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Have You or a Loved One Been Diagnosed With Cancer?

Read on to learn how oncology nurses provide critical care

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Cheerful female nurse holding hand of senior woman sitting at retirement home
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If you’ve helped a family member through a cancer diagnosis and treatment, you know how challenging it can be – and how support from others can make a huge difference. Fortunately, oncology nurses are there for you through the whole process.

Oncology nurses give life-changing care to people with cancer. They are clinicians, scientists, advocates, educators, and sources of hope in the face of adversity. They play a pivotal role in the lives of cancer patients, from conducting research to serving as compassionate guides through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

One patient’s story


Linda Hart-Garrahan will always remember Robert Zamora. He’s the nurse who cared for her during a stem cell transplant in 2015 after she was diagnosed with lymphoma three years earlier. She shared their story in ONS Voice, the official news magazine of the Oncology Nursing Society, in 2023.*

As a dedicated musician – she played the harp in a mariachi band – Hart-Garrahan never went too long without playing. She asked and got permission to bring her harp to the hospital so she could continue practicing her music.

“They just knew that I needed this to get through. The harp in my room was an automatic topic of discussion. It broke down the barrier of being a sterile room. That is the power of listening to the patient,” she said.

With her harp and her music as her motivation – and the support of a great healthcare team – Hart-Garrahan felt empowered during her recovery. She still praises the nurses, especially Zamora, who told her not to let her cancer diagnosis define her.

“Who got me through it were the nurses, the oncology nurses, and I would’ve never been able to do this without their advice, help, and motivation,” she said.

A tradition of service

Oncology nurses profoundly impact the lives of those affected by cancer, transforming the patient’s experience into a path of healing and empowerment. With their clinical expertise, research, and empathetic care, oncology nurses have led the way in developing the oncology specialty. They have permanently changed the course of cancer care.

For more than four decades, the Oncology Nursing Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of oncology nurses around the world. The organization funds research that changes the lives of people with cancer. It provides essential training, resources, and research funding to oncology nurses – ensuring they have the tools to make a real difference in the lives of their patients. The Foundation also helps oncology nurses adapt to the ever-changing cancer care specialty by providing career development opportunities, academic scholarships, and leadership awards.

Supporting cancer nurses across the globe

Community support is pivotal to fortify the profession – and pioneer the future of cancer care. Oncology Nursing Month has been celebrated in May for 30 years since its establishment in 1994. This year's theme, “Empowering Hope, Transforming Care,” highlights oncology nurses’ expertise and compassionate approach. It encapsulates how nurses bring hope to patients and redefine cancer care. To celebrate Oncology Nursing month, you can honor the special nurses that might have touched your lives by making a gift, in their honor.

Click here to support the Oncology Nursing Foundation and the cancer community.


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