May 09, 2016 10:00 AM

Author: Sue Childress RN, MN, OCN

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to be the Director of Nursing Services at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Here are a few things you may not know about nurses:

  • We are the largest group of health care professionals. There are more than 3 million of us and growing. Over the next 10 years, the nursing profession is expected to increase 20%, which is unlikely to meet the needs of our patients. Our average age is 50! (If you are looking for a career tip, take note.)
  • For the past 14 years, nurses have been voted the most trusted and ethical profession in America (Gallup).
  • Although we are still primarily female, out male colleagues continue to increase. Of new grads, 11% are male. Diversity is a good thing.
  • Although there is a certain “foundation” when it comes to nursing, there are many paths a nurse can take.  Just here in the oncology world we have surgical, medical, infusion, case management, infection prevention, educators, critical care, managers, palliative care, operating room, clinical trials, and transplant nurses….I’m sure I missed someone!  All these specialties take extra knowledge and skills to be competent.
  • Speaking of competence, 24% of our Huntsman Cancer Institute RN staff have made the effort to be certified in their specialty. This is exceptional and I am rewarding them with a new goal of 30%!

Over the next week, we will share stories of a few of our nurses. I told them I wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do, so here’s a little about me:

I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was 6 years old. It was all about the cap and uniform! It has been the best career I could have chosen. I never realized the lifelong friendships I would have with my nursing colleagues. As a nurse and administrator, I have impacted patients individually and organizationally, and that feels good. As an administrator, I am proud of the ability to impact the professional careers of other nurses and help them succeed. I had no idea how much meaning I would find in being an oncology nurse. Getting to know our patients and the difficult journeys they make has been inspiring and humbling. This is a picture of me the day in 1979 when I got “pinned” by my favorite nursing instructor, Dr. Mary Bruton. She was my first mentor.

Learn more about our nurses and find job opportunities.

Sue Childress RN, MN, OCN

Director of Nursing Services, Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital

nursing cancer care

Cancer touches all of us.

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