May 30, 2017
Communications and Marketing
Saint Anselm nursing majors Leah Benson '18 of Rockland, Mass., and Morgan Brady '18 of Greenville, Maine have been chosen to receive this year's Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship. For eight weeks this summer, they will receive paid, clinical experience working with cancer care teams at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H.
Benson and Brady will be given a comprehensive view of oncology care by providing direct patient care, attending educational programs, and conducting research projects. At Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, they will be exposed to all aspects of cancer care, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, and infusion treatment, and will observe various procedures and surgeries for oncology patients in the operating room.
When chosen for the fellowship, both Benson and Brady felt "honored," "overjoyed," and "blessed" for the opportunity.
"I am honored to have been given such a wonderful opportunity that will allow me to gain insight on such an important and deserving population, one that is near and dear to me," says Benson. "I cannot wait to begin this journey alongside professionals who feel just as strongly as I do about providing the best care to our oncology population."
Similarly, Brady expressed her excitement to gain hands-on experience alongside the oncology professionals in the field. She says, "I am really excited just to be present at Wentworth-Douglas and put in situations where I am exposed to things I have not been exposed to and work on skills that will enhance my nursing care and knowledge."
Frederick C. Flynn established the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship to honor the memory of his wife Susan, who passed from ovarian cancer in 2013, and to show gratitude for the care she received at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. In 2014, Flynn piloted a professional development program for student nurses at Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Seven additional leading cancer care hospitals have since been added as program partners.
"The Susan D. Flynn Nursing Fellowship provides the students with a unique opportunity to practice the true art form of nursing while caring for patients who are especially vulnerable," says Professor Joanna Parolin of the nursing department. "The impact of a cancer diagnosis transcends the patient alone and, therefore, care must address the stressors placed on the family unit as well as the patient. The students have an opportunity to grow in their nursing knowledge and practice and also to learn the nuances of caring for the patient and family as a holistic unit."
"They are also required to participate in a research project throughout this fellowship bringing a focus on evidence based practice that will only serve to help them as they begin the transition from student to nurse," she continues, adding that the combination of the concrete skills of nursing and the abstract "art of nursing" is demonstrated through both the research and practical opportunities provided by the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship.
Story by Jasmine Blais '17; Photo by Margaret Lynch '17