Flynn Fellows Attend Prestigious 2023 APHON Conference

As part of its recently announced expanded program scope, the Flynn Foundation is increasing its emphasis on the ongoing professional development of its 300 Fellowship program graduates. It recently sponsored three of its 2023 Flynn Fellows to attend the national conference of the Association of Pediatric/Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON), which was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 21-23. They were accompanied by Amy Kaiser, a recent appointee to the foundation’s Board of Directors who is Chair of the Flynn Fellows Advisory Board and also serves as Chair of its Professional Development Committee.

Amy, a pediatric oncology nurse at Duke University Hospital (and 2019 Flynn Fellow at CHOP from the University of Scranton), has been successfully working to increase the foundation’s relationships with the country’s leading oncology-related professional organizations. “It’s exciting to see our fellows become immersed in oncology nursing in the company of clinical and academic experts at these conferences. They attend topical educational sessions, network with their peers, and learn about this specialized profession from distinguished researchers and practitioners in oncology care. It’s important to expose students and early career nurses to these prominent organizations to help them identify and access available resources, find mentors, and help reinforce their passion to become future oncology nurse leaders”, she said.

PJ Scarperi, a 2023 Flynn Fellow at CHOP from Villanova University, said, “Attending the APHON conference was a valuable step in my journey to become a pediatric oncology nurse. I had the opportunity to attend lectures ranging from the complexities of bone marrow transplant treatment to ‘best practices’ in end-of-life and palliative care. The conference fortified my educational and practical foundation, which will ultimately allow me to better serve and empower pediatric cancer patients and their families”.

Chelsea Bergamini, a 2023 Flynn Fellow at Connecticut Children’s from Sacred Heart University, said, “Being afforded the opportunity to attend APHON was a very rewarding and impactful experience. It enabled me to expand my knowledge about leading-edge cancer research and heightened my love for pediatric hematology/oncology”.

Riley Guarino, a 2023 Flynn Fellow at Boston Children’s from Boston College, said, “The content and format of the APHON conference was closely aligned with my professional interests and provided a valuable forum to learn about a wide variety of important clinical topics and to also directly interact with many experienced practitioners. As an undergraduate nursing student, it can sometimes appear that the nurses I work alongside possess an all-encompassing wisdom. It was extremely beneficial for me to see first-hand that knowledge and expertise come with experience and that successful nurse leaders are committed life-long learners”.

About the Flynn Foundation
The Flynn Foundation is the nation’s largest privately-funded Oncology Nursing development program. Its mission is to attract, inspire, and help professionally develop the next generation of Oncology Nurses, with the overarching goal of improving the future quality of care for cancer patients and their families. Since 2014, 300 aspiring nurses have participated in the foundation’s unique summer Fellowship program and of the 250 in the workforce so far, over 165 Flynn Fellows are already working as Oncology Nurses. Its flagship Fellowship program is directly addressing the critical need for more and better skilled oncology nurses. In addition to providing its host hospitals with a valuable “talent pipeline” in this important specialty, this program paves the way for a very meaningful and impactful career pathway for it student nurses (aka “Flynn Fellows”).