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Fox Chase Cancer Center's Graduate Nurse Program Receives Top Award

PHILADELPHIA (May 23, 2002) — Fox Chase Cancer Center's Graduate Nurse Transition Program is a winner of a 2002 Achievement Award from The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). The program won in the employee relations category for small organizations which highlights projects developed to address employee morale, recruitment, retention and education.

Fox Chase Cancer Center's award-winning Graduate Nurse Transition Program is a year-long program which provides intensive training in oncology care to help cultivate competent oncology nurses.

"Insufficient orientation in some hospitals and the lack of adequate oncology-intensive training in nursing schools can cause new nurses to feel overwhelmed. This poses a significant challenge to retaining these recruits," explains Deena Damsky Dell, MSN, RN, BC, AOCN, coordinator of the Graduate Nurse Transition Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

"We wanted to develop a program that would help new graduates make the transition to competent nurses and then to competent oncology nurses."

The Graduate Nurse Transition Program involves several levels of training. The first tier of the curriculum incorporates the identified medical -surgical competencies. The second tier of the curriculum consists of oncology-intensive "on-boarding." The third tier of the curriculum is devoted to leadership and patient management issues.

Each year, through the Achievement Awards program, HAP recognizes health care professionals who have developed innovative, adaptable projects that enhance patient satisfaction and health care quality, and that produce cost savings and other efficiencies. The Achievement Awards program also facilitates networking and idea sharing among members, and showcases hospitals' and health systems' commitment to their patients, communities, and employees.

Winning entries were judged on how they improve patient satisfaction and quality of care, and how they produce cost savings and other efficiencies, as well as their innovation and adaptability.

In the award letter, judges said the Fox Chase program "Helps strengthen existing nursing skills while providing a clear picture of oncology nursing," and "Appears to be a great concept, looks like it will be a success."

"The one-year program we have created will provide the tools to develop competent and caring oncology nurses who will be able to carry out the Fox Chase mission of reducing the burden of human cancer," adds Dell. "Securing funding for several new graduate nurse positions and providing a dedicated coordinator to design curriculum, welcome new hires, oversee training, serve as a mentor and provide social support demonstrates Fox Chase's commitment to this program."

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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