Kellie Zeichner Speaks to the Power of Standardized Monitoring Procedures for Patients With Rare Tumors


Kellie Zeichner BSN, RN, OCN, explains how her institution created a standardized monitoring procedure for insulinoma care.

Kellie Zeichner BSN, RN, OCN, a nurse clinician infusion educator at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, speaks to Oncology Nursing News® about creating standardized nursing education tool on insulinoma, a rare tumor of the pancreas. Zeichner recently presented on the topic during the 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress.

As Zeichner explains, insulinoma is a rare condition that many outpatient infusion areas never see. Even in a National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Care Center, such as where Zeichner works, only a few patients with this condition will be seen every year. The consequent lack of community knowledge therefore poses a challenge for nurses who find themselves caring for patients with insulinoma.

To arrive at a diagnosis of insulinoma, patients must first be in a state of hypoglycemia, she explains. Many nurses may feel uncomfortable or confident with this diagnosis process, especially since the patient may experience symptoms which require continuous observation and immediate medical intervention.

To that end, Ziechner and her team sought to revitalize their nurses’ education in this arena. They conducted a brief pre-intervention survey (4 questions) to establish a baseline knowledge level. They then delivered nurse education, both virtually and in person, to all the infusion staff, and created a guideline based-reference sheet to help guide the nurses with this care. Afterward, they leveraged the electronic medical record to build standard test methods with specific parameters to test the nurses’ knowledge.

Since the implementation, the Rutgers team has seen 1 patient with insulinoma and, according to Zeichner, the process of caring for that patient went very smoothly. She concludes by noting the value of standardized operating procedures for patients with complex diseases and treatments.

“When we establish standard operating procedures, we can [ensure] quality patient care and [make] nurses very confident—in a short period of time—by having those resources readily available,” she says.


Zeichner K, Rodriguez J, Wong Y, Thomas D. Insulinoma identification: an oncology nurse’s role. Presented at: 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress; April 27-May 1, 2023; San Antonio, TX. Accessed May 12, 2023.

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