Fairfield Students Complete Oncology Nursing Fellowship
Over the course of this summer, four Fairfield University nursing students participated in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program at Greenwich Hospital and Stamford Hospital in Connecticut.
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 ten-week program provides 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.
Fairfield nursing students, Hannah Dahlke ‘17, Nicholas Mudry ‘17, Katherine Grosso ’17 and Alexandra Maravic ‘17 assisted registered nurses during their Fellowship in Stamford and Greenwich hospitals.
The nursing students, all seniors this year, summarized their experiences in the program:
“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. The exposure to the various dimensions of an oncology patient’s health care provided me with a better understanding and sense of compassion that will continue to positively impact the way I practice moving forward. My preceptor was also instrumental in this unforgettable experience because she continually encouraged me to take advantage of each and every opportunity, which enabled me to feel more confident in myself.”
“Of having been witness to cancer in various forms through the eyes of few family members and friends, I went into this fellowship with hidden trepidation. I feared falling short of my goal of being there for someone at their most vulnerable, to help people to feel less helpless. I can say now that I am extremely grateful for Mr. Flynn and The Susan D Flynn Oncology Fellowship for what has really been an incredible summer. The hands-on, immersive experience magnified my passion for nursing and oncology, replacing the fear 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 I can safely say they will follow me as I graduate and continue to deliver my nursing care.”
"My experience this summer as a Susan D. Flynn Oncology Fellow at Greenwich Hospital was incredible. Through this program I was exposed to all aspects of oncology care, and parts of nursing that I otherwise never would have been able to see. In working with patients in many clinical areas, I gained invaluable knowledge about how to provide compassionate, patient-centered care for individuals with cancer. Throughout the 8-week program I was 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. The fellowship has reinforced my desire to become an oncology nurse. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to represent the Flynn family in this capacity, and will always be grateful for this experience as it has had a profound impact on both my life and my future nursing career."
"It was an honor to represent both Mr. Flynn and his wife, Susan, through the Susan D. Flynn Fellowship at Greenwich Hospital this summer. Throughout my intensive eight-week program, I was exposed to all aspects of oncology, including the inpatient medical oncology floor, outpatient infusion and radiation centers, oncology related surgeries, as well as other oncology related areas. One of the most important areas of focus was my work with the palliative care department. While working along side the palliative care doctor, Dr. Coletti, I was provided with experience and a new perspective on end-of-life care. I would never have been exposed to this in our regular nursing curriculum. This comprehensive clinical experience was unforgettable due to the incredible patients, nurses and doctors I was able to work with. This experience further solidified my desire to be an oncology nurse, and I will be forever grateful for this inspirational experience."
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. The excellent reputation of Fairfield’s nursing program gained them entry. More information about this exceptional fellowship can be found at the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Development webpage.
Picture left to right: Nicholas Mudry '17, Frederick C. Flynn, Jr. and Hannah Dahlke '17. Photo credit: Greenwich Hospital Foundation