Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee Addresses Need for Educational Materials in Palliative Care and Symptom Management

January 20th, 2016 in Board in Action

by Susan L. Beck, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States.  ISNCC Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee Chair, ISNCC Conference Management Committee Member.

One of the major objectives of the Knowledge Development and Dissemination (KDD) Committee is to improve the utilization of the ISNCC website as a point of access for nurses to find and utilize educational materials. The ISNCC Strategic Plan ( specifically outlined the following activities which the KDD Committee is addressing.

  1. Develop a system for identifying existing international educational resources and linking to these resources.
  2. Review content of newsletter and website based on feedback from educational needs survey and update as appropriate.
  3. Offer educational resources in languages other than English.
  4. Develop links with other organizations that have relevant educational material in languages other than English
  5. Develop dissemination plan for existing educational resources.

The KDD Committee began this process by assessing both the educational needs of our members and reviewing which resources are currently available. The Communications Committee conducted a Needs Assessment via a Member Survey in 2014. The participants included 15 full organizational members and 265 nurses who are individual members or potential individual members of ISNCC from around the world. The three most important categories for continuing education for cancer nurses rated by both full/association and individual members were the same: evidence-based practice in cancer care, management of symptoms and treatment induced complications and cancer prevention and screening.  However, when individual members were grouped by level of income country, the most important category rated by the respondents from high and upper-middle income country was different from that rated by those from lower-middle and low income country. The former group chose evidence-based practice, whereas the latter group rated palliative and supportive care as the most important category for continuing education for cancer nurses, followed by cancer prevention and screening.

Current resources available from ISNCC are located on the ISNCC Insight ( Three types of Resources are available; in some cases access is only available to nurses who are ISNCC members.

Online Resources ( which contain a variety of types of resources, fact sheets, guidelines, patient tools etc. Many are focused on specific types of cancer treatment such as targeted therapies and have resulted from special projects funded with generous grant support from industry. Many of these are available in more than one language.

Resources from Past Conferences ( This section includes slides (in pdf format) or recordings from the major plenary presentations from International Conferences on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) held since 2006. The ICCN is the longest running international conference for our profession and offers a unique opportunity to meet with international cancer nursing leaders from around the world, in one place, at one time. All recordings are in English.

Webinar Library ( The ISNCC Educational Webinar Library features experts in the field speaking on relevant hot topics.  Topics include: (1) Workforce/Workplace Issues and Strategies for Success, (2) Long Term Breast Cancer Survivorship Care – Who will Provide it and What are the Needs, (3) Patient Safety Issues, Including Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs, Infections, (4) Treatment Updates – New Treatments and Their Nursing Implications-Including Target Treatments, (5) New Chemotherapy regimens/Drugs, New Radiotherapies, (6) Psychosocial and Communication Issues, (7) Nutritional Issues in Cancer, (8) Women’s Health Issues in Cancer Specifically Sexuality, Intimacy, and Other Issues, and (9) Abstract Writing, Submission and Presentation Skills. All webinars are in English.

Based on this assessment, the KDD Committee identified a significant gap in educational resources in a high priority area – palliative care and symptom management. The committee decided to create a web-based resource for our members that will include educational materials for nurses as well as patients and families. Resources/information will be shared on the website in ISNCC Resources. ISNCC Insight. The Committee agreed to concentrate on pain and nausea/vomiting as the first topics, as these are prevalent and troublesome symptoms regardless of type of cancer or setting. There are ample resources available for both patients and nurses related to these symptoms and the most efficient strategy is to easily link oncology nurses around the world to these educational materials. Committee members have now identified a “first wave” of candidate resources for the members to review. Criteria for inclusion include the following.

  • Are the materials from a credible source?
  • Are the materials relevant and helpful to ISNCC members?
  • Are the materials no more than 5 years old?

We have developed an annotation template and are recruiting volunteers from member organizations to review and annotate materials in specific languages that may not be represented by our KDD Committee members. We will be evaluating the numbers of individuals who access these resource summaries once they are made available.  If you have a potential patient or nurse educational resource related to pain or nausea/vomiting that you would like us to include, please send it to ISNCC Head Office ( Stay tuned for an announcement of the availability of this new resource in 2016.

New Year Greetings from the ISNCC President

January 6th, 2016 in Messages from the President

by Stella Bialous, University of California, San Francisco, United States. ISNCC President.

Dear colleagues,

I am excited to welcome 2016!

I am looking forward to working with all of you to continue to expand the reach of ISNCC’s network, and the range of our educational resources. More than ever, we need to work together to reach global targets for the reduction of premature mortality due to cancer, increase access to prevention and to palliative care, and reduce the incidence of cancer risk factors, including tobacco use (for the WHO Global targets on Non-communicable diseases, see In 2016 ISNCC will continue to provide nurses with avenues for learning and networking, as well as promote evidence-based education, practice, research and policy that will contribute to optimal nursing care across the cancer continuum.

The last few days of 2015 gave me an opportunity to look back at all that we, together, accomplished on behalf of ISNCC. Among many accomplishments, ICCN 2015 in Vancouver was a big success. Several of the ideas and connections that originated at ICCN 2015 will continue to develop in 2016 into tangible initiatives that will benefit ISNCC and our network.

Our partnership with Cancer Nursing Journal continues to grow and I am looking forward to seeing more ISNCC members’ articles in print in 2016. I hope your New Year’s resolutions include submitting manuscripts with the results of the wonderful research presented in Vancouver to the Journal! Do not forget to update your ISNCC membership to include access to the Journal’s full content.

ISNCC is only as strong as the strength of our network and partnerships. Our first annual report ( outlined some of these partnerships, which continue to grow. In November 2015 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asian Oncology Nursing Society (AONS). We also expect to sign MOUs with the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO) and the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) in the near future. Furthermore, we are in the process of renewing our MoUs with the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC). These partnerships will help further strengthen ISNCC’s network.

In 2015 we launched several educational initiatives developed through grants from corporate and philanthropic partners.  I invite you to view them at ISNCC Insight, the online educational platform for ISNCC members (  These educational initiatives are making a difference in cancer care. We look forward to even more joint activities with our partners and members, including joint sessions at conferences, position statements, and press releases.

As we know, nurses do not celebrate past accomplishments for very long.  So as 2016 begins, we are already moving full force ahead to develop an even better year for ISNCC, and our members and partners. We have several more educational initiatives in development, and our committee volunteers continue to steadfastly work towards bringing more networking and educational opportunities to nurses globally.

A big focus for us is, of course, finalizing the program for our International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) 2016 in Hong Kong (September 4-7, 2016). The Conference Management Committee has been very busy and it seems that once again the conference is poised to exceed expectations. But the success of ICCN 2016 depends on the participation and involvement of all of us. I am sure you are looking forward to this meeting as much as I am, and what better way to start the year than to submit an abstract?

I wish you all a healthy and peaceful 2016, and I will see you in Hong Kong!


Stella Aguinaga Bialous
ISNCC President

ICCN 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Save the date!