Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Roberta Hunt


Doctor of Nursing Practice


The position statement of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS, 2007) supports the role of oncology nursing in primary prevention stating that specialized educational programs must be developed and provided to practicing nurses in order to facilitate integration of cancer prevention education into clinical practice.

The Radon Education Project (REP) had two aims. First to increase oncology nurses knowledge of the association between radon exposure and lung cancer through an educational program presented to the Metro MN Chapter of ONS and evaluated by an online survey. The second aim was to identify how primary prevention strategies related to radon exposure might be incorporated into oncology clinical practice. In follow up focus groups oncology nurses who had attended the educational program created a list of recommendations for this purpose. In addition, findings from focus groups were used to develop a white paper for the Metro MN Chapter of ONS.

Project objectives were developed in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Indoor Air Unit. This is the first documented initiative where oncology nurses have partnered with a state department of health in a formalized, programmatic approach to radon education. Engaging oncology nurses in a project that focuses on primary prevention of radon exposure via an educational program and follow up focus groups yielded new insights for future radon education. Oncology nurse were able to identify programmatic and prescriptive strategies for incorporating primary prevention education on radon into clinical practice and to the broader community.

Results of the online survey following the educational program suggest that oncology nurses find education on the association between radon exposure and lung cancer as highly relevant to them both personally and professionally. Follow up focus group participants identified that education for nurses and physicians as well as easily accessible information on radon in clinical practice were paramount to educating the patient and family. The timing of instruction should be assessed by the health care practitioner and individualized based on readiness to learn. Some patients may inquire about potential causation for cancer and are ready for education early on while others may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and treatment requiring delayed education.

Focus group participants recommended that ONS should endorse this work and that patient education could be strengthened by forming partnerships with community, primary care and other organizations. Finally, oncology nurses recognize that homes where tests reveal high levels of radon should be mitigated by professionals to reduce exposure to this hazardous gas. However, the cost associated with mitigation was identified as a potential barrier to education. A white paper, developed through the REP initiative, was presented and adopted by the Metro MN Chapter of ONS and is housed on the chapter website.