1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN, news director

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"Inspired." "Energized." "Renewed." These are the words participants used at a recent meeting at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, to describe their feelings after identifying goals and strategies to improve care for cancer survivors and their families.


As a follow-up to an AJN state-of-the-science conference on cancer survivorship (see AJN Reports, September 2005, and AJN's March 2006 supplement), representatives from nursing, social work, and government and advocacy organizations, as well as several individual stakeholders concerned with cancer survivorship issues, convened on November 3 and 4 to develop a plan to address the health needs of cancer survivors.


AJN hosted the meeting in collaboration with and with support from the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Carol Curtiss, MSN, RN-C, and P. J. Haylock, MA, RN, oncology nursing experts and former presidents of the ONS, cochaired the meeting. After reviewing common concerns among the major reports on cancer survivorship, participants set to work outlining the role of nurses in improving care for cancer survivors. Participants rose to the challenge issued by Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, the only nurse on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Cancer Survivorship, to "Just do it." She said it was clear that nurses should lead the way in creating a wellness plan for cancer survivors, as a natural extension of their role in coordinating care, counseling, and educating patients. Participants committed to raise awareness of survivorship issues within their individual organizations and the nursing community and to create a cancer survivors' wellness plan-a "Prescription for Living" for survivors to follow after diagnosis and treatment. All participants pledged to return to their own organizations to urge discussion and adoption of the strategies and agendas discussed at the meeting.


Watch for an extended report in an upcoming issue.

Figure. Listening in... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Listening intently to the discussions are Catherine Harvey, DrPH, RN, AOCN (left), chairperson of the board of directors of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, one of the sponsors of the meeting, and Tricia Cox, RN, ANP, representing the American College of Nurse Practicioners.
Figure. Participants... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Participants worked in groups to identify strategies for implementing changes to improve care for cancer survivors. Here, Sandy Mitchell, MSN, RN, CRNP, AOCN, representing the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Nursing Department and the U.S. Public Health Service, reports on her group's work.

Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, news director