Reigniting the Passion as an Oncology Nurse With Nicola Stewart, MHL, BSN, RN-BC, OCN®

At the recent 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress in Anaheim, California, Nicola Stewart, Oncology Nurse Navigator at Methodist Healthcare/Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, gave a presentation about boosting nursing morale by investing in the individual person and building the team. In this interview with Oncology Data Advisor, she shares additional advice for reigniting the passion as an oncology nurse, including the importance of remembering your “why.”  

Oncology Data Advisor: Would you like to give us an overview of what you highlighted in your presentation?

Nicola Stewart, MHL, BSN, RN-BC, OCN®: The title of the presentation is Mission Possible: Enhancing Oncology Nurse Recruitment and Retention. My part of the presentation focuses on investing in the individual person. By trade, I’ve been an inpatient oncology nurse for 20-plus years. Specifically in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s really important to invest in the nurses, the staff, and everybody in the hospital system, just to keep everyone going. It’s a give-and-take relationship, as well.

Oncology Data Advisor: What advice can you give for nurses who are struggling with burnout, especially during the pandemic?

Ms. Stewart: Just remember why you got into the field. Remember your “why.” One of the questions I have in my presentation is, “What is your why?” We can rekindle that and remember that nursing is a calling. One of the last slides I have focuses on how people say they want to make an impact and they want to make a change. Instead of saying that, we can just be the impact, be the change—just be.

Oncology Data Advisor: What would you say is the key takeaway that you would like people to remember from this presentation?

Ms. Stewart: Reigniting that passion. Oncology nursing is a calling. No matter the challenges that we’ve had over the last couple of years, we still want to be nurses. We still have that passion, and we still want to provide the best care to the patients, and it’s impactful.

Oncology Data Advisor: Absolutely. Thank you.

About Ms. Stewart

Nicola Stewart, MHL, BSN, RN-BC, OCN®, is an Oncology Nurse Navigator at Methodist Healthcare/Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute in San Antonio, Texas, where she has spent the last 19 years of her practice. Ms. Stewart moved to the United States, from Kent, England, to study sports medicine on a full soccer scholarship before moving on to study and practice nursing.

For More Information

Ortega L, Stewart N & Conway L (2022). Mission possible: enhancing oncology nurse recruitment and retention. Presented at: 47th Annual ONS Congress.

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor. 

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