Joan Nurse, RN

Head Nurse, 3NE
Start Date: 1981

CANCER CARE: LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

I came from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and when I got to MedStar Washington Hospital Center and it was so big and busy, I was very excited. I felt a sense of accomplishment, making a difference in a dynamic place like this. I didn't originally plan to go into cancer care, but I was part of the team that started the oncology service on 3NE many years ago and I really liked this specialty. One thing that strikes me about cancer care is that it levels the playing field for everyone. We've cared for many VIPs over the years, but it doesn't matter who you are: When you're battling cancer, you need compassion, you need someone to show they care. When I know that I can help, I feel fulfilled. I guess that's why I've stayed in nursing and stayed at MedStar Washington Hospital Center all these years. The bad days don't even compare with the good ones.