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Advanced Practice

Nurse Practitioner Fellowship: Developing a Program to Address Gaps in Practice

Maritza C. Alencar
Eileen Butler
Jessica MacIntyre
Evelyn P. Wempe
CJON 2018, 22(2), 142-145 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.142-145

Formal training is an important mechanism to assist the new generation of nurse practitioners (NPs) entering the complex field of oncology. The growing number of patients with cancer and the expansion of treatment options demand structured oncology training to support the transition of novice advanced practice nurses to the field. Oncology NP fellowships are a potential solution for those seeking training centered on the management of patients with cancer. This article discusses the process of implementing an NP fellowship program at an academic cancer center, including benefits and barriers.


  • Newly hired NPs often do not have oncology experience and feel poorly prepared to manage cancer-specific care, even though they are capable of executing the foundational skills of NPs (e.g., obtaining a history, writing and presenting patient cases, performing physical examinations). 
  • Institutions typically must provide on-the-job training for oncology NPs.
  • Developing an oncology-focused NP fellowship program provides training, mentorship, and retention.

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