Nurse of Distinction Rose Bell Thanks Her Patients for 'The Great Privilege of Caring for Them'

Pictured: Rose Bell, PhD, ARNP-c, AOCNP, right, with Shirley Johnson, MBA, MS, RN, Roswell Park's Senior Vice President of Nursing & Patient Care Services

In recognition of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, we honor Rose Bell, PhD, ARNP-c, AOCNP, who was selected by The Buffalo News as the 2018 Nurse of Distinction. Roswell Park employs more than 700 nurses, who work in areas as diverse as chemotherapy infusion, surgery, bone marrow transplant care, clinical research, operating room support and survivorship education.

Rose Bell, PhD, ARNP-c, AOCNP, knows what survival means. During her Air Force career, Dr. Bell participated in rescue efforts at the Pentagon on 9/11 and led the medical extradition of terrorists from Germany to the U.S. Where she once cared for active-duty troops, families and retired members of the armed forces, she now supports patients in waging war against cancer at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Nursing and oncology have been the heart and soul of my career and my life for the past 30 years,” says Dr. Bell, who is Director of Professional Practice, Education and Research. Her service has earned her many military honors and — more recently — the title 2018 Nurse of Distinction, an award conferred by The Buffalo News.

“I hope that my legacy is that I served as a strong nurse leader who has mentored many nurses and helped them to understand that they can play important roles as both patient caregivers and administrators,” she says. Dr. Bell also mentors students at the University at Buffalo, where she teaches courses in leadership as an adjunct professor in Nursing.

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Her current projects at Roswell Park include strengthening programs focused on patient-centered care and evidence-based practice, as well as innovative oncology nursing education and research. She serves on the National Cancer Institute Education Consortium and National Comprehensive Cancer Network Advanced Practice teams, and is an active member of the American Nurses Association, Oncology Nursing Society, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Association for Nursing Professional Development and Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders.

“By far, the best part of my job is working with the entire team to offer an incredibly high quality of care for our patients,” says Dr. Bell. “We care for the entire person, and we care for each other. Even though we are on the cutting edge in terms of research and clinical care, we never forget to care for the person. This continues to drive me to improve and innovate – it is the reason we love what we do.”

Dr. Bell says she is grateful for the ability to interact with patients and their families every day. “Often patients will thank us for the care that they receive,” she says. “It is ironic, because I always want to thank them.

“I want every patient to know that I am so grateful to them for allowing me the great privilege of caring for them, for entrusting their care to me, to the nurses and our team, and ultimately for choosing Roswell Park.”