Kelly Anne McAllister, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN, is the 2018 recipient of the Nurses Educational Funds Scholarship. Kelly knew she wanted to be a nurse from a very young age and cannot remember a time when she didn’t plan to care for oncology patients. She received a BSN from the University of New Hampshire in 2001 and began working as a staff nurse on an inpatient oncology/palliative care unit. She worked there until 2006, when she had her daughter and shortly after, her son and transitioned to an outpatient setting. She worked as a nurse in the chemotherapy suite and as a Breast Center nurse for two years before becoming the manager of the Breast Care Center.
She left her administrative role to return to her passion of direct patient care and to pursue her goal of implementing the role of a Nurse Navigator in the Breast Care Center. She is currently the Breast and Gynecological Nurse Navigator at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire. She provides direct patient care, advocacy and education to patients with a diagnosis of breast and gynecological cancers. She cares for patients at all stages of their health, from prevention and education, to screening and diagnosis, and through to treatment, survivorship and supportive care. She facilitates a monthly support group, and coordinates and plans educational programs for patients and family members as well as staff and allied health professionals. She has presented at local and national conferences and published a quality project in the October 2015 edition of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
Kelly is currently a student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in their online Family Nurse Practitioner track. She plans to strengthen and broaden the role of the navigator and implement a high-risk breast clinic, to provide specialized services to patients that are at an increased risk for breast and other hereditary cancers. She is extremely interested in the role of genetics and genomics in relation to breast cancer and plans to further pursue and explore how to continue to personalize the care that she provides to her patients.