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Adolescents and Young Adults: Addressing Needs and Optimizing Care With a Clinical Nurse Specialist

Laura Mitchell
Terri Stuart-McEwan
Hayley Panet
Abha A. Gupta
CJON 2017, 21(1), 123-126 DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.123-126

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer aged 15–39 years have unique psychosocial, informational, and medical concerns compared to their older adult and pediatric counterparts. Recognizing the gaps in young adult cancer care, an AYA program was launched at a large tertiary cancer center to optimize the AYA cancer care experience. This article describes the contributions of a clinical nurse specialist in AYA program development.


  • The needs of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are not routinely identified and addressed in adult cancer care institutions.
  • Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are particularly suited to influence AYA care through several domains of program development: clinical care, education, leadership, and evaluation.
  • The diverse expertise of CNSs can enhance nursing knowledge on key AYA issues and significantly influence AYA care in the areas of fertility, sexual health, social support, and exercise.

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