Kelsey Wolfe, a 2022 graduate of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, will begin a prestigious fellowship for nurse practitioners and oncology this fall at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is one of just four applicants across the country chosen for the role.
“I essentially decided last summer after doing a rotation at Tennessee Oncology that I was interested in pursuing a career in oncology as a nurse practitioner,” Wolfe said. She searched for options and found MD Anderson’s 12-month fellowship to be a good fit. The fellowship also led the way in 2006 as the first in the field for nurse practitioners.
Participants complete both clinical and didactic training in more than 20 different specialties within oncology. “You rotate through with advanced practice providers as your preceptors,” she said. “Then at the end, you choose two areas of specialty you’re interested in and you can focus on those.”
The fellowship also includes a lecture series as well as participation in national conferences. “It’s a very comprehensive program to serve as a foundation, essentially, to a career in oncology nursing.”
Wolfe says she previously imagined a career in primary care but began to appreciate the opportunity to provide stable care for patients in oncology during a stressful time in their lives. The rigorous research in oncology and ever-changing treatment modalities also felt inspiring to her. “It gives me a lot of hope seeing all the ways oncology has changed over the years,” she said. “As research is conducted, there are more ways to treat cancer, which is awesome.”
Wolfe came to Belmont for the DNP program in 2019 after working at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “The main thing that has been wonderful about Belmont is just the personal touch with getting to know professors and feeling like they know me and support me. They know my career goals, they know my strengths, and they have just encouraged me along the way.”
Wolfe said she chose the Belmont DNP program because of its in-person instruction at a time when many nurse practitioner programs are offered virtually instead. “I knew in-person is how I best learn,” she said. “Especially with the clinical program, I wanted to have that hands-on experience in the classroom and lab. That was important to me, and I think the value of that has really come through in how I’ve gotten to know my professors and classmates. I think the accountability you have when you see your classmates and professors in-person— it inspires me to do even better and try harder to do my best.”