Cancer and Blood Disorders: Nursing and Advanced Practice Providers

Collaborative Care

Nursing in The Gill Center takes on a team approach as both inpatient and outpatient nurses work together with all disciplines including child life, social work, pastoral care and other complementary programs to ensure patients and families have an ideal health care experience. 

The nurses on the inpatient foor complete an extensive orientation before caring for patients independently. New graduates complete an 18-week internship. All nurses must pass the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) biotherapy provider course and test, which comes from a standardized national curriculum that is updated on a regular basis. Inpatient nurses usually care for hematology and oncology patients in the Gill Center for six months to a year before completing additional orientation to care for stem cell transplant patients. 

On the outpatient side, nurses come with experience in caring for the Gill Center patient population. The nurses are specialized by patient populations, including hematology, sickle cell, hemophilia and bleeding disorders, stem cell transplant, neuro-oncology and general oncology. 

Nursing by the Numbers

Approximately 85 nurses staff the Gill Center inpatient program. There are approximately 25 outpatient nurses.  

The Gill Center has 27 total advanced practice providers (APP), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  

  • Eight APPs on the stem cell transplant team provide care 24/7 on the inpatient floor and in clinic.
  • Eight APPs on the hematology/oncology team treat patients around-the-clock on the inpatient floor. 
  • Four oncology nurse practitioners provide care to outpatients according to diagnoses, including leukemia, neuro-oncology, neurofbromatosis and solid tumors. This is helpful to families in providing continuity of care.  
  • Three nurse practitioners are dedicated to general hematology and chronic transfusion patients.   
  • Two nurse practitioners care for patients in the After the Cancer Experience (ACE) Program.  
  • One nurse practitioner is dedicated to sickle cell patients.  
  • Two nurses serve as discharge coordinators, providing initial and ongoing education to families, and assuring they have needed resources at home. 

A Hand in Research

The Gill Center is part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials group and the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. One oncology nurse practitioner serves as the study nurse for a COG trial and serves as a key nursing contact for the study across organizations. 

Many of our oncology patients are treated with clinical trials. Nurses in the Gill Center are required to understand details of clinical trials to assure the exact medications and timing for treatment are followed. Nurses learn to use roadmaps, a one-page overview of the study, to validate that clinical trials are being followed appropriately when caring for patients participating in these clinical trials.