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Effect of Certification in Oncology Nursing on Nursing-Sensitive Outcomes

Elizabeth Ann Coleman
Sharon K. Coon
Kimberly Lockhart
Robert L. Kennedy
Robert Montgomery
Nevada Copeland
Paula McNatt
Shelia Savell
Carol Stewart
CJON 2009, 13(2), 165-172 DOI: 10.1188/09.CJON.165-172

The study compared certified nurses with noncertified nurses for symptom management of nausea, vomiting, and pain; patient satisfaction; and nurse satisfaction to determine the effect of certification in oncology nursing on those nursing-sensitive outcomes. A total of 93 nurses—35 (38%) of them certified in oncology nursing—and 270 patients completed surveys. Chart audits provided additional data on symptom management. Certified nurses scored higher than noncertified nurses on the Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain as well as the Nausea Management: Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes Survey. The chart audits showed that certified nurses followed National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) management more often than noncertified nurses. The study demonstrated that job satisfaction is fairly high for oncology nurses and patient satisfaction is high. In general, cancer pain and CINV were managed well but improvements can be made. Nurses and physicians continuously should be educated on evidence-based guidelines for symptom management of cancer pain and CINV, and a CINV knowledge and attitude assessment tool should be developed.

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