Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., April 23, 2015 – Responding to tremendous clinical growth at their center and the desire for nursing professionals to be well versed in oncology practice, nurses at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey developed a specialized Advanced Practice Nursing Fellowship Program to address these needs. The work is being presented as part of a poster presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) Annual Congress being held this week in Orlando, Florida.

“A number of nurse practitioners graduating from current programs are focused on primary care and do not possess the clinical knowledge needed for managing the complex care of cancer patients,” says Cancer Institute of New Jersey nurse Tracy Krimmel, MSN, AOCN, APRN-BC. Recognizing a need for these practitioners to have additional training, Krimmel and nursing colleagues Janet Gordils-Perez, MA, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, and Renee Kurz, MSN, FNP-BC, in collaboration with Rutgers School of Nursing developed the specialized program. Following a literature search and benchmarking analysis of similar oncology nursing fellowship programs, the team focused its teachings on ONS evidence-based resources and tumor specific education. Learning sessions targeted the complex clinical challenges commonly encountered by oncology patients. The program was tailored to the individual needs of the practitioner, who was then paired with a mentor based on that individual’s clinical specialty. Hands-on experience was provided through specialty rotations and precepted clinics. Currently, four advanced practice nurses are participating in the program. Early feedback and data indicate the program is being well received by both fellows and mentors.

“Specialized oncology training for nurses is essential. With an increase in new anti-cancer therapies and an increase in the number of cancer survivors, it is imperative that oncology nursing professionals are knowledgeable about both current and emerging practices through all stages of care and post care,” says Krimmel. “By providing enhanced specialty education to our nurses, we are helping to improve patient outcomes.” Krimmel notes their team already is preparing the program as a model for other schools.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New JerseyRutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at the Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-3637 or visit Follow us on Facebook at

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center and Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: JFK Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.