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Cancer care specialist named oncology nurse of the year

May 06, 2014

UCI Health nurse Deborah Boyle, RN, has received the 2014 Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year award for her work with cancer patients and commitment to advancing oncology nursing.

The award is bestowed by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, a subsidiary of the Oncology Nursing Society, and recognizes nurses who are leaders in patient care, education and research into best nursing practices.

An oncology clinical nurse specialist and palliative care nurse lead in the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Boyle’s responsibilities include ensuring adherence to national quality of cancer care standards, leading the nursing component of UC Irvine Medical Center’s palliative care team, patient education and acting as a liaison between inpatient and outpatient cancer care.

“Being recognized by one’s peers is the highest of all accolades,” said Boyle. “I am humbled to receive this honor and do so in acknowledgment of the tremendous contributions made within cancer care by all oncology advanced practice nurses.” 

Boyle has been certified by ONCC for 25 years. She encourages certification among her colleagues and has developed two OCN® review courses to assist UCI Health nurses with test preparation.  When she joined UCI Health in 2011, only two staff members were certified.  Now, 10 nurses are certified, with 14 more currently pursuing oncology certification. 

Boyle is principal investigator of a research study addressing family needs of nursing care during a loved one’s end of life experience in the acute care setting and is co-investigator of a unique study at the University of California’s five medical centers that examines nurse communication skills in addressing palliative care needs in the critical care setting. 

Throughout her career, Boyle has served in various volunteer leadership positions with the Oncology Nursing Society, is an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and has been inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a privilege bestowed on only 1,000 of America’s three million nurses.  She has been invited to serve as an Oncology Visiting Nurse Professor in Australia, Singapore, and Ireland. 

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in patient care and professional practice by validating specialized knowledge in oncology nursing and related specialties. ONCC administered the first Oncology Certified Nurse examination in 1986. Today, ONCC offers basic and advanced certification in adult oncology nursing, basic certification in pediatric oncology/hematology nursing, and specialty certification in breast care nursing and blood and marrow transplant nursing.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving high-tech hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.