Academic journal article Creative Nursing

A Fellowship Program Preparing Students for Employment as New Graduate Nurses in Oncology Nursing

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

A Fellowship Program Preparing Students for Employment as New Graduate Nurses in Oncology Nursing

Article excerpt

The Carol A. Ghiloni Oncology Fellowship Program (OFP), developed in 2001, provides an opportunity for student nurses between their junior and senior years in a baccalaureate program to learn about the role that nurses play in providing care to patients with cancer. To explore whether former fellows felt prepared for employment in oncology nursing after their fellowship experience, a focus group discussion with former student nurse oncology fellows was conducted. The discussion was audiotaped and transcribed. Content analysis of the transcripts revealed four key findings: OFP provides an opportunity to make informed career choices; OFP provides confidence-building experience; OFP provides an experience of preceptor role modeling; and OFP provides an opportunity to build relationships with staff, patients, and patients' families.

The Carol A. Ghiloni Oncology Fellowship Program (OFP) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) began in 2001 with the goal of providing an educational opportunity for student nurses between their junior and senior years in a baccalaureate nursing program. Carol Ghiloni, RN, MSN, then nursing director of the inpatient oncology and bone marrow transplant unit at MGH, recognized that almost all of the new graduate job applicants she interviewed told her that they had had only one or two lectures on oncology in their medical-surgical nursing curriculum and that they were not encouraged to pursue oncology as a career option as new graduates, because it is a specialty. Given the impending nursing shortage, coupled with the lack of new graduate nurses applying to work within oncology for their first job, Ghiloni and her associate chief nurse, Jacqueline Somerville RN, PhD candidate, recognized a need to develop a program that educated and excited student nurses about oncology nursing practice.

They brought together a team of experts to develop the Oncology Fellowship Program. Since 2001, 14 student nurses between their junior and senior years have participated in a 10-week paid precepted educational experience learning about the nursing care of patients with cancer. In 2004, when Carol Ghiloni retired aft er 41 years in oncology nursing and assumed a part-time position at MGH, the fellowship was named for her.

DESIGN OF THE ONCOLOGY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Each year, two students from an impressive group of applicants are selected to be oncology fellows. They spend 10 weeks rotating through inpatient oncology units: the outpatient infusion unit, radiation oncology, the oncology practice centers, and the proton beam therapy center. They also spend time in the operating room and in interventional radiology and with palliative care experts to provide them with a comprehensive perspective on the role nurses play in providing care to patients with cancer.

EXPANDING THE PROGRAM TO INCLUDE FACULTY

In 2004, a faculty fellowship component was added to the program. While the student fellowship program was successful at recruiting former fellows to seek employment at the hospital within oncology nursing, and information about the success of the program had spread, bringing in multiple candidates for the program each year, fellowship administrators believed that expanding the program to include a nursing faculty member from a local university each year would make the experience even more beneficial. Faculty members who teach baccalaureate students and can influence curriculum development are invited to apply for the faculty fellowship experience.

Four faculty fellows have spent 10 weeks (400 hours) learning about oncology nursing. Two of the faculty fellows were newly hired faculty and had been assigned to teach oncology with very little work experience in this specialty. They found the faculty fellowship experience extremely valuable, as they were able to learn basic concepts of oncology nursing and experience firsthand the most current treatments being used to care for patients. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.