practice  2010;6(1):37-38.
A survey in response to Washington oncology practices' workforce shortage on employment patterns for advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants found that practices have embraced these roles.
Purpose:
In response to the looming oncology manpower shortage, the Washington State Medical Oncology Society (Vancouver, WA) surveyed medical oncology practices in Washington regarding employment patterns for advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in oncology.
Methods:
Funded by a 2008 ASCO State Affiliate Grant and using Surveymonkey.com as a platform, practices were queried regarding practice demographics, employment patterns, and functions of ANPs and PAs.
Results:
Of the total queried, 25 practices (50%) responded, representing the spectrum of single-specialty (n = 8), multispecialty (n = 7), hospital-based (n = 6), and academic practices (n = 4). Sixty-eight percent of practices employed ANPs and/or PAs. Compared with PAs, ANPs were more likely to work independent of supervision (64% v 0%), perform follow-up in the outpatient setting (93% v 77%), evaluate patients in infusion centers (71% v 62%), and provide genetic counseling (42% v 0%). PAs were more likely to see hospitalized patients (62% v 42%) and supervise infusion centers (15% v 7%). New patient consultations were performed with similar frequency (PAs, 29% and ANPs, 31%). ANPs were more likely to review research eligibility (25% v 15%), obtain informed consent (33% v 15%), and monitor compliance (13% v 8%).
Conclusion:
Washington practices have embraced advanced practitioners. Given the diversity of practice patterns, practices can learn from one another how to maximize ANP/NP roles. Practices need to promote practice-based educational opportunities to attract ANPs/PAs to medical oncology.
doi:10.1200/JOP.091068
PMCID: PMC2805344  PMID: 20539731
23.  The National Cancer Institute–American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Trial Accrual Symposium: Summary and Recommendations 
Journal of Oncology Practice  2013;9(6):267-276.
In 2010, the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncology cosponsored a symposium to examine the state of clinical trial accrual science and identify opportunities to facilitate trial enrollment. The authors provide recommendations for best practices and for future research developed from the symposium.
Introduction:
Many challenges to clinical trial accrual exist, resulting in studies with inadequate enrollment and potentially delaying answers to important scientific and clinical questions.
Methods:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) cosponsored the Cancer Trial Accrual Symposium: Science and Solutions on April 29-30, 2010 to examine the state of accrual science related to patient/community, physician/provider, and site/organizational influences, and identify new interventions to facilitate clinical trial enrollment. The symposium featured breakout sessions, plenary sessions, and a poster session including 100 abstracts. Among the 358 attendees were clinical investigators, researchers of accrual strategies, research administrators, nurses, research coordinators, patient advocates, and educators. A bibliography of the accrual literature in these three major areas was provided to participants in advance of the meeting. After the symposium, the literature in these areas was revisited to determine if the symposium recommendations remained relevant within the context of the current literature.
Results:
Few rigorously conducted studies have tested interventions to address challenges to clinical trials accrual. Attendees developed recommendations for improving accrual and identified priority areas for future accrual research at the patient/community, physician/provider, and site/organizational levels. Current literature continues to support the symposium recommendations.
Conclusions:
A combination of approaches addressing both the multifactorial nature of accrual challenges and the characteristics of the target population may be needed to improve accrual to cancer clinical trials. Recommendations for best practices and for future research developed from the symposium are provided.
doi:10.1200/JOP.2013.001119
PMCID: PMC3825288  PMID: 24130252
24.  Developing Successful Models of Cancer Palliative Care Services 
Seminars in oncology nursing  2010;26(4):266-284.
Objectives
This article describes successful institutionally-based programs for providing high quality palliative care to people with cancer and their family members. Challenges and opportunities for program development are also described.
Data Sources
Published literature from 2000 to present describing concurrent oncology palliative care clinical trials, standards and guidelines were reviewed.
Conclusion
Clinical trials have demonstrated feasibility and positive outcomes and formed the basis for consensus guidelines that support concurrent oncology palliative care models.
Implications for nursing practice
Oncology nurses should advocate for all patients with advanced cancer and their families to have access to concurrent oncology palliative oncology care from the time of diagnosis with a life-limiting cancer.
doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2010.08.006
PMCID: PMC2976669  PMID: 20971407
Cancer palliative care models; review; palliative care standards
25.  How nurses and their work environment affect patient experiences of the quality of care: a qualitative study 
Background
Healthcare organisations monitor patient experiences in order to evaluate and improve the quality of care. Because nurses spend a lot of time with patients, they have a major impact on patient experiences. To improve patient experiences of the quality of care, nurses need to know what factors within the nursing work environment are of influence. The main focus of this research was to comprehend the views of Dutch nurses on how their work and their work environment contribute to positive patient experiences.
Methods
A descriptive qualitative research design was used to collect data. Four focus groups were conducted, one each with 6 or 7 registered nurses in mental health care, hospital care, home care and nursing home care. A total of 26 nurses were recruited through purposeful sampling. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis.
Results
The nurses mentioned essential elements that they believe would improve patient experiences of the quality of nursing care: clinically competent nurses, collaborative working relationships, autonomous nursing practice, adequate staffing, control over nursing practice, managerial support and patient-centred culture. They also mentioned several inhibiting factors, such as cost-effectiveness policy and transparency goals for external accountability. Nurses feel pressured to increase productivity and report a high administrative workload. They stated that these factors will not improve patient experiences of the quality of nursing care.
Conclusions
According to participants, a diverse range of elements affect patient experiences of the quality of nursing care. They believe that incorporating these elements into daily nursing practice would result in more positive patient experiences. However, nurses work in a healthcare context in which they have to reconcile cost-efficiency and accountability with their desire to provide nursing care that is based on patient needs and preferences, and they experience a conflict between these two approaches. Nurses must gain autonomy over their own practice in order to improve patient experiences.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-249
PMCID: PMC4064111  PMID: 24923663
Patient experiences; Quality improvement; Nurses; Nursing work environment

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