My Career: Preparing for a future as a pediatric oncology nurse through the Flynn Fellowship Program at CHOP
Rising senior Catherine Fuller with her Flynn fellowship program coordinator at CHOP, MSN alumna Jen Sullivan.
“This past summer, I had the privilege of being chosen to participate in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Fellowship Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This experience was both challenging and fulfilling and allowed me to immerse myself in the specialty of pediatric oncology. This program actually gave me the opportunity to see what it is like to be a pediatric oncology nurse as I worked 12-hour shifts along with nurse preceptors. We had weekly Lunch & Learn Sessions where various members of the team led presentations and discussions on their particular area of work. I also had the chance to shadow various nurse practitioners and nurse leaders on the unit. Finally, we culminated the summer with presentations of evidence-based research we had conducted throughout the program. I was able to research anticipatory late effect education of pediatric oncology patients at the completion of their treatment. The fellowship program introduced me to all aspects of oncology nursing in an effort to prepare me for a future as a pediatric oncology nurse.
All of the components of this program taught me an immense amount. However, I felt that I learned the most from the patients themselves. Throughout the summer, I developed a better mindset of what it means to be a pediatric oncology patient and I got to witness tremendous bravery as these children persevere through both the good and bad days. By playing with younger patients as they rode plastic cars down the hallway or working with a teenager on an art project, I was able to realize the importance of childhood and building a relationship with my patients.
Now that I have completed the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Fellowship Program at CHOP, I am looking forward to progressing through my senior year at Villanova’s College of Nursing. I am beyond grateful to have been given the chance to be part of such a valuable program as the Flynn Fellowship. The skill set and mindset that I gained this summer will have a lasting impact on me and have helped to prepare me to become the best pediatric oncology nurse that I can be."