Original Article 

Evaluating Nurses’ Knowledge of Chemotherapy

Hui-Yun Yu, MSN, RN; Shu Yu, PhD, RN; I-Ju Chen, PhD, RN; Kai-Wei K. Wang, PhD, RN; Fu-in Tang, PhD, RN

  • The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
  • December 2013 - Volume 44 · Issue 12: 553-563
  • DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20131015-03



The characteristics of the drugs that are used in chemotherapy have given rise to many issues, one of which is whether nurses are competent when working with chemotherapy.


Nurses’ knowledge of chemotherapy was evaluated with a questionnaire that included 20 true-or-false questions. The questionnaire was developed from literature and expert input and validated by subject experts (content validity). A pilot study (contrasted-groups approach) was also conducted.


A total of 203 nurses participated in the study and achieved an average overall correct answer rate of 60.9%. Most of the respondents, 63.5% (129 of 203), had a score of less than 70, and 77.3% (157 of 203) hoped to undergo more training on chemotherapy. Their knowledge of chemotherapy came mainly from consultation with colleagues (4.0 ± 0.8) and in-hospital continuing education (3.9 ± 0.8).


The evidence-based results suggested that nurses have insufficient knowledge about chemotherapy. More fundamentally, however, nurses need more education about chemotherapy in nursing school and through in-hospital continuing education.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013;44(12):553–563.

Ms. Yu is Registered Nurse, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei; Dr. Yu is Professor, Dr. Chen is Professor, Dr. Wang is Assistant Professor, and Dr. Tang is Professor, School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The authors thank the RN staff nurses for participating in this research. They also thank Mr. Mark Rawson for editing the manuscript.

Address correspondence to Fu-In Tang, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, 155, Section 2, Li-Nong Street, Shih-Pai, Taipei 112, Taiwan; e-mail: fitang@ym.edu.tw.

Received: April 30, 2013
Accepted: September 20, 2013
Posted Online: October 22, 2013



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