The objectives of the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program are to:

  • Stimulate the career interest and foster the professional development of the next generation of Oncology Nurses
  • Raise the visibility of Oncology Nursing as a career choice and provide a vehicle to expose the “best and brightest” undergraduate nursing students to this critically important and highly rewarding field
  • Promote effective partnerships between the leading cancer care Hospitals and top Nursing School programs to help attract and develop future Oncology Nurses
  • Improve the quality of care for future cancer patients and their families


The Fellowship program typically involves an 8-week Summer Internship at a leading cancer care hospital. The undergraduate student nurse participants--who must be “rising seniors”--are competitively selected by the host Hospital based on a rigorous evaluation of their academic and personal credentials and their interest level in Oncology Nursing. In most cases the host Hospitals restrict applicant eligibility to students from their primary academic partner(s). Most of the participating Hospitals are Magnet-designated, attesting to their demonstrated commitment to nursing excellence.

To enhance the program’s overall academic content, all Fellows are required to take the Oncology Nursing Society’s online Cancer Basics course, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Undergraduate online courses, and to read Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande to provide them with a foundation in Palliative Care. Several Fellows also received ELNEC (i.e. end-of-life nursing education) training during their Internship. In 2018, additional emphasis on Palliative Care Nursing skills and practices is planned.

Applications, which are usually handled online, are typically due by January 31st (if not sooner) and the Fellows are selected by early March. At the time of their selection, the Fellows are awarded a complimentary membership in the Oncology Nursing Society (“ONS”). The Fellows typically receive a compensation stipend of approximately $5,000.

Experienced Oncology Nurses serve as preceptors and mentors for the Fellows selected for this program, enriching and personalizing the student’s learning experience. In addition, the Hospital’s nursing education staff plays an active and valuable role in the program, including serving as a resource for the student’s “evidence-based practice” research project.


  1. To “perfect” the planning and execution of the Fellowship Program (which is entering its fourth year) uniformly among all participating Hospitals
  2. To maximize the program’s effectiveness in attracting, inspiring  and helping to develop the next generation of Oncology Nurses
  3. To successfully use this Fellowship program as a "talent pipeline” for their upcoming staffing needs at all host Hospitals
  4. And very importantly to ensure a sustainable long-term funding plan, including the successful establishment of a 501c3 (non-profit) entity in 2017.


In 2018, the following hospitals participated in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program:

  • Boston Children's Hospital (Boston, MA)
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Children's National Medical Center (Washington, DC)
  • Connecticut Children's Medical Center (Hartford, CT)
  • Greenwich Hospital (Greenwich, CT)
  • Hartford Hospital (Hartford, CT)
  • Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
  • Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital (New York, NY)
  • Stamford Hospital (Stamford, CT)
  • UCONN Health Center (Farmington, CT)
  • Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (Dover, NH)

See the LINKS section to access information on each of these Hospitals and find information on their respective Fellowship Programs.

In addition, several of the country’s leading Undergraduate Nursing Schools are participating in this program, including:

  • Boston College
  • Catholic University of America
  • Fairfield University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Molloy College
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Saint Anselm College
  • Salisbury University
  • Towson University
  • Trinity Washington University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of St. Joseph
  • Villanova University


Looking ahead, in addition to continuously improving our Fellowship Program, the following is a brief summary of other possible future programs under consideration:

Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program--Research Track:

  • In addition to better trained Oncology Nurses, there is a need for top-flight research talent in the Oncology field
  • Several of our current Fellowship program Hospitals have extensive research resources and capabilities
  • Planned approach: develop/”pilot” a new Research track at 1-2 Hospital program partners to provide a meaningful Internship experience in Oncology-related research
  • Timing: TBD

Palliative Care Nursing--Faculty Fellowship Program:

  • Training in/exposure to Palliative Care is an essential element of the contemporary education and professional development of the next generation of nurses, not just for Oncology Nurses
  • Academic and clinical exposure to this emerging, critical scope of caregiving skills and services is surprisingly limited in most undergraduate nursing schools
  • The objective of this program is to help provide more comprehensive and effective academic and clinical training in Palliative Care to undergraduate nursing students
  • Planned approach: partner with select nursing schools in a “pilot” program on a “train-the trainer” basis by sponsoring a faculty member to attend the Harvard Palliative Care Education and Practice (“PCEP”) program who would then be responsible for integrating the PCEP content into a Palliative Care course at their respective school
  • Timing: TBD

Visiting Scholars Program:

  • Leverage the expertise and talent within our Hospital program partners by selectively sponsoring “expert “ speakers at leading forums on topical Oncology-related subjects (e.g. Palliative Care, Oncology Nursing “Burnout”/Fostering Resiliency, Survivorship Plans, etc.)
  • Use this educational vehicle to help raise awareness of our Fellowship program
  • Various initiatives in this area in process
  • Timing: Underway

Professional Development of Incumbent Oncology Nurses (at program partner Hospitals):

  • Identify a cost-effective and impactful list of possible program elements (relevant conference attendance, professional skills development, certification exam costs, etc.) to enhance the knowledge and skills of preceptors and other key nursing staff involved in Fellowship program
  • Selectively sponsor participants from various program partner hospitals in such ways to enhance their professional development
  • "Pilot” programs in process at Greenwich Hospital and CHOP
  • Timing: Underway