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DUSON Students Receive Scholarships from ACS and ONSF

Monday, May 14, 2018

Three Duke University School Of Nursing (DUSON) students were recently awarded scholarships to supplement their educational journey in improving quality of life and healthcare outcomes for oncology patients. MSN student Katerina Kafkas, DNP student Joni Watson and DNP student Darcy Burbage were all awarded scholarships from the American Cancer Society and Oncology Nursing Society Foundation.

​Katerina Kafkas, a MSN student studying acute care-adult gerontology with a concentration in oncology was awarded the American Cancer Society (ACS) Graduate Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice in the amount of $20,000 and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation Master’s Scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

“While working full time, these scholarship will greatly decrease financial stress and allow me to fully focus my energy on my education,” said Kafkas. “With the backing of these scholarships, I can feel confident pursing cancer survivorship.”

Kafkas currently works in bone marrow transplant, dealing with patients with leukemia and patients with blood cancer undergoing stem cell transplants to essentially cure most of their cancers. She chose to attend DUSON, because of the acute care program with a concentration in oncology. She is currently taking two oncology specific lectures and is actively participating in an oncology clinical.

Joni Watson, a DNP student enrolled in the executive leadership specialty program was awarded the ACS Graduate Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice in the amount of $20,000 and the ONS Foundation Clinical Doctoral Scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

Watson is actively working on an evidence-based practice project reviewing the impact of oncology nurse navigation on oncology patient-reported distress, reductions in delays throughout cancer care timelines/ milestones and reduction of financial waste via duplicate tests throughout the cancer care continuum.

With an expected 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed in 2018, oncology nurse navigation has emerged as a new sub-specialty within oncology nursing, Watson added. Her evidence-based project will allow her to take a closer look at navigation outcomes of care to achieve the healthcare quadruple aim—providing the highest quality of care at the lowest cost with the highest patient satisfaction possible while ensuring health care professionals find joy in their work.

“These scholarship awards give me the opportunity to dive into oncology nurse navigation as an innovate intervention to achieve the quadruple aim within cancer care while advancing my executive leadership skills,” said Watson.

Darcy Burbage, a DNP student, was also awarded the ACS Graduate Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice in the amount of $20,000 and the ONS Foundation Clinical Doctoral Scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

“As a result of being selected as a recipient of these scholarship awards, I am able to have more flexibility in my schedule—allowing me more time to focus on my doctoral studies and DNP project,” said Burbage.

As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase, there are a great number of survivors who are living with advanced disease whose needs are often unmet, misunderstood or overlooked leading to feelings of isolation, Burbage added. By tailoring her doctoral studies to her specific area of interest—metastatic cancer, Burbage will become an expert in the subspecialty area and will use her knowledge and skills learned through the DUSON DNP program to improve the quality of care to individuals living with metastatic cancer.