Fairfield Students Complete Oncology Nursing Fellowship
This past summer, three Fairfield University Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies students participated in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program at Greenwich and Stamford Hospitals in Connecticut. Cristina Cioffi ‘18, Jaclyn Di Yeso ‘18, and Brianna Klenkel ‘18 were among 28 oncology nursing Flynn Fellows during this year’s program.
The Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship program was launched in 2013 in memory of Susan D. Flynn, who died of ovarian cancer. The Fellowship's objective is to provide aspiring nurses comprehensive clinical exposure to oncology nursing and to "best practices" in compassion. The program selects rising seniors from the top nursing schools in the country and originally began with students from Boston College before expanding to other schools.
During the eight-week program at Greenwich Hospital, Cioffi and DiYeso shadowed seasoned nurses and served as integral hands-on members of the cancer care team. The program provided students with experience in medical and surgical oncology, clinical research and trials, chemotherapy, infusion services, radiation therapy, palliative care, hospice services, and patient and family support.
Describing her experience, DiYeso said, “I was able to be a part of people’s lives at really difficult moments and help them transition to different plans of care. I was there when some of my patients passed away or talked to them about their decisions for goals of care and transitioning to hospice care. For the rest of that patient’s and their families’ lives, I will be a part of that memory, and that is something very moving for me.”
The students were able to apply the skills learned at the Egan School while gaining new knowledge from the healthcare teams they shadowed.
“My biggest take away from this Fellowship was the importance of caring for the whole person. I learned first hand that there is much more to nursing than the medical piece. It is crucial to not only understand the patient as someone who is sick, but as a person with a family, a history, and personal goals,” stated Cioffi. “In order to provide the best care possible, we must first care for the patient’s emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. When this occurs, the patient often has the best outcome.”
More information about this exceptional fellowship can be found at the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Development webpage.
Pictured (left to right): Stephaney Gordon-Cowan, RN, Nursing Educator, Oncology; Kaitlin Webel, RN, Nurse Manager, Oncology; Sarah Devine, RN, Nurse Recruitment and Retention Manager; Gayle Alswanger, Director, Bennett Cancer Center Development; Liz McKinlay MSN, RN NE-BC, Director, Med-Surg Clinical Operations; Ellen Komar, MPA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer; Marissa Milazzo; Brianna Klenkel '18; Fred Flynn; Stephen Corman; and Mary McKiernan, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Director of Nursing Professional Development.