Oncology Fellowship Program Empowers Students

This past summer, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital joined an oncology nursing fellowship program and welcomed Oncology Fellows Sarah Forster and Danielle Brouillard. The program was made possible through the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Nursing Training and Development Fund, established by Frederick C. Flynn, Jr. in memory of his late wife, who lost her courageous battle with ovarian cancer in 2013.

“During our challenging journey together in the face of this terrible disease, we witnessed first-hand the invaluable work and compassionate care of oncology nurses,” said Flynn. Flynn created the comprehensive oncology nursing fellowship program to help develop the next generation of oncology nurses. The fellowship gives student nurses the opportunity to immerse themselves in oncology nursing at top cancer care hospitals. Fellows Brouillard and Forster were two of 11 oncology nursing students to complete the unique program at sponsor hospitals including Wentworth-Douglass, Massachusetts General, Greenwich, Stamford, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Brouillard and Forster are thankful to the Flynn family and to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital for the opportunity and support. After their time in the Seacoast Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, the two fellows reflected on how the experience moved them and solidified their passion for oncology nursing.

“This fellowship has profoundly strengthened my confidence in nursing and, most importantly, has enriched my passion for oncology,” said Brouillard. “As a Flynn Fellow at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in oncology education, hands-on care, and evidence-based research. I’ve learned about different types of cancer, current treatment options, clinical trials, and palliative care. Through intensive research and completion of an evidence-based project, I was able to investigate some of the most effective ways to communicate with oncology patients and their families. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to care for the oncology patient. And that’s something that a classroom, textbook, or computer screen cannot teach you.”

Like Brouillard, Forster gained valuable skills and witnessed first-hand how important it is to have immense compassion in the oncology setting.

“The lessons I’ve learned will benefit me this school year and in my future career,” said Forster. “Through this fellowship I have improved my assessment and communication skills. This immersion into oncology has solidified in me that oncology nursing is a career that I want to pursue. Wentworth-Douglass may have been a smaller hospital involved in this fellowship, but for what it lacked in size it made up for with its caring and compassionate staff. Everyone who I have come into contact here at WDH has had something to teach me and was genuinely excited to have a student within the hospital.”

“I am forever grateful to Mr. Flynn for the wonderful program he has developed in loving memory of his wife, Susan,” said Brouillard. “It provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that facilitated my dream of becoming an oncology-certified nurse.”

For more information about how to donate to this program and programs at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, please call our Foundation office at 603-740-2687