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New grant provides training in evidence-based oncology practice for nurses in Russia

With currently 3 million new cancer cases and 1.7 million deaths from cancer in Europe each year, 1 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have a worse cancer incidence and mortality rates than the EU 15.2 Through a $161,000 grant funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, faculty from University of Washington School of Nursing and Bashkir State Medical University in Russia will partner to train nurses in evidence-based oncology nursing practice. UW School of Nursing Professor Frances Marcus Lewis, RN, MN, PhD, dept. of Family and Child Nursing, alongside co-director Leyla Akhmadeeva, MD, PhD will work to implement training workshops to over 200 practicing nurses in Bashkortostan, a state in Russia near the Ural Mountains and Siberia. Over $900,000 was awarded to six different international organizations that will improve cancer nursing skills in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. Of these six organizations, UW School of Nursing was the only US University to receive funding.

"Nurses are an integral part of the health care system and have the potential to significantly influence patient outcomes,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and vice president, Corporate Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The projects we selected will improve education and training for nurses and patients and, ultimately, maximize the role nurses play in reducing the burden of cancer and helping to control the disease."

As the only baccalaureate nursing program in the Bashkortosan Republic, Bashkir State Medical University will provide the setting for the three-day training workshops for practicing nurses, titled “Evidence-Based Oncology Nursing: Enhancing Patients’ and Family-Caregivers’ Healing.”  Through the use of a “virtual university” of renowned oncology nursing faculty, participants will have access to 10 evidence-based instructional modules that will be delivered during the 3-day workshops.  Module sessions will include content on reducing patient cancer-related distress, symptom and symptom management, and reducing fatigue and sleep disturbances in cancer patients. Additionally, the program will offer a two-day “train the trainer” workshop enabling existing nurse leaders to assist in delivering the content of the three-day sessions, and creating future nurse leaders in oncology nursing education.

“Only by engaging with nurses who are actively assisting patients with cancer can oncology nurses’ skills and practice competencies be advanced,” said Lewis. “We are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to undertake this project.”

Learn more about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation or Bashkir State Medical University by following the links.



1 Coleman, M.P. Responding to the challenge of cancer in Europe (2008).

2 Zatanski, W., J. Didkowska. Closing the gap: cancer in Central and Eastern Europe Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jul;44(10):1425-37