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12 May 2022

Maximising the influence of nursing to reduce the global burden of cancer

  • VCCC Alliance
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Andrew Dimech, acting Chief Nurse at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Board member of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.

Since its establishment in 1984, the vision of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) has been to lead the global nursing community in cancer control, with a mission to maximise the influence of nursing to reduce the global burden of cancer.

The role of the nurse and cancer nurse varies internationally however the fundamentals of nursing practice and the care of patients and their significant others emanates from all. Each nurse is a leader in their own practice and settings.

As Chair of the ISNCC Member Development Committee, I have worked alongside committee members to support the development of national and regional cancer nursing societies to help build capacity in cancer nursing and cancer nursing leadership.

Expanding our global networks

The ability to identify and mentor future nurse leaders across the globe is essential in securing global health. In most cases, an individual or small group of cancer nurses identify the need and desire to build their own society with the committee supporting its development.

Over the last 12 months, the Ethiopian Oncology Nursing Society was established and subsequently became full members of the ISNCC. With our newest member comes opportunities for both the society and individual cancer nurses to become part of a global network and support ISNCC’s mission.

The TeleECHO® programme for cancer care professionals

In partnership with the City Cancer Foundation (C/CAN), the ISNCC delivers an international programme to help build and strengthen the leadership capacity of nurses working in low and middle-income countries.

I was able to share insights on how to establish a national cancer nursing society through the programme that was presented in English and Spanish. The TeleECHO® programme participants were cancer nurses from Brazil, Columbia, Georgia, Ghana, Malaysia, Paraguay and Rwanda who were interested in developing leadership skills. Participants were also able to contribute to the work of the ISNCC by becoming ISNCC Global Citizens which enables access to educational resources, the ISNCC blog, and other resources.  

Longest-running  conference for the profession globally

The ISNCC has continued to support cancer nurse leaders by holding an international conference on cancer nursing – the longest-running conference for the profession globally. The International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) enables cancer nurses, leaders, researchers and educators from around the world to come together to meet, share practice and network. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISNCC continued our work including holding this year’s virtual conference in February with the theme ‘Building Sustainability & Resilience: Global Perspectives on Cancer Nursing’. We look forward to being able to meet in person again very soon.  

The need to invest in nursing has never been more important across the globe. The challenges of addressing nursing workforce shortfalls, education and equity across and within regions require strong leadership. I am very proud to have been able to contribute as a nurse leader with the ISNCC and Peter Mac.

For more information about the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, email Andrew.Dimech@petermac.org.



Image: Shutterstock

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