Competency Standards and Educational Requirements for Specialist Breast Nurses in Australia

Yates, Patsy, Evans, A, Moore, A, Heartfield, M, Gibson, T, & Luxford, Karen (2007) Competency Standards and Educational Requirements for Specialist Breast Nurses in Australia. Collegian, 14(1), p. 11.

View at publisher


There is substantial evidence that Specialist Breast Nurses (SBNs) make an important contribution to improved outcomes for women with breast cancer, by providing information and support and promoting continuity of care. However, a recent study has identified significant variation in how the role functions across individual nurses and settings, which is likely to contribute to varied outcomes for women with breast cancer. The project reported in this paper illustrates how a set of competency standards for SBNs were developed by the National Breast Cancer Centre. The competency standards were developed through a review of published literature and consultation with key stakeholders. The resulting SBN Competency Standards reflect the core domains and elements of SBN practice seen as integral to achieving optimal outcomes for women with breast cancer. This project identifies the SBN as a registered nurse who applies advanced knowledge of the health needs, preferences and circumstances of women with breast cancer to optimise the individual's health and well-being at various phases across the continuum of care, including diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, follow-up and palliative care. The five core domains of practice identified are: Supportive care; Collaborative care; Coordinated care; Information provision and education; and Clinical leadership. A variety of education programs are currently available for nurses who wish to learn about breast cancer nursing. The majority of stakeholders consulted in this project agreed that a Graduate Diploma level of education is required at minimum in order for an SBN to develop the minimum level of competence required to perform the role. The evidence supports the view that as an advanced role, nurses practising as SBNs require high-quality programs of sufficient depth and scope to achieve the required level of competence

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,179 since deposited on 26 Jul 2010
34 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 33258
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: specialist breast nurse, competency standards, education, breast cancer
ISSN: 1322-7696
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2010 05:54
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:38

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page