Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Celebrates Nurses During Oncology Nursing Month

May 8, 2015

New Brunswick, N.J. – Along with caring for and administering treatments to cancer patients, oncology nurses at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are involved with numerous aspects of the field including cancer research, mentoring colleagues and developing education materials and programs for both patients and fellow nurses. To recognize the scope of their work, Cancer Institute nurses were celebrated this week with Oncology Nursing Excellence Awards given during the annual Elizabeth Gibby Osborne Lecture.

Known as a “team player” and “kid at heart with a love for every child that comes into the clinic,” pediatric hematology/oncology nurse Susan Pillet, MSN, RN, CPNP, CPON of Plainsboro (pictured right) was selected by colleagues as this year’s award recipient in the category of Advanced Practice Nurse. Pillet is heralded for her compassion – “never forgetting how difficult going through treatment is for patients and their families.” To reduce that impact, Pillet has developed or taken part in varied activities including an annual prom night for patients who are on and off therapy.  She also spends a week of her vacation each year at a specialized camp devoted to pediatric cancer patients in order to give parents peace of mind and children an opportunity to be “just kids” in a setting that features a full healthcare staff. She also has given back to her profession during her 13 years at the Cancer Institute.  Most recently she participated in training to help fellow oncology nurses communicate reproductive health issues with adolescent and young adult patients. Although Pillet was the only nominee in this category, she received multiple nominations.

Described by her peers as “possessing a caliber of professionalism that is the epitome of expert nursing competency,” Magdalena Samborski, RN, BSN, OCN of Union (pictured left) was chosen for the award in the Generalist Nurse category.  Samborski, who is part of the Gynecologic Oncology Program at the Cancer Institute, is described by fellow nurses as “demonstrating exemplary performance in the areas of customer service, clinical practice and leadership.” Samborski’s colleagues note that even though she has only been at the Cancer Institute for three of her seven years in nursing, she is eager to learn all she can about the profession and is an “absolute asset” to the team. Stephanie Matlin, RN, BSN, Marilyn Mundy, RN, CPON and Dawn Yuhas, RN, CPHON, also were nominees in this category. 

This year’s Elizabeth Gibby Osborne Lecture featured Meri Gilman-Mays, DNP, CRNA, who is the senior director of CRNAs and Anesthesia Nursing at the Cleveland Clinic Anesthesiology Institute in Ohio. In her talk “Resiliency: Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Gilman-Mays drew from her broad knowledge of building partnerships and creating a vision for constructive change in the healthcare workplace to share strategies on managing the challenging profession of nursing.

The lectureship and Nursing Excellence Awards are underwritten in part by the Elizabeth Gibby Osborne Lecture and Scholarship Fund. Because of Mrs. Osborne’s strong belief in education, her husband Bill established the fund after her death from cancer in 2004 to support peer learning opportunities for oncology nurses at the Cancer Institute. 

“Oncology nursing is a profession that is constantly changing.  As nurses, we need to have the ability to adapt to such changes rapidly in order to ensure optimal delivery of care for our patients.  Thanks to nursing education and professional development opportunities such as the Osborne Lecture, nurses at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are better prepared to meet the daily challenges in the field,” notes Carla Schaefer, BSN, RN, OCN, nurse manager of the adult treatment area at the Cancer Institute.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at the Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-3637 or visit Follow us on Facebook at

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides the highest quality cancer care and rapid dissemination of important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. System Partner: Meridian Health (Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center, and Bayshore Community Hospital). Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center and Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: JFK Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (CINJ Hamilton), and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. 

Michele Fisher


precision medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute







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