Learn Something New Every Day

Oncology nurses are learning every day, whether through formal education (online or live) or "on the fly."

Oncology nurses are learning every day, whether through formal education (online or live) or “on the fly.” Education has been ingrained into the minds of nurses from the get go because they need to remain up-to-date on clinical news related to their specialty. As the introduction of new technologies (EHRs, CPOE) slowly transforms our paper-based healthcare system to an electronic one, it has been suggested that traditional classroom education may some day become obsolete, replaced by Internet-based educational programs.

In the cover story of the summer issue of Oncology Net Guide: Nurses Edition, author Deborah Boyle predicted an oncology nursing future in which “There are no formal nursing education structures outside of the hospital setting.” She foresees an educational model in which “Modular, computerized instruction is now the major vehicle for learning, and the classroom is now the home office.”

Although online education is a currently a major topic of discussion in healthcare and allows for easy access, proponents of in-person education point to its many benefits, including being able to physically interact with peers. For example, early last week, the South Carolina-based Beaufort Memorial Hospital and the Duke Oncology Network worked together and set up a two-day mandatory cancer training workshop for oncology nurses. It focused on survival rates and treatment options for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was designed “to give the nurses a specialized knowledge of cancer patients, treatment options, possible side effects associated with treatment and challenges that may arise.”

As an oncology nurse, how do you prefer to get additional education—online or in the classroom?

Can computerized and classroom education co-exist? Do you agree with Deborah Boyle’s assessment of what education is going to be like in 2025? What about live video conferencing?

Additional Resources

Are Online Courses on Par with Classroom Courses?

Do Learning Styles Weed out Nurses?

Higher Learning through Online Education for Oncology Nurses