With cancer ranking as the second cause of death in Argentina and as a result of new treatments, the University recognized the need to strengthen nursing professionals who provide services to cancer patients.
This program has been intended to train professionals with a B.A. in Nursing who wish to specialize on cancer patient care, acquiring specific oncology knowledge as well as the competencies required for sound daily performance. The goal of the program is to enhance professionals’ humane and attitudinal capabilities, enlightened by ethics, and to develop their skills and overall training to provide superior care and support for cancer patients and their families.
For the first time ever in Argentina, an Oncology Nursing Specialization program seeks to address the specific needs of cancer patient care. Indeed, María Victoria Brunelli, M.A., program head, explained that this specialization has become necessary as oncology faces new outlooks on patient care and treatments. Thus, over 40 applicants have enrolled for this graduate program –accredited by Argentina’s National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation (CONEAU)– that lasts two years and features practical experiences. “It also intends to promote a sound ethical, scientific and human training to provide comprehensive, scientifically updated care for cancer patients,” noted Brunelli. “Some of our students work at hospitals abroad or in other Argentine provinces,” she pointed out.
Once they have completed this program, these specialized graduates will be able to provide effective care to cancer patients throughout their treatment stages and processes, offering support therapies and promoting healthy habits, as well as conducting the necessary management, administration and research processes.
“I am interested in oncology and furthering my professional career. I view professional growth as an ongoing training process,” stated Estela Núñez, 42, a program participant. Regarding motivation, Mariana Durañona, 27, elaborated, “I am driven to pursue this specialization on account of the patients’ and their families’ needs, as well as my desire to provide better care. I need to have a deep understanding of what I am going to offer my patients –I owe it to them, because they trust me.” Juan Méndez, 38, expects to introduce favorable changes into his work environment with this graduate program, while Facundo Aso, 42, has enrolled to learn more about oncology and to become more knowledgeable for his work with cancer patients.
“In Argentina, graduate nursing programs are undergoing a major development, and Universidad Austral has pioneered this process with its New-Born Nursing and Oncology Nursing Specialization Programs. The University’s Nursing Graduate Programs Department is rising to a number of challenges, including the design of quality educational offerings to meet training needs and to promote programs for nursing advancement, as it is committed to nursing education in our country, with an overall approach to the care of people, families and the community,” added María M. Rabhansl de Desmery, from Universidad Austral’s Nursing School Graduate Programs Department.
The World Health Organization’s strategic guidelines for Nursing in 2011-2015 establish that, in order to ensure a healthcare service that addresses society’s current demands, continued training programs must be offered for all nursing levels, so as that every country can rely on competent professionals to meet its specific healthcare needs.
- María Victorial Brunelli, Head
- Silvina Estrada, Vice Head
- María Constanza Celano, Academic Secretary