TESTIMONIALS

2016 Flynn Fellows' Testimonials

“Throughout this 8-week program, my confidence as a nurse and my understanding of the field of oncology nursing grew exponentially with every shift. Looking forward, I cannot wait to further my career as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse with such an amazing foundation.

Emily McClure, Boston College

“I entered college with a desire to work in pediatric oncology once I graduated--this program not only confirmed my goal, but made me want to achieve it even more. Every moment I spent at Children's taught me something new about oncology nursing, significantly increasing my confidence in my nursing abilities. Each day I was overwhelmed by the generosity of all the nurses, and the strength of the young patients, memories that I will carry into my future pediatric oncology nursing career.“

Katie McGaughey, Boston College

"I have always had an idea that I wanted to go into Pediatric Oncology nursing, but this Fellowship experience confirmed this calling and exceeded my expectations. The program made me love Pediatric Oncology even more and gave me the opportunity to grow as an aspiring nurse. I loved learning about various aspects of Oncology Nursing like Radiation Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, and Palliative Care. This program equipped me with the skills necessary to continue my professional career in Pediatric Oncology Nursing."

Sophia Chao, University of Pennsylvania

“My 10-week Fellowship experience at CHOP has given me an incredibly strong foundation in the pediatric oncology nursing field. Spending time in both inpatient and outpatient settings provided me with a unique and invaluable holistic view of the care of this vulnerable patient population. This experience taught me that nursing is a profession that focuses less on the science behind the disease, and more about the science of caring.“

Catherine Considine, Villanova University

"Through this program, I was able to develop the skills and confidence needed to excel in the art and science of pediatric oncology nursing. I cannot thank the CHOP staff enough for the unique opportunity to immerse myself in work that was as challenging as it was rewarding. I am excited to carry the lessons I learned about high quality patient care and compassion throughout my future career." 

Rachel Kirk, University of Pennsylvania

"This Fellowship was my best nursing experience thus far. I not only got the opportunity to experience hands-on nursing care for cancer patients, but I also received mentorship and education from some of the best, most helpful nurses in the cancer field. My outlook on nursing definitely changed after this experience, especially since it incorporated a research project, allowing me to not only understand why oncology nursing care has advanced to the point it is at now, but also question why a practice is done and consider how it could be done differently to improve patient care.”

Jennifer Nance, University of North Carolina

“This 10-week oncology nursing Fellowship not only taught me about the technical requirements of an oncology nurse, but the emotional aspects as well. Working directly with a nurse preceptor allowed me to gain confidence in my nursing skills as I cared for pediatric cancer patients and their families. I am fortunate to have had this opportunity that will help me provide holistic care to oncology patients in the future."

Alexandra Smith,  Bloomsburg University

This program was life changing. To be able to work one-on-one with a nurse in a 200+ hour preceptorship not only helped solidify and strengthen the skills I learned in school, but helped me gain skills that I didn't even know I needed. This Fellowship helped me to really understand the job and duties I am about to take on, and helped me gain the confidence I needed to better care for my patients. I feel much better prepared to take on my final year of nursing school and the nursing boards and I cannot wait to become a nurse.”

Kimberly Demirhan, George Washington U.

This Fellowship has been a life changing experience. The different departments of the hospital I worked with gave me a fuller understanding of all of the things that go into the care of oncology patients, which will allow me to be a better nurse throughout my career. I now feel so much more confident about my life as a nurse post-grad. This 8-week program taught me so much, and reinforced my desire to work as a pediatric oncology nurse, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Alexandra Pollack, Catholic University

"This Fellowship program was a phenomenal opportunity in which I gained invaluable experience in pediatric oncology nursing.  It further developed my nursing competence, drastically improved my clinical skills, facilitated growth in my professional development, provided greater insight into the realities of nursing, and strengthened my knowledge of oncology; these characteristics of the Fellowship collectively instilled greater confidence in my nursing skills and practices. The patients and their families left an imprint that continually inspires and motivates my desire to serve the oncology population.  The clinical experience and exposure to the multi-faceted qualities of nursing care provided by this program reaffirmed my aspiration to pursue a nursing career in oncology.”

