Fairfield Egan Students Complete Prestigious Oncology Nursing Fellowships

Fairfield Egan Students Complete Prestigious Oncology Nursing Fellowships

Pictured: Class of 2024's Abigail Hayes, Sarah Cummings, Cassandra Burton, and Charlotte Delmonico

This year, four nursing students worked as Flynn fellows at Boston Children’s Hospital, Wentworth Douglas Hospital, and Smilow Cancer Hospital.

The national Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship program was launched in 2013, in memory of Susan D. Flynn, who died of ovarian cancer. The highly competitive fellowship's objective is to provide aspiring nursing students comprehensive clinical exposure to “best practices” oncology nursing care.

This past summer, four Egan School undergraduates — Cassandra Burton '24, Sarah Cummings '24., Charlotte Delmonico '24, and Abigail Hayes '24 — were selected from a nationwide applicant pool to be oncology nursing Flynn fellows at Boston Children’s Hospital, Wentworth Douglas Hospital, and Smilow Cancer Hospital. 

During the eight-week program, the students shadowed seasoned nurses and served as integral hands-on members of a 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. Additionally, at the conclusion of the fellowship each student presented an evidence-based research project on improving care in an oncology setting.

For Delmonico who served her fellowship at Smilow Cancer Hospital and worked with preceptors from Bridgeport Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital in inpatient hematology and medical, surgical, and gynecological oncology floors, it was working directly with patients and getting hands on experience that she connected with the most.

“I loved being able to follow patients’ journeys through multiple aspects of their treatment. I met many patients receiving chemotherapy infusions, then saw them again before they received radiation therapy. I met a patient in the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Fairfield, then reviewed her PET scan in the Trumbull Center, before meeting her again prior to an operation in the Trumbull OR,” she said. “Witnessing my patients’ unwavering resilience was the most inspiring and rewarding part of the Flynn fellowship experience.”

On her experience, Hayes said, “Applying to the Flynn fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital was the best decision I could have made for my growth as a future oncology nurse. Not only has this program provided me with exceptional experience in clinical care, it also has reiterated my passion and commitment to becoming an oncology nurse.” 

Learn more about Fairfield Egan at fairfield.edu/egan.

Tags:  Top Stories,  Egan School

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