Excellent Practices

Contact Nurse

Practice Category: Nurses

Centre: Karolinska Institute and University Hospital

Eva Jolly


Challenge which the practice addresses

The challenge was to safely navigate and support the patient through the cancer journey and to provide access to continuity of health care professionals.


Each patient is assigned a contact nurse from diagnosis and throughout the care process.
The role of the contact nurse is to:

  • navigate and support the patient and family during the diagnosis and throughout the care process.
  • provide appointment planning for medical procedure and treatments,
  • give information about treatments, side effects and care/self-care.
  • refer the patient to other health care professionals when needed.
  • initiate an individual written care plan for treatment and survivorship planning together with the patient (My care plan).
  • have a proactive approach regarding systemic symptom reporting (My care plan)
  • initiate and tailor an early rehabilitation process (My care plan).


The implementation of contact nurses is followed on a regional level via the quality registers.

Through dialogue with patient organisations we assess the impact of the contact nurses on their satisfaction with care.

We have assessed how the contact nurses perceive their role and identified improvement areas.

Critical success factors

One important aspect of success is the fact that the role was described as part of quality development in the Swedish National Cancer Plan.

At Karolinska CCC we have adapted the national role description to fit the practice in Cancer Theme.

The nursing leadership has actively worked on all levels in the organisation with the implementation of the role.

Next steps

Further developing the role and activities of the contact nurse in close collaboration with patient representatives and organisations.

Work towards supporting the contact nurses to be able to work more specifically towards the rehabilitation process for the patients.