As part of the NHS Long Term Plan and the Norfolk and Waveney People Plan, East of England Cancer Alliance and Health Education England commissioned GE Associates to support cancer workforce planning across the East of England.
There were some clearly defined issues and plans to address identified shortfalls in the workforce across all areas of cancer care. In particular, a focus on the cancer clinical nurse specialist role was emphasised as well as developing resources to support cancer nurses throughout all the different stages of their varied and extremely rewarding career.
This resulted in the creation of three new tools that looked to define cancer nursing competencies and career progression for band 2 - 8 roles, guided by existing national competences from UKONS (UK Oncology Nursing Society) and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The three new tools are:
- A redefined career structure with role descriptions.
- A Competency Framework.
- A Training Needs Analysis tool.
These tools are still in the development stage and are due to undergo piloting. If you would be interested in trialling these tools as either a manager or a user, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purpose of the toolkit
The purpose of these tools are to support systems, organisations, departments and nurse managers to define cancer nursing competencies and career progression for band 2 - 8 roles, guided by UKONS and Macmillan Cancer Support competences.
This information can then be used to:
- Enable individuals to plan their own careers.
- Enable systems, organisations, departments and managers to support existing staff and define the skills needed to create a more sustainable cancer nursing workforce.
Local cancer care nurses, Yvonne and Rachel are pictured below.
Yvonne Hacon Rachel Brice
How the tools can be used
The following examples show who might use these tools and in what context:
Tool one – Career Structure Framework
The purpose of this tool is to provide guidance for nurses from bands 2 to 8, who would like to move into or progress within cancer nursing. The guidance shows:
- A clear overview for cancer nursing progression.
- A description of each role and the main activities a nurse would be engaged in.
- Required and likely next steps and guidance on the education and experience needed to get there
Next steps for its development include a description of how to progress between different types of roles in the same band, along with moving up through the band levels.
Tool two – Competency Framework Tool
UKONS and Macmillan Cancer Support have both developed national competency frameworks for cancer nursing. The Competency Framework Tool is intended to help cancer nurses navigate and use these frameworks.
It is targeted at:
- Individual nurses who want to structure their personal development with the support of their manager, for example, during regular checkpoints, during annual appraisal or when looking at their possible next role.
- Department nursing leads who want to identify gaps in their team competencies and support development of their team.
- Organisational/system nursing leads who want to identify gaps in their team competencies and support development of their team
Tool three - Training Needs Analysis Tool
The Training Needs Analysis Tool supports the user to identify:
- What the training needs are.
- How these training needs can be grouped into the main headings from the national cancer nursing competency frameworks.
This information can be used to:
- Plan a menu of in-house/external training offer to meet these needs in the short, medium and long term.
- Support the identification of transferable skills between tumour site/treatment cancer teams
- Link to career progression planning and 'grow your own strategies'
This final tool (tool 3) is still under development and is expected to be completed by August 2021.