Purpose: The objective of this qualitative study was to understand the experiences of oncology nurses in patient counseling and support services in the ambulatory care setting. Methods and sample: A qualitative study was conducted using grounded theory methods. Data were generated through four focus group interviews with 21 oncology nurses currently providing counseling and support services for cancer patients in Japan. The content was analyzed based on a constant comparison approach. Results: The power of nursing was identified through three themes: connecting with the patient (shared needs); personalized coordination (shared action); and realizing the patient's potential (reassurance). Oncology nurses should guide patients through the uncertain cancer trajectory by identifying patients' true needs based on an established relationship, providing personalized coordination, and developing their potential. Patient-centered care can be provided in non-physical care settings such as counseling and support services. Conclusions: Our study describes the uniqueness and significance of nursing, and provides insights into realizing the full potential of nurses. This conceptual model can be used as a guide for practice and an educational tool to build professional identity of nurses. Oncology nurses can take a leadership role in enhancing the visibility of the nurses in multidisciplinary environments.
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