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.
In 2016, to enhance the program’s overall academic content, all Fellows were required to take the Oncology Nursing Society’s online Cancer Basics course 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 2017, additional emphasis on Palliative Care Nursing skills and practices is planned.
Applications, which are usually handled online, are typically due by January 15 (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.