Graduate diploma to enable nurses to specialize in oncology and palliative practice

A partnership with the de Souza Institute will afford nurses seeking advanced preparation in oncology and palliative care a unique opportunity for professional development at the graduate level, according to the dean of the UWindsor Faculty of Nursing.

Linda Patrick announced Friday that her school will offer a graduate diploma in advanced practice oncology/palliative nursing for students in September 2012.

“This program will be one-of-a-kind, utilizing a flexible delivery approach and the most up-to-date technology,” Dr. Patrick said. “The Windsor community provides a supportive setting for this initiative, and we will be working closely with other local experts, including Cancer Care Ontario, Windsor Regional Hospital and the Hospice of Windsor.”

Students will learn using a combination of the University of Windsor’s online collaborative educational environment and state-of-the-art on-site simulation facility, making it accessible to nurses across Canada.

The de Souza Institute will contribute to course development and student support for the graduate level diploma. Established in 2008, the institute provides educational support and professional development to Ontario nurses caring for cancer patients and families.

Its director, Mary Jane Esplen, calls the new diploma “an opportunity for graduate level nurses across the country to develop specialization to better address complexities of cancer care.”

The institute’s role in this partnership will be to support research training in oncology, to co-host some of the course offerings, and to facilitate clinical placements in 14 Ontario regional cancer centres. This unique model of learning between the University of Windsor and de Souza Institute will ensure that students pursuing advanced practice education have access to the latest standards in nursing cancer and palliative care.

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