Saint Anselm Rising Senior Awarded Flynn Oncology Fellowship

June 18, 2018

By Nicholas Fedele '19

As the recipient of this year’s Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship, Saint Anselm College nursing major Cecilia Mercadante ’19 is spending this summer gaining valuable clinical experience at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H.

The fellowship aims to provide a deep understanding of oncology nursing and compassionate care. Mercadante is receiving a comprehensive experience by providing direct patient care, attending educational programs, and conducting research projects.

At Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, she 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. In addition, she will have the opportunity establish a supportive network and distinguish herself as a prospective employee in the field.

When chosen for the fellowship, Mercadante said she felt honored and blessed: “I am so excited that I’ll be caring for patients in a hospital focused on person centered, holistic care. Beyond that, I am excited to gain clinical experience in oncology nursing and to complete a research project!”

“I am most looking forward to having such an incredible opportunity for learning and growth before I head into senior year! Participating in this fellowship will allow me to grow clinically, academically, and hopefully personally as well. I plan to bring that with me into my senior year at Saint Anselm and afterward into my career as a nurse,” Mercadante said.

Nursing professor Caryn Sheehan emphasized the significance of this experience. “Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has typically ONLY selected 1-2 students each year for this fellowship, and is the only oncology nursing fellowship of its kind in this state, so this is quite an honor," she said. "Cecilia will also complete a research project and will present her findings to the entire hospital and administration.”

In the loving memory of his wife Susan D. Flynn, who died of ovarian cancer in 2013, her husband Frederick Flynn created the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program to help stimulate the career interest and foster the professional development of potential oncology nurses to show his gratitude for the care his wife received.

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.