In 1988, the Friends of Nursing program at Duke was developed to recognize professional excellence in nursing practice, nursing education and nursing research, and to promote the image of nursing as a positive career choice.
Every fall, Friends of Nursing holds a gala that celebrates all Duke nurses and honors a select group with nursing excellence awards.
Two hundred and three nurses were nominated this year for a 2019 Friends of Nursing Award. Of those, 38 nurses from across Duke University Health System and the Private Diagnostic Clinic were selected to receive an award. This year’s award recipients include three oncology nurses. We asked them to share a bit about their professional background and what's interesting to them about their work in nursing.
In Their Own Words
Evelyn Morgan Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing Practice
I have been at Duke since I graduated with my BSN from George Mason University in 2008.
I like to think that oncology nursing found me at a serendipitous time. I was an inpatient pediatric nurse, but had the opportunity to float out to the adult thoracic medical oncology clinic in 2010, three months after I lost my own grandmother to lung cancer.
I fell in love with the patient population and the ability as an outpatient nurse to get to know the patients from time of diagnosis and throughout the trajectory of their illness.
I always wanted to be a teacher, but I loved nursing. I realized I could do both roles. In 2012, I graduated with my MSN in Nursing Education from DUSON.
I entered my current role, Clinical Educator for the cancer center clinics at the Duke Cancer Center in Durham, in 2016. I love my current role because I get to help impact patient care even though I am not in direct patient care by helping to ensure our nursing and unlicensed assistive personnel are on-boarded well and continually supported in their professional development.
I also love my role because I work with a remarkable group of staff who go above and beyond for our patients everyday. No two days are the same and I like the challenges that come up that I get to help solve along with the rest of the team.
I feel honored and humbled to receive the Evelyn Morgan Award. I was sorry to hear about Evelyn's passing this month. In reading more about her it is evident she was a truly remarkable oncology nurse. She and I are both graduates of Duke School of Nursing.
To me, receiving this award is a reflection of what our team has accomplished since what I do in my role would not be possible without the work of many others.
Edward & Florence O’Keefe Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing Practice
I've been working as an oncology nurse since graduating nursing school in 2008 and have worked in the ABMT Outpatient Clinic since August 2012. In 2018 I took on the role of Clinical Apheresis Coordinator. I'm currently the only one on staff at Duke that performs pediatric apheresis collections.
The field of oncology, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant is ever changing and growing. Due to this growth and change, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of healthcare. I am truly fascinated! I honestly feel blessed to wake-up and go work each day. It is HARD, but seeing the changes in people’s lives makes it worth it!
The Fuchs Family Award for Excellence in Innovation
It is a huge honor and very exciting to receive the first Fuch's Family Award for Excellence in Innovation.
I hope it inspires other bedside nurses to innovate and think outside the box to improve the care provided to patients.
I've been a nurse on 5200, the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, for 11 years now.
What I find most interesting are the emerging therapies and I love the team of nurses that I work alongside!
The 31st annual Friends of Nursing Excellence Gala will be held on Oct. 26 at the Durham Convention Center. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. and the award ceremony begins at 6 p.m. The event is free for Duke nurses. Their guests may attend for a $30 fee. The venue holds a limited number of people, so nurses and guests are encouraged to register early. Find more information on the Friends of Nursing intranet site.