April 10, 2015
Communications and Marketing
Two juniors were selected to receive a 2015 Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship that provides them with an eight-week, paid clinical and educational experience working with cancer care teams at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H.
Michaela Foley and Mary Boyer will be exposed to all aspects of cancer care including medical and surgical oncology, palliative care, radiation therapy, infusion services, and hospice services. They also will attend educational programs and conduct research projects that will enhance their clinical education.
"This fellowship is specifically developed for individualized learning in this specialty area, so students have access to classes, mentoring, research and clinical experience," says Associate Professor Caryn Sheehan, who has 20 years' experience in cancer nursing. "It is really the best part of nursing school wrapped up tightly in a summer package."
Foley and Boyer were selected along with 21 other students who study nursing at Fairfield University and Boston College.
The Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship was established by Frederick C. Flynn, whose wife had ovarian cancer. To honor her memory, and in gratitude for the care Susan received at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, Flynn set up the professional development program that was piloted last year at Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
Professor Sheehan believes the fellowship is an exciting and unique opportunity.
"Oncology is a specialty area that is challenging emotionally, physically and morally," she says, adding that recipients will receive personal mentoring about the special needs of people with cancer. They will then be able to apply this knowledge by providing direct care to patients across the entire cancer continuum, from diagnosis, to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and beyond.
The fellows will return to Saint Anselm in the fall with a new understanding of cancer care, Sheehan says. When they return in the fall as seniors, they will present their summer research to their peers, and the entire nursing program will benefit from their experience.
Sarah Forster, a current Saint Anselm nursing senior, was selected for the program last year and was inspired to continue working in the specialty. She has a full-time oncology nursing job lined up at Wentworth-Douglass, where she will work closely with this year's fellows from Saint Anselm. Next month, at the National Student Nurses Association convention in Phoenix, Ariz., Forster will present her Flynn Fellowship research on clinical nursing knowledge about neutropenia, an immune system disorder.
Photo: (left to right) Sarah Forster '15, Mary Boyer '16, and Michaela Foley '16