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 course, and to read Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande and The Conversation by Dr. Angelo Volandes 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 addition, participating Hospitals are continuing to add additional academic content to their respective programs.

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.



  • To continually improve the content and quality of this Program by sharing "best practices" among Hospital participants and collaborating with them on Program improvements (e.g. continuing education/development of Program grads)
  • To maximize the Program's effectiveness in attracting, inspiring and helping to develop the next generation of Oncology Nurses
  • To successfully use this Program as a "talent pipeline" at all participating Hospitals for their upcoming staffing needs
  • To develop and implement a sustainable long-term Funding Plan (including possible Grants, financial partners--i.e. foundations/corporations/individuals--matching gifts, and special events)
  • To actively engage Flynn Fellow program grads in the marketing, advocacy, and sustainability of this Program



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
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Molloy College
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Saint Anselm College
  • Salisbury University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Michigan
  • 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:

Continuing Professional Development of Flynn Fellows

  • Selectively sponsor Flynn Fellowship program grads to attend conferences and programs that will enhance their Oncology Nursing knowledge and skills; examples so far include:
    • Attendance at Schwartz Center’s annual Compassion in Action Conference
    • Attendance at Mass General’s annual Spirituality & Patient Care: Hope and Healing Conference
    • Participation in Order of Malta’s annual Lourdes Pilgrimage program
    • Timing: Underway
  • Research and explore/develop possible collaborations to assist Flynn Fellow program grads financially with the cost of their advanced education (e.g. DNP degrees)
    • 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 -- specifically including current or former Preceptors in Flynn Fellowship Program, who serve as “mentors’ to Flynn Fellows -- from various program partner Hospitals in such ways to enhance their professional development
  • "Pilot” programs in process at Greenwich Hospital and CHOP
  • Timing: Underway

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

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