Pamela P. Criscitiello felt extraordinarily honored to have received the Nurses Educational Funds Scholarship. She received her undergraduate BSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993 and has two remaining semesters to complete her MSN/AGPCNP at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Currently working in a private outpatient clinic that cares for hematology, oncology, and autoimmune disorders, Pam has been an oncology nurse for almost 29 years and an Oncology Certified Nurse since 1996. Caring for oncology patients primarily over the age of 17 has been a passion for Pam and she strives to provide the best holistic care possible for each individual patient, finding the diversity of her patient population rewarding and humbling. Initially intrigued by one of her undergraduate professors who had survived breast cancer, and a husband who is now an immunologist, Pam continues to value the research and continual improvement in treatments and quality of life.
Having a mother and grandmother who were both nurses, the idea of caring for and helping others have held a high appeal for Pam since she was a child, and oncology hit home for her from the beginning. Not until her three daughters were older and COVID made its mark, did the idea of graduate school resurface. Additionally, words of encouragement and support from patients and colleagues enticed her to return to school after 27 years. While treating one of her patients who was simultaneously receiving chemotherapy and working on her DNP, did Pam get most inspired.
Pam has always enjoyed finding ways to improve educating patients and colleagues, has created handouts for new patients, and has focused on improving safety in the workplace. Safety measures to protect not only nurses who are mixing chemotherapy but also protecting patients undergoing treatment are a priority. Graduate school has helped her use evidence-based research to create a chemotherapy induced neuropathy tool in her clinic and has helped others understand the potential long-term debilitating effects. Pam would love to develop survivorship plans for every cancer in her clinic as there is a clear deficit in helping patients in their post-treatment lives.
Charitable events such as those to raise monies for cancer research and patient support programs are very important to Pam. Whether it involves a bike ride, a walk or run, a tour through a colossal colon, or a day of celebrating survivorship, Pam loves to partake in them. She has great hopes for the continual evolution of cancer treatments and believes her advanced degree will provide her the opportunity to play a more pertinent and significant role in the improved holistic care of this population.
NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.
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