Implementation of a nurse education programme in paediatric oncology using appreciative inquiry: a single center experience in Belgrade, Serbia

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Dec;15(5):524-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Mar 17.


Purpose: The nursing staff in our center are very committed to the patients but have not had the opportunity for systematic clinical education, since there is no formal education for paediatric hematology and oncology nursing in our country.

Method: We joint a project, developed to explore and develop collaborative working between nurses and doctors in paediatric oncology under the auspices of The European Cancer Organization (ECCO), The International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) and The European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS). The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach to change management was chosen as it looks at what works in an organization and builds on that to make improvements.

Results: Using AI we chose to develop a programme of education for nursing staff, as a project of local interest, to enhance their skills and knowledge of the specialty with the main aim of providing high quality care and ensuring best practice. We found that collaboration profoundly influenced the working environment and resulted in staff being receptive to new challenges. With improved knowledge, nurses are actually more involved in best practice which, in turn, motivates the doctors and improves professional relationships and the patient's treatment and care.

Conclusions: We have stressed the importance of collaborative working throughout and used this model of nurse/doctor collaboration to improve the quality of care in our center. We are very hopeful that this model of collaboration and education will last longer than the project itself and be followed by future generations of doctors and nurses.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Education, Nursing / methods
  • Education, Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Oncology Nursing / education*
  • Pediatric Nursing / education*
  • Physician-Nurse Relations*
  • Program Development
  • Serbia