Implementing the New Commission on Cancer Standard on Palliative Care Services

Lisa Kennedy Sheldon

standards and guidelines, palliative care
CJON 2014, 18(1), 37-38. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.S1.37-38

Oncology nurses know that improving quality of life is essential for patients with cancer. Optimizing quality of life requires excellence in symptom management, such as relief from physical symptoms (e.g., pain), as well as addressing the psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families. Improving quality of life and relieving suffering are priorities across the disease spectrum from diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end-of-life care to bereavement support for families. Interdisciplinary teams are needed to address the multiple dimensions of physical, psychological, and spiritual care. Nurses are integral members of cancer care teams, and their inclusion in the new accreditation standards for cancer centers highlights the contributions of the profession and the specialties of oncology nursing and palliative care. Different approaches to implementing the new standard for palliative care services are described in the next two articles. Each article explores the roles of oncology nurses and advanced practice nurses (APRNs) on palliative care teams. The articles describe how oncology nurses, by virtue of their education and clinical expertise, need to be involved in the Commission on Cancer (CoC) standard implementation regarding palliative care across hospital and community settings.

Jump to a section


    American College of Surgeons. (2012). About the CoC. Retrieved from
    American College of Surgeons. (2013). ACS Commission on Cancer. Retrieved from
    American Medical Association Institute for Medical Ethics. (1999). Education for physicians on end-of-life care. Chicago IL: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
    Commission on Cancer. (2012). Standard 2.4: Palliative care services. In Cancer program standards 2012: Ensuring patient-centered care. Retrieved from
    Fox, K. (2014). The role of the acute care nurse practitioner in the implementation of the Commission on Cancer's standard on palliative care. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(Suppl.), 39-44. doi:10.1188/14.CJON.S1.39-44
    Kazanowski, M., & Kennedy Sheldon, L. (2014). Working together: Including palliative care with oncology care. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(Suppl.), 45-48. doi:10.1188/14.CJON.S1.45-48
    National Quality Forum. (2012). NQF endorses palliative and end-of-life care measures. Retrieved from
    Oncology Nursing Society. (2010). Oncology Nursing Society and Association of Oncology Social Work joint position on palliative and end-of-life care. Retrieved from
    World Health Organization. (2007). Cancer control: Knowledge into action. WHO guide for effective programmes: Palliative care. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press.