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National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Day 2023

24 February 2023

Cancer is a complex and significant disease that will affect 1 in 2 of us during our lifetime. In the United Kingdom (UK), the number of people living with a cancer diagnosis is set to double to 4 million in 2030.

In order to meet the ever-increasing needs of people living with cancer now and in the future: we need to develop and invest in the cancer workforce. The Aspiring Cancer Career Education Development programme (ACCEND) was established to address and provide solutions to key issues that challenge the cancer workforce both now

and into the future. It is a multi-year funded programme (2022 - 2025) including all 4 UK nations with the purpose of providing end-to-end transformational reform in the education, training and career pathways for cancer support workers, nurses, and allied health professional’s supporting people affected by cancer both now and in the future. This will help to:

  • attract registered nurses and allied health professionals into a career in cancer care to secure the future specialist workforce; and 
  • reduce attrition and loss of a skilled cancer workforce by providing an exciting and rewarding structured aspirant career pathway for all aspiring to be cancer professionals.

One of the deliverables of the ACCEND programme is to continue to support the National Cancer CNS Day after this was launched in 2022. The day was a huge success which saw 17 of the 21 alliances come together to raise the profile and showcase the amazing work of our Cancer Clinical Specialist Nurses through a social media campaign. Activity included ‘day in the life’ videos, patient videos talking about what the CNS role means to them, stalls, CNS away days, videos from Chief Nurses, radio appearances just to name a few. As a result, the social media campaign achieved a total reach of 12 million people internationally with 33 million impressions.

Though the day was successful, continued effort in raising the profile of cancer CNSs and recruiting aspiring CNSs is pivotal. The Cancer CNS work force is an aging population with an 18% older workforce than the general nursing workforce. Furthermore, 30% of CNSs are looking to retire in the next 8 years. Therefore, campaigns and work such as the National Cancer CNS Day are both important and urgent.

Consequently, the National Cancer CNS Day and the social media campaign will run again on Wednesday 15 March 2023. To make this day even bigger and better than last year, we would like to encourage all organisations to support their cancer nurses to engage and celebrate the work they do and the significant impact they have on cancer patients.