The role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cancer Care

This new book provides a fresh and insightful perspective on the historical and evolving dynamic role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cancer Care. The book is edited by Dr Helen Kerr, Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, who has a clinical background in oncology nursing. The Foreword is by EONS Past-President Johan de Munter, who highlights the necessity of this book in identifying how the Clinical Nurse Specialist contributes to improvements in person-centred care.

The book has been written by Clinical Nurse Specialists for Clinical Nurse Specialists and has sixteen chapters written by 22 authors. Authors are Clinical Nurse Specialists, academics with a clinical background in cancer services, an individual with a cancer diagnosis and the carer of an individual who had cancer. 

The book fundamentally explores the different components of the Clinical Nurse Specialist role.  Chapters include initiating, developing and evaluating Nurse-led clinics; exploring non-medical prescribing; recognition of the leadership aspect of the Clinical Nurse Specialist role; approaches to consider in contributing to the cancer research agenda; symptom management; exploring how to effectively provide psychological support to individuals with cancer and their families and carers and the importance of self-care for the Clinical Nurse Specialist; maximising the key worker role; and the important contribution the Clinical Nurse Specialist makes to effective multidisciplinary working in cancer services.  There is a chapter focused on the impact of the evolving digital health landscape on the Clinical Nurse Specialist role and a chapter on how the role was impacted, and subsequently evolved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To provide a background to the Clinical Nurse Specialist role, the book initially explores the historical development of the role, the current context of the role, and closes with the anticipated future trajectory of the role.  There is an important chapter on the skills and approaches to consider when providing holistic care to the adolescent and young adult with cancer.  The crucial voice of a service user is captured in a chapter written by an individual who was diagnosed with cancer, and there is also a chapter authored by the carer of someone who had cancer, both chapters providing helpful insights into the contribution of the Clinical Nurse Specialist. 

Whether you are a registered nurse aspiring to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist or an established Clinical Nurse Specialist seeking professional growth, this book provides invaluable insights and development opportunities.  I invite you to click on the following link which provides an overview of each book chapter.  There is a short podcast associated with each chapter in which the content of each chapter is discussed with chapter authors.  The link for further information and ordering is: