The Value of a Fellowship Program in Redirecting One Nurse’s Career Goals

“Each step along the way has really helped me grow professionally, not just as a clinician, but as a whole practitioner, to make my transition to practice a lot easier and make me more comfortable… it’s really an invaluable experience.”

Completing a nurse practitioner fellowship can open many doors for one’s career, explained Amber Thomassen, APRN-BC, AOCNP, upon reflecting on her experience in the fellowship at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Thomassen, advanced practice supervisor of clinical operations at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, was the first fellow to graduate from the program in 2017. Today, she oversees current fellows, both as direct supervisor and as a mentor. In an interview with Oncology Nursing News, Thomassen explained how the experience positively impacted her career.

“I can say that it was definitely one of the best decisions I think I've made as far as my career goes. You know, when I started out, I was just graduated from NP school. And I had done a couple of rotations here at Sylvester,” Thomassen said. “So I knew that I really liked this population and wanted to work here. However, it's very difficult to actually get a job as a new practitioner with no experience. And then, you know, this opportunity came out. And it's been invaluable, because originally what I thought I wanted to even do, I don't do.”

“If I hadn't done the fellowship, I would have never been most likely never have been where I ended up now,” she added. “I'm really grateful for the opportunity that I had…. It's made me a better practitioner, because I've had to kind of focus on certain areas and be able to kind of explain them to other people.”