Taylor Thomas, George Washington University

"The Flynn Fellowship not only developed my nursing skill set and knowledge, but helped me develop a real passion for oncology nursing. This is a one of a kind opportunity for nursing students and I feel very blessed to have been part of the Flynn Fellowship at DFCI"

Meagan McKenzie, Boston College

"My experience this summer at Dana Farber was truly transformational. The most remarkable aspect about the Flynn Fellowship is the intentional rotations shadowing experienced nurses in different specialties within oncology. This provided me with a full picture of all the stages oncology patients encounter from diagnosis, to infusion treatments, to palliative care. This Fellowship demonstrated the endless opportunities within the nursing profession. My passion and knowledge about oncology has grown tremendously as a result of this 8- week internship. As a Flynn Fellowship alumnus, I'm entering my senior year with more confidence, motivation, and passion that will undoubtedly shape my role as a nurse in the years to come."

Sarah Woods, Boston College

“This program has taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. I am thankful for the nurses and health care professionals that have made me realize that oncology nursing is the career for me. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I will carry everything I have learned about nursing and about myself into my future as an oncology nurse.”

Angela Zeck, Emory University

"This Fellowship has cemented my desire to be an oncology nurse when I graduate in May. I have gained a newfound confidence when working one-on-one with cancer patients, and it greatly improved my nursing skills. Through this program I was able to experience aspects of nursing that I would have never been exposed to in our regular nursing curriculum."

Hannah Dahlke, Fairfield University

"My experience as a Flynn Fellow at Greenwich Hospital was incredible. While gaining invaluable clinical skills and knowledge of the role of an oncology nurse, I was also able to foster close relationships with the nurses and doctors who make up the Oncology and Palliative Care departments, as well as several patients and their families. I had always had a desire to become an oncology nurse, and the Fellowship has without a doubt reinforced that."

Nicholas Mudry, Fairfield University

"The 8 weeks that I spent on the oncology floor with the nurses and visiting other units opened my eyes to every aspect of oncology nursing. I was able to gain insight, knowledge, and friendships that will forever be with me through this program. This Fellowship experience reinforced my love for oncology nursing and confirmed that this is the field I plan to pursue."

Lindsey Hermann, University of St. Joseph

Participating in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship at Hartford Hospital has without a doubt been the most enriching experience of my nursing education thus far.  With complete exposure to all aspects of oncology nursing, this program has far exceeded any clinical experience I have had.  Through this amazing opportunity, I have discovered not only a passion for oncology nursing, but greater confidence in myself and my critical thinking skills.  I will forever be thankful for this program and Hartford Hospital for providing me with the resources to learn and grow as a future oncology nurse. “ 

Maura Kenny, UCONN

"This Fellowship has given me the greatest preparation to become an oncology nurse and I truly feel as though my New Nurse Orientation will be less stressful and more efficient since my exposure and opportunities though this Fellowship were so advanced and comprehensive.   I am so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to encourage all my younger nursing friends at Penn to apply for it because there is no program comparable. Penn Medicine has it all, and I am so thankful I was able to be a part of such an amazing team this summer."

Mia Alexander, University of Pennsylvania

"I cannot express my gratitude enough for the wonderful, intelligent oncology nurses and staff at HUP. This Fellowship not only stimulated my passion for oncology nursing, but taught me valuable skills for my future career."

Kim Nowakowski, Villanova University

“The Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship has been the most valuable experience of my nursing education. I believe the extent to which this program fosters personal and professional growth vastly exceeds the traditional summer externship. Specifically, my eight weeks at HUP expanded my knowledge base in oncology care, enhanced my patient and inter-professional communication skills, and cultivated my confidence as a patient advocate and engaged team member. The experience affirmed and strengthened my passion for oncology nursing as well as my understanding of how powerfully nurses can impact the patient experience across the cancer care continuum.”

Anna Wilcoxon, University of Pennsylvania

"As a Flynn Fellow  I learned invaluable skills that went far beyond the scope of the oncology curriculum taught in the classroom and uniquely helped prepare me for my career as an oncology nurse.  I was exposed to many interdisciplinary functions that play a key role in patient and family/caregiver-centered care and to evidence-based practice and nursing research, which are essential to nurse’s involvement in and approach to treating cancer.  I made connections with many people that will not only last for years to come, but help open doors and provide ongoing guidance and mentorship to make me a better oncology nurse.  I will forever be a part of a family of caregivers who strive for excellence in the treatment of patients with cancer."

