Publication Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Sylvia Miller

Second Advisor

Susan McNeish

Third Advisor

Peg Esper


oncology, medical oncology, cancer, bad news, advance practice nurse


Overcoming the dichotomy of providing bad news in a compassionate, empathetic manner that strengthens dialogue and enhances a caring environment is the ultimate challenge advanced practice nurses (APN) face in oncology. This study aims to understand the skills necessary for APNs in oncology to deliver bad news to patients with cancer.

Using a Delphi analysis, an established method of developing a consensus, a novel, patient-centered survey tool has been developed designed to extract as much information as possible about the present issue from an expert panel. Oncology APNs were recruited via Facebook. The survey tool was administered using a web-based survey tool. Content analysis was applied to the stories and responses to open-ended questions that panelists submitted. Results were collected and then presented back to the panel for ranking.

Twelve expert panelists reached a consensus on a practice-based method focused on teaching empathy and self-awareness. The results of this pilot project serve as the foundation for future research and for the development of a curriculum to educate new APNs or those new to the field of oncology.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons


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