Challenges for Nursing

  • Louise SoanesEmail author


The emergence of AYA cancer care as a specialism reflects both science and enterprise of nursing; nurses are involved at almost every stage of cancer and in every setting where care is delivered. There’s much to celebrate, i.e. an inter-professional/multispecialty model of care, collaborative working, advanced nursing roles and nurse-led care. However, AYA cancer nursing is not immune to the universal challenges nursing currently faces, i.e. workforce, practice, education, policy, leadership and research. This chapter explores the first four of these issues in the context of AYA cancer nursing in both generalist and specialist settings.

The ageing nursing workforce is a cause of concern in many high-income countries (HIC), which in part is a symptom of the global shortage of nurses. Approaches to tackle this challenge focus on retention, a wider recruitment base, the introduction of new roles, promoting return to work and international recruitment. Two issues are discussed later; retention and international recruitment of nurses. The challenges confronting AYA cancer nurses’ professional development relate to these issues together with reduced nursing budgets, disparity in accessing education programmes and undefined career and academic choices. Clinicians and educators must work together to face these challenges if AYA cancer nursing is to command a key role in an evolving global specialty.

One of the key challenges for AYA cancer nursing is an infrastructure to maximise and support the development of nursing practice. This requires leaders with the skills to produce national/regional nursing strategy, supported by career and education frameworks. Global healthcare delivery systems will continue to evolve but not necessarily as expected; within this uncertainty, AYA cancer care is finding its place and voice. To influence current and future healthcare, AYA cancer nurses must see themselves as having the capacity and responsibility to ensure relevant policies define and integrate standards of care.


Workforce Education Practice Policy 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College HospitalLondonUK

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