Amanda Weaver, Johns Hopkins University

“I couldn’t have asked for a better career development opportunity. Thanks to the Flynn Fellowship, I was able to work with and learn from outstanding nurses, care for amazing patients, and increase confidence in my abilities as a future oncology nurse. Oncology experience is something you don’t get in nursing school and this experience was a great introduction to the world of nursing that I love.”

Austin Cole, University of North Carolina

“After 3 years of nursing school I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in, but after this experience I am certain that I want to become an oncology nurse. This was an absolute eye opening experience. Not only did I learn a great deal from my preceptor and the other nurses on the unit, but I gained confidence in my skills, knowledge and overall in myself.

Arita Busgith, Molloy College

"This opportunity has changed my life in a way that no one will truly understand unless they have experienced it. I have learned so much and grown not only professionally but personally as well. What I loved most about this Fellowship was getting to know my patients and their families and learning about their rough journey.  Because of this Fellowship I now know in my heart I want to become a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurse!”

Stephanie Jorgensen, Molloy College

“Outstanding and inspiring opportunity for nursing students. This Fellowship is an experience of a lifetime. Grateful and honored to say I was a Flynn Fellow.”

Stefani Pia, Molloy College

This Fellowship magnified my passion for nursing and oncology, replacing fear and uncertainty with a sense of security and purpose. The families and patients I’ve met and their incredible stories of strength, perseverance and acceptance have impacted me greatly and will follow me as I graduate and continue to deliver my nursing care."

Katherine Grosso, Fairfield University

This Fellowship program has taught me more about patient care than I ever imagined. Because of this program, I am much more confident in not only my skills but my bedside manner. It has also helped me develop a passion for oncology nursing. Truly a one of a kind experience."

Samantha Haug, Sacred Heart University

“From the moment I began nursing school, I knew that I wanted to specialize in oncology. The Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to grow as an individual and enhance my skills as a future oncology nurse through hands-on clinical experience. At Stamford Hospital, I witnessed life-changing moments every day that reinforced my passion for this field.

Alexandra Maravic, Fairfield University

“I am blessed to have been a part of this summer Fellowship. Before the start of the program I had very little knowledge regarding oncology care. Now, I am much more confident not only in my hands-on skills, but in my ability to provide compassionate, therapeutic care. The emotional aspect of oncology nursing is not something that can be taught in a classroom. But rather, it is an invaluable skill that can only be learned through experiences such as this.”

Nicole Karich, UCONN

“I am so grateful to have experienced this amazing opportunity. I learned more in this 8- week program than I have in my entire nursing education. Oncology is such a specialized field that we are only minimally exposed to it in nursing school. The cancer team at Wentworth-Douglass is comprised of the most compassionate and intelligent people I have ever met. I feel blessed that I was able to work with and learn from such a unique, "one of a kind" group of people. I gained more knowledge and hands-on experience in oncology nursing than I ever imagined. As a result of graduating from the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program, I feel much more confident beginning my senior year and in pursuing my nursing career.”

Laurissa Cole, St. Anselm College

2015 Flynn Fellows' Testimonials

"I feel so grateful to have been granted this Fellowship opportunity. I have such a clear picture of the passion, knowledge, and care that it takes to be an oncology nurse. I learned things that are far beyond what I have learned in nursing school in just 8 weeks, since oncology is such a specialized and challenging field. I witnessed the work of some of the most amazing health care professionals this summer who emulate the work of what a nurse truly is, and I truly hope to follow in their footsteps."

Kaitlin Phelan, Boston College

“This program has been the most beneficial 8 weeks of my entire student nursing journey. Not only have I gained so much knowledge and confidence in oncology nursing, but I have truly come to realize the importance quality versus quantity of life. I have the utmost respect for the decisions that oncology patients have to make. The lessons I have learned from my preceptors, but especially the patients, will surely travel with me in my future nursing career.”

Alicia Vautour, Boston College

“When I first applied for this program, I thought I wanted to be an oncology nurse; now that I have completed it, I know that there is nothing in the world I’d rather be. Through this Fellowship, I have gained immense confidence, enhanced my clinical skills, practiced how to best deliver patient and family-centered care in a multitude of cancer care environments, learned all things oncology from a team of outstanding nurses, developed personally rewarding relationships with patients, and applied “evidence-based” principles in my research project on the early integration of palliative care--all of which have further fueled my passion for oncology nursing.“

Claudia Garcia, Emory University

"I am beyond grateful for having participated in this program. I was able to strengthen my critical thinking skills, while also learning about the value of patient and family-centered care from some of Emory's best oncology nurses. I cared for such humbling patients and their families who showed me how to persevere through the most difficult struggles. I have made a special connection with the field of oncology nursing, and I am so excited to carry this powerful experience with me throughout my career."

