The Role of Licensed Nursing Personnel in Radiation Oncology Part A: Results of a Descriptive Study

Giselle J. Moore-Higgs

Deborah Watkins-Bruner

Laura L. Balmer

Janice Johnson-Doneski

Paulette Komarny

Beatrice Mautner

Karima Velji

ONF 2003, 30(1), 51-58. DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.51-58

Purpose/Objectives: To identify the specific administrative, clerical, patient care, patient education, and research responsibilities that licensed nursing personnel perform in the field of radiation oncology.

Design: Descriptive.

Sample: 281 licensed nursing personnel employed in the field of radiation oncology in North America.

Methods: Subjects completed a six-page, self-administered questionnaire comprised of fixed-choice and open-ended questions.

Main Research Variables: Demographics, employment settings, and administrative, clerical, patient care, patient education, and research responsibilities.

Findings: Nurses in radiation oncology tend to be older (41-60 years of age) and considerably well educated, with many years of experience in this field. Nurses are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. The study found a strong demonstration of the role of nurse educator among radiation oncology nurses.

Implications for Nursing: Radiation oncology nursing is a subspe-cialty in evolution. The data should provide support for further exploration of how patient education and support influence patient outcomes in radiation oncology.

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