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Nursing Student Attitudes Toward Oncology Nursing

Sarah R. Komprood
CJON 2013, 17(1), E21-E28 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.E21-E28

Oncology education can impact nursing students' attitudes toward oncology and their interest in oncology nursing. To explore that relationship, a literature search was conducted using the CINAHL®, Cochrane Library, ERIC®, PubMed, and Scopus® databases. Nineteen pertinent studies were incorporated into the review, and recommendations were graded by strength of evidence schemas. The reviewed literature indicated undergraduate oncology education may be effective in encouraging nursing students to consider oncology as a practice area. Negative attitudes toward oncology such as fear and pessimism often are seen in students and practicing nurses. Educational interventions for students and nurses are effective in increasing knowledge and skills that are instrumental in fostering confidence and positive attitudes toward oncology nursing. All nursing students should have organized, mandatory clinical and didactic oncology nursing education experiences. Additional research is needed to support the effectiveness of educational strategies in influencing students' intent to practice oncology nursing. Innovative strategies including nontraditional clinical experiences, internships, fellowships, high-fidelity simulation, and postgraduate residencies are needed to provide adequate educational opportunities for nursing students to foster a strong and proficient oncology nursing workforce.

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