Tahsin Rajabali, Emory University

“My Fellowship experience at Greenwich Hospital provided me with extensive exposure to the field of oncology nursing. This in-depth program gave me invaluable direct clinical experience in learning how to provide high-quality compassionate and palliative care to oncology patients. I was able to further explore this specialized field of nursing through my "evidence-based practice" research project on cancer survivorship and rehabilitation. The dedicated and passionate oncology team at Greenwich Hospital has inspired me to pursue a career in oncology nursing.”

Emily Kopas, Fairfield University

“This Fellowship not only enhanced my skills and confidence as a nurse, but also allowed me to experience the many roles a nurse holds within the oncology field. I believe that the relationships I established with both the staff and patients greatly benefited me. The skills I learned go beyond what can be taught in a classroom and prepared me for my professional nursing career.”

Felicia Staropoli, Fairfield University

“I was always told that all of the positives in oncology nursing would outweigh the negatives, but I never truly believed this until after my experience in this Fellowship. This was my first experience with oncology patients and end-of-life care. I learned more than I could have ever expected, and developed much more confidence that I will take with me through my senior year and in my future career.”

Kelly Marra, Boston College

“Being a part of the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship exceeded my expectations. Not only did the Fellowship strengthen my nursing knowledge and clinical skills, but it bolstered my passion for the field of oncology nursing. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Oncology staff as well as Mr. Flynn’s unwavering commitment to the field are inspiring and have left an indelible impression on me. Thanks to my experience as a Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellow, I am excited and confident entering my future nursing career.“

Molly Becker, University of Pennsylvania

“My summer Fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has given me an extremely valuable and unparalleled opportunity to discover the many interdisciplinary roles and areas of the oncology world, from inpatient units, to outpatient radiation and chemotherapy infusion, to palliative care, to home care and hospice, to even nursing research in oncology. I appreciate and am grateful for the extensive mentorship and professional development opportunities this program has given me.”

John Doner, University of Pennsylvania

"My love for nursing grew tremendously during my 8 weeks as a Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellow. The amount of exposure I had to the different areas of Oncology and the various roles that nurses take on in the Oncology field were more than I could have ever imagined. If it wasn't for this Fellowship I may not have ever known how much palliative care means to me and the future of healthcare. I believe the connections I have made will have a great impact on my future as a nurse."

Nyasia White, Villanova University

“This Fellowship provided me with the skills and confidence I will need to make a great nurse. No clinical experience in a nursing program can offer what this experience did. I am thankful for this opportunity and the doors it opened for me to provide care to those who need it. I am a better nurse, particularly an oncology nurse, because of this program.”

Lauren Henry, Molloy College

“The Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship has been the best experience of my student nursing career. I have gained incredible insight to what it means to be an oncology nurse. New York Presbyterian gave me the confidence and skills to be an effective and compassionate nurse in Oncology. This one-on-one guidance is unlike any clinical experience I have encountered. I feel more confident in my care to patients and my love for Oncology is continuing to grow. I look forward to utilizing this knowledge for the rest of my nursing career.

Kelly Murphy, Molloy College

“I am beyond grateful to have been a part of the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program. I was able to experience and learn more about oncology nursing and patient care than I could have ever hoped for. Because of this Fellowship, I will be able to start my career in oncology nursing with confidence.”

Kristen Ponticelli, Molloy College

“I am extremely honored that I was selected for this Fellowship because it opened my eyes to an area of nursing in which I now have a passion for. I feel more confident in my nursing skills and more comfortable caring for oncology patients as a result of this experience. The amount of knowledge and skills that I learned through this Fellowship are indescribable and I am so thankful for this opportunity!”

Michelle Laspino, Fairfield University

"I was always interested in Oncology nursing, but I never had any work experience or clinical exposure on the Oncology floor. This program helped confirm my passion to be an Oncology nurse. I gained a broad knowledge and understanding of oncology patients’ clinical treatments and how to provide compassionate care by shadowing nurses on several different floors (including medical and surgical oncology, chemotherapy infusion, radiation therapy, and Palliative Care). I also completed an “evidence-based” research project about Chemotherapy Safety, and presented it to the staff at St. Vincent’s. I was able to practice my therapeutic communication techniques with my patients and improve my nursing skills. I am grateful to have been part of this program.”

