A Message from the Director of OAPN


Canada's first research unit dedicated to improving patient health through the effective use of advanced nursing roles in cancer care opened at the Juravinski Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences on April 28th, 2009.

As Senior Scientist in the APN Chair Program, and the founding Director of OAPN, I am thrilled to introduce the Centre of Excellence which builds on the research program conducted by myself over the past 5 years in partnership with advanced practice nurses (APNs), regional cancer programs, the Nursing Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and Esther Green, Provincial Head of Nursing and Psychosocial Oncology at Cancer Care Ontario.

While the number of oncology APN roles is increasing, Canada has yet to fully realize the full potential of these roles in the delivery of cancer services and several studies identify barriers to their effective development and integration. Growing international research suggests that expanded and more systematic approaches to the introduction of well designed oncology APN roles could significantly impact a number of priority health care issues that would benefit Canadians including:


  • Improved access, coordination and continuity of care
  • Improved patient and health care provider satisfaction
  • Prevention or reduction of side effects and complications
  • Improved health, functional capacity, quality of life and survival rates for high risk populations
  • Lower acute care costs with a reduction in hospital lengths of stay and readmissions.
  • Improved patient and health care provider uptake of evidence based practice.



The goal of OAPN is to provide a comprehensive, integrated national program of leading-edge research, education, mentorship and knowledge translation initiatves to support the effective use of oncology APN roles in cancer.