A high school internship is what first led Franklin Wynn to consider a career at MD Anderson as a young person. But the supportive nursing environment he found here is what brought him back to stay as an adult.
“Nurses at MD Anderson are encouraged to take the next step in their careers,” Wynn says. “And their feedback and ideas are valued here in a way that I don’t see at other institutions.”
Wynn, who now serves as a quality management coordinator in our Physician’s Network, got his first taste of MD Anderson as a senior in the Medical Science Academy Program at Hightower High School.
“Working one-on-one with the nurses I was paired up with here during clinical rotations really helped me identify nursing as a good fit,” he says.
Strong foundation supports future growth
Wynn got additional exposure to MD Anderson’s culture while in nursing school at Prairie View A&M University. He spent a summer here gaining additional clinical experience through our Professional Student Nurse Externship program, and came aboard as a registered nurse after graduating in 2011.
“When I was in the program, I didn’t realize how much it would benefit me now,” Wynn says. “But the skills I need to do my current job come directly from the foundations that were laid back then.”
“Being in a program like MD Anderson’s gives you exposure to a good mix of things you don’t necessarily see every day,” Wynn adds. “It’s a nice solid base. That helps build your confidence level really quickly.”
High-quality patient care an inspiration
One quality Wynn found particularly attractive was MD Anderson’s multidisciplinary approach to patient care, which leads to less-fragmented treatment.
Each week, doctors in a particular discipline (such as leukemia) come together to discuss new patients. They review medical charts, histories, scans, and tests, and the treating physician makes a recommendation. The group as a whole then decides if it is appropriate or if the patient may benefit from a different treatment, such as a clinical trial.
“Next thing you know, you have a well-developed treatment plan that is the very best for that particular patient,” Wynn says. “People are getting a second opinion without even realizing it. And if something happens, they can always be referred immediately to a specialist in another discipline. That’s a unique benefit of being a patient here.”
What sets MD Anderson apart
As someone who has now been on both sides of the lectern in MD Anderson’s classrooms, Wynn has developed an even deeper appreciation of the support provided to nurses.
“I serve as an adjunct professor at a local nursing school, and one of the most common things I hear from students is that they get so much more support here,” Wynn says. “Nurses go out of their way to include students in activities, and I know that’s one of the reasons they end up taking such a liking to our institution.”
Through its Academic Nursing Cohort, MD Anderson also offers significant financial resources to nurses who wish to pursue advanced degrees or obtain additional certifications.
“Unlike other tuition assistance programs that reimburse you after you’ve passed the courses, MD Anderson provides you with up-front payment for tuition,” Wynn says. “MD Anderson has already helped me get my master’s degree, and now I’m working on my doctorate.”
After reaping so many benefits from MD Anderson’s Nursing Education programs, Wynn has some advice for students who are still trying to decide if MD Anderson is the right place for them.
“Come for the job. Stay for the rewards,” he says. “There are lots of opportunities here. Pursue them, because they will get you to a lot of different places you probably wouldn’t think you’d be able to go.”
Learn more about how MD Anderson is building a nursing pipeline in this related story.