Rewards and difficulties of oncology nursing.

M. Z. Cohen, M. R. Haberman, R. Steeves, J. A. Deatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe oncology nurses' perceptions of the rewards and difficulties of their work. DESIGN: Multi-institutional, descriptive, qualitative. SETTING: Six sites in different regions of the United States; rural and urban cancer and noncancer centers. SAMPLE: 38 oncology nurses (mean age = 35 years; average time in nursing = 10 years and in oncology = 7 years; 47% bachelor's degree in nursing, 29% diploma, 13% associate degree in nursing, and 11% master's prepared). METHODS: Phenomenological; content analysis of interviews. FINDINGS: Nurses described sources and origins of both job stress and satisfaction. The three most important sources of rewards were patients, co-workers, and new skills. These sources of rewards also were described as sources of difficulties. Additional sources of difficulties include lack of competent administrators, lack of time, and life stresses. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses' experiences with work are shaped by both common and very individual and personal realities. Aspects that are rewarding also are difficult, and individual experiences and perceptions change the meaning of work and the needs that nurses have. Considering the findings in the context of nurses' lives may yield more fruitful approaches to providing support and resources that nurses need to be able to provide effective care for patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number8 Suppl
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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