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Examining how early experiences in oncology settings influence nurses' career decisions.

Nursing Standard 2024 June 4
The transition from nursing student to newly registered nurse is a complex process, and subsequent recruitment to cancer nursing posts can be challenging. This article details a service evaluation that aimed to describe the experiences of nursing students on placement and newly registered nurses or nursing associates working in a specialist cancer centre, and how these experiences might influence their future career aspirations. To gather data, the authors undertook a focus group with nursing students ( n= 8) and interviewed newly registered nurses or nursing associates ( n= 19). The data revealed four themes: navigating the nursing student experience; motivation to work in oncology; transition to staff nurse; and looking ahead. The service evaluation identified that education providers often lack awareness of cancer-specific content and career pathways. It also found that some aspects of cancer care, such as gaining specialist skills in systemic anticancer therapy, require particular attention since they were often anxiety-provoking for newly registered nurses.

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