NP Fellowship Helps Prepare Providers for Oncology Career

Nurse practitioners are more valuable than ever in the world of cancer care.

Oncology nurse practitioners are a crucial population in the healthcare arena. In an attempt to usher more nurses into the oncology NP career path, City of Hope teamed up with Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing to create the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship.

The results of the program were evaluated in a presentation at the 46th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress.

“The role of the oncology [advanced practice provider] requires extensive training and education in a specialized area practice,” said Katherine Butcher, NP, MSN, a nurse practitioner at City of Hope who recently completed the program.

Of note, many states have given full practice authority to nurse practitioners, and nurse leaders are advocating that this become the norm across the nation.

The fellowship consisted of 12 months of clinical rotations as well as 3 semesters of coursework and learning opportunities. It allowed fellows to collaborate with experts in important oncology specialties, such as genomics, infectious disease, palliative care, hematology, medical oncology, and survivorship. Individuals who were accepted into and enrolled into the fellowship program could also enroll in Azusa Pacific University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice program.

“The exposure and collaboration with clinical experts in each specialty provided an experience and a wealth of knowledge that I will carry into my career moving forward,” Butcher said. “Participation in this fellowship has direct implications on the improvement of nursing practice, investing the education of APPs.”

Fellows were expected to reach a number of milestones that would not only help evaluate the program, but also promote their growth as a provider. They included:

  • Clinical rotations in hematology, medical oncology, supportive medicine, and the department of medicine
  • Obtaining an ASCO Advanced Practitioner Certificate
  • Presentation at a local or national conference
  • Graduation from Azusa Pacific University’s Post-Masters ONP Certificate program

“It is well known that the number of individuals with cancer and cancer survivors continues to grow. And with this growth, advanced practice providers are relied upon to ensure that patients receive high-quality care,” Butcher said.

Reference

Butcher K. Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship: A Reflection on the Educational Benefits of a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Presented at: 46th Annual ONS Congress. April 20, 22, 27, 29, 2021. Virtual.