Hang Tran, Fairfield University

“Stamford Hospital's Oncology department has some of the smartest, most talented and most compassionate nurses I have ever met. Each and every person on the floor passed on knowledge and advice that could not be taught in a classroom. From this experience, I feel confident that I can provide the highest level of care to any patient in any type of environment. I am blessed to have had this amazing opportunity and would recommend it to any student looking to further expand their learning.”

Shelby Butwell, Fairfield University

"I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing program. The nurses at Stamford Hospital taught me more about oncology nursing than I could have ever imagined. The caring and intelligent nurses and staff are my role models. I will carry my experiences throughout my entire career as a nurse. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity."

Katherine Dostal, Fairfield University

"I am so unbelievably thankful for all the experiences and learning opportunities that this Fellowship has allowed me. From learning about various oncology treatments to being able to work as part of a team on an oncology unit, I learned skills that I don't think I could have anywhere else. Because of this experience, I have a better understanding of what it truly means to be a nurse.”

Melissa Haggerty, Sacred Heart University

"My Fellowship experience has been the most valuable experience of my nursing school career. I learned so much about cancer care through this Fellowship that I never would have gotten the chance to in nursing school. I gained confidence in my nursing skills and knowledge throughout the 8 week program. The deep, meaningful relationships I developed with patients and the influence of the outstanding nurses and staff at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital taught me so much that I couldn't have learned in a lab or a lecture. This Fellowship reminded me of the importance of nurses in patient care and emphasized why I chose this profession in the first place. I feel ready for the future both in nursing school and in an oncology nursing career beyond graduation."

Mary Boyer, Saint Anselm College

“I was given an amazing opportunity being part of this program. This Fellowship gave me an insight into what a wonderful field oncology nursing is and I gained so much confidence in myself as a nurse. This experience is something I will take with me into my career and I will be forever grateful for.”

Michaela Foley, St. Anselm College

2014 Flynn Fellows' Testimonials

“Everybody on the staff has been willing to teach us, and the patients have been wonderful. What surprised me most was how the positives about the cancer care experience far outweigh the negatives. The patients feel its their job to get better, and as a nurse you focus on helping them get there.”

Lauren Guerra, Boston College

“We’re not exposed to oncology much in our school training. Being able to watch what veteran nurses do, you learn so much about connecting with families.”

Kayla Costigan, Boston College

“I didn’t know anything about oncology nursing going into this program. I learned more than I could ever have expected. The support of the nursing staff was huge. Hearing the nurses speak about their career paths in oncology was inspiring.”

Julia Melvin, Boston College

“It's different than in nursing school where you may see a patient only once for a few hours. Here we became familiar and friendly with patients and could see them through the process of their care. Helping patients and their families deal with end of life and helping them make difficult decisions to take the next step is something we don’t get to work with at school. I found it very compelling.”

Kaitlin Campbell, Boston College

This Fellowship has given me so much confidence as a nurse caring for oncology patients. I have benefitted more from these 8 weeks than any experience in clinical, and am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Jennifer Patten, Fairfield University

"I could not have asked for a better experience. I feel so much more comfortable in my nursing abilities, and understand oncology nursing more than I ever could have otherwise. As a result of this program I feel confident in my skills not only as a nurse, but in an oncology setting.”

Julie Earls, Fairfield University

This Fellowship program has profoundly strengthened my confidence in nursing and, most importantly, has enriched my passion for oncology. I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in oncology education, hands-on care, and evidence-based research. I’ve learned about different types of cancer, current treatment options, clinical trials, and palliative care. Through intensive research and completion of an evidence-based project I was able to investigate some of the most effective ways to communicate with oncology patients and their families. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to care for the patient. And that’s something that a classroom, textbook, or computer screen cannot teach you.”

Danielle Brouillard, Fairfield University

“The lessons I’ve learned will benefit me this school year and in my future career. Through this Fellowship I have improved my assessment and communication skills. This immersion into oncology has solidified in me that oncology nursing is a career I want to pursue.“

Sarah Forster, St. Anselm College

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