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Quality Cancer Care the Focus of the 2014 NCCN Nursing Program

By Kristina M. Gregory, RN, MSN, OCN, Vice President of Clinical Information Operations, NCCN

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, as part of the NCCN 19th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) hosted the 2014 NCCN Nursing Program: Advancing Oncology Nursing™. Presentations focused on a variety of topics integral to quality cancer care: distress management, men’s sexual and reproductive health, senior adult oncology, and patient/clinician communication. The program also featured a new format of concurrent sessions in kidney cancer, melanoma, follicular lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

During the first presentation of the program, Incorporating Distress Management into Patient Care, Janet Snapp, MSN, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, discussed how to identify necessary resources for the support and development of a distress management program, in addition to strategies to overcome barriers to implementation of distress management into patient care. Following this topic, Joseph Narus, DNP, APRN, NP-BC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, presented Men’s Sexual and Reproductive Health. Oncology nurses gained knowledge in identifying men at risk for developing sexual dysfunction, the essential components of a sexual history and assessment, and treatment options available for men with erectile dysfunction.

The 2014 NCCN Nursing Program also included disease-based presentations in a new format as concurrent sessions. The first track included Clinical Updates and Issues: Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma, presented by Tiffany Richards, MS, ANP-BC, and Metastatic Melanoma, presented by Stephanie Andrews, MS, ANP-BC, Moffitt Cancer Center. The second disease-specific track included Clinical Updates and Issues: Advanced Kidney Cancer, presented by Laurie Appleby, MS, APRN, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Follicular Lymphoma, presented by Katherine Byar, MSN, APN-BC, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Participants were able to attend one session from each track. The focus was on understanding the mechanism of action and adverse effects of drug and biologic agents available for the management of these diseases. The presentations also focused on how to identify and manage adverse effects to reduce treatment delay and disruption.

The program continued with a presentation titled, Special Considerations for Older Patients with Cancer. In this presentation, Peggy Burhenn, MS, BNS, AOCNS, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, described the elements of a comprehensive geriatric assessment, including functional assessment, comorbidities, cognition, psychosocial issues, nutrition, and polypharmacy.

Finally, attendees were provided with a case-based presentation by Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. The presentation, titled, Communicating Treatment Options to Patients with Advanced Cancer, emphasized the importance of understanding the goals of treatment and the goals of the patient, facilitating open discussion, and advocating for the patient.

The NCCN 2014 Nursing Program provided oncology nurses with comprehensive and clinically relevant information regarding the management of patients with cancer to optimize clinical care and patient education.

If you are interested any of the presentations described above topics from the NCCN Nursing Program will be available as free webinars with CE credits on the NCCN website. Check NCCN.org frequently for updates.