In 1945, Nursing Administrator Ethel Chandler formally organized the Department of Nursing at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) with 61 nurses under her direction. Today, the Department of Nursing boasts a dynamic and engaged staff of over 600 administrators, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, hospital clinical assistants and clinical support assistants.

The Department of Nursing:

  • Promotes an environment whereby each patient’s dignity and rights are recognized and respected.
  • Collaborates in the planning and delivery of health care that is specific to each individual’s needs.
  • Develops an individualized approach involving the family/significant others in a care plan intended to maximize each patient’s health potential and quality of life.
  • Provides staff development and oncology nursing education programs.
  • Continuously evaluates and improves nursing care.
  • Participates in the implementation of clinical research protocols.
  • Shares information and findings with the nursing community at large through educational programs and publications of research findings.
  • Provides support for ongoing educational degrees and certifications.

Nursing Practice

The goal of the Department of Nursing is to provide excellent and comprehensive care to cancer patients and their significant others during all phases of their evaluation and treatment. Patients range from pediatric to adult, include a wide range of diagnostic categories and all phases of treatment from evaluation to long-term follow-up of cancer survivors.

Patients have highly complex clinical, psychosocial and educational needs and the Nursing staff continuously strives to meet these needs through clinical care, patient/family education, nursing and multidisciplinary research and interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Service-based, cancer site specific inpatient units
  • Ambulatory Care Clinics
  • Pediatric Care
  • Operating Room
  • Intensive Care and Post Anesthesia Care
  • Intermediate Care
  • Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Pain Management
  • Chemotherapy and Infusion Clinics
  • Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Enterostomal Therapy and Wound Management Consultation
  • Case Management
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Research

Professional Education

The RPCI Department of Nursing provides a vigorous schedule of education programs for patients, staff and the nursing community. Continuing education programs are routinely presented on:

  • Chemotherapy / Biotherapy
  • Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Nursing Management
  • Preceptor Training
  • Leadership Development
  • Oncology Critical Care
  • Cancer Prevention and Detection
  • Skin, Wound and Ostomy Care

Additional educational programs are presented on new clinical pathways, research, initiatives and patient management strategies.

Patient Education

Patient education is an integral component of daily nursing practice at RPCI. Formal programs to help patients cope with the cancer experience and understand cancer therapy are also offered.