The number of patients with cancer is expected to rise 42% by 2025, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, but nurse practitioners trained for primary care sometimes lack oncology experience.
“They’re coming out of school with knowledge gaps,” said Tracy Krimmel, MSN, RN, AOCN, APRN-BC, nurse manager of adult oncology clinical services at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick.
Rutgers is addressing the issue by offering an Advanced Practice Nursing Fellowship program that gives NPs specialized training in cancer care.
Krimmel worked with Janet Gordils-Perez, MA, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, executive director/oncology nursing services at CINJ, and Renee Kurz, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, (NJNI Alumna) instructor at Rutgers University’s School of Nursing, to develop the program. In April, they gave a poster presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 40th annual Congress, where nurses nationwide learned about the program’s outcomes and sustainability.
The goal of the program is to retain NPs at CINJ and improve their comfort level by preparing them to practice confidently and independently, and handle complex challenges specific to oncology patients, such as pain management and end-of-life issues.

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