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Leukaemia Charity launches e-learning platform for Nurses

The programme has met the Royal College of Nursing standards for accreditation and counts as 10 hours of continuing professional development study. 



Leukaemia Charity launches e-learning platform for Nurses
Leukaemia Care

Leukaemia Care launch e-learning platform to coincide with “Blood Cancer Awareness Month”.

Leukaemia Care, a national blood cancer charity, has launched a new nurse e-learning platform to coincide with “Blood Cancer Awareness Month” this September.

Topics covered on the platform include; understanding blood and its components, what is leukaemia, epidemiology, aetiology and risk factors, diagnosis of leukaemia, staging and general management, supportive care for leukaemia patients and emergencies in leukaemia.


Leukaemia Care Nurse Academy

The Leukaemia Care Nurse Academy has been developed alongside the team at FastFacts to provide free training for haematology nurses working at CNS level or those who are aspiring CNS’.

In 2015 NHS England set the target that by 2020 all cancer patients should have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), or other named key-worker. While the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES) from 2015 suggested that 85% of leukaemia patients had ‘been given the name of a CNS’, findings from the Leukaemia Care 2016 patient experience survey suggest that CNS access is actually much poorer. 38% of leukaemia patients responding to the Leukaemia Care survey said that they had access to a CNS with access varying from 30% access to 50% access across the UK.

The charity hopes that the new e-learning platform can provide vital CPD for CNS’ already in post, and those who will be the next generation of CNS’.

Professional accreditation.

The programme has also met the Royal College of Nursing standards for accreditation and counts as 10 hours of continuing professional development study. Ongoing support for nurses taking the course will be provided by Leukaemia Care’s own nurse practitioners.

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Campaigns and Advocacy Director for Leukaemia Care said: “As a charity, we recognise the importance of supporting ongoing nurse education in the field of haemato-oncology and the online e-learning modules have been created to complement our in-person training events and print materials that we make available to nurses.

Although the platform has been developed with CNS’ in mind, we hope that haematology nurses will be able to use the resource to broaden their knowledge and to help them to specialise within the topic of leukaemia”.

Nurses can sign-up for the free online training on the Leukaemia Care website or by ringing 01905 755977.



One in six nursing associates drop out before qualifying, finds report

Despite this trainees showed “high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme”.



Group of nurses in meeting

Only 65% of trainee nursing associates said they planned to work as a nursing associate once qualified.

An independent evaluation of the nursing associate role commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) has found that while there are “high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme”, one in six nursing associates are dropping out before completing the course.

Attrition rates for trainee nursing associates fell slightly below that of student nurses, with 18% leaving before completing the course.


While ill health and personal issues were some of the most common reasons for leaving the programme, nearly a quarter (23%) withdrew because they failed to meet the academic requirements of the programme – with numeracy skills cited as a key issue.

One trainee said they found the “attitudes towards the role and the negative feedback about Nursing Associates” challenging.

Only 65% of trainees said they intend to continue working as a nursing associate once qualified as the programme is often seen as a stepping stone to becoming a registered nursing.

Highlighting challenges.

Mark Radford, Chief Nursing Officer, Health Education England said the report “highlights some challenges that we must address to ensure that students such as ensuring the quality and oversight of placements, attrition and numeracy support.”

“We also recognise that further work and research is required to ensure that the profession is supported and utilised in the workforce of health and social care as part of the MDT. I am pleased to be able to report that we are in the process of identifying candidates to be considered as NA ambassadors across England.

Commenting on the report, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), said; “Having had the pleasure of meeting many nursing associates across the country, I am continually inspired by their enthusiasm and dedication for providing care and they should be very proud of the difference they make for the people they support.”

“I look forward to seeing how nursing associates continue to develop and be supported in their work, long into the future.”

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UCAS accused of having an ‘outdated’ view on nurses

They describe the nursing role to prospective students as looking after people when they are sick or injured.



Student Nurse Lecture Theatre

UCAS describes nurses as providing “support to doctors and other medical staff”.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has been accused of having an “outdated” view on nurses after it described the profession as providing “support to doctors and other medical staff”.

UCAS describes the nursing role to prospective students as looking after people when they are sick or injured. Adding; “You’ll provide support to doctors and other medical staff, take blood and urine samples, and in some cases, you may carry out minor surgical procedures.”


Nurses, alongside a multitude of other healthcare professionals, have taken to social media calling for the description to be amended so it “adequately reflects nursing in the 21st century”. They also criticised the article for failing to highlight a large number of health promotion and research roles frequently undertaken by the profession.

BJ Walto, a senior member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) commented that the description is “inaccurate, demeaning and totally misleading portrayal of nursing.”

Tom Wavlin, a Lecturer in Adult Nursing & Admissions Tutor at the University of Plymouth, suggested the description could instead read; “an autonomous practitioner of nursing who works closely with other healthcare professionals”.

In comparison, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website reads; “Registered nurses play a vital role in providing, leading and coordinating care that is compassionate, evidence-based, and person-centred. They are accountable for their own actions and must be able to work autonomously, or as an equal partner with a range of other professionals, and in interdisciplinary teams.”

A spokesperson for UCAS said; “It’s clear that our current role profile for nurses doesn’t reflect the amazing work that nurses across the country do each day, and we welcome the feedback we’ve recently received.

“We want to make sure that students considering their future options have up-to date information about all different careers available to them.

“We’re currently updating all of our job profiles and are in touch with nursing experts to help us make sure that we better reflect the roles and responsibilities of nurses today.”

UPDATE (17/10/19 09:55): This article was updated to include a comment from UCAS.

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