I am a new ADN grad, job-hunting. Passed my NCLEX-RN last week, so that's taken care of. I went to nursing school because of a personal interest in cancer and cancer risk issues -- my mom was dx'd with breast ca when she was 34, and died at 36, I have a lot of other family hx of cancer, and in my late 20s discovered that I am a BRCA2 mutation carrier. I had DCIS at 34 (before nursing school), and a bilateral mastectomy. Then to everyone's surprise (especially mine!), I had a local recurrence, this time an IDC, luckily small, and node neg, dx'd the summer between my 1st and 2nd yr of school. Spent all of my first semester doing chemo and rads, but still managed a 4.0 GPA (my little "nice try, sucker!" to cancer). I have recovered from treatment very well, and am considered cancer-free.
My experiences have only strengthened my resolve to work in oncology. I really believe I have a lot to offer. The job market for new grads is very tough in my area right now, but I am not ready to give up just yet. I am eager to get OCN certification ASAP, and that means getting a year of oncology nursing experience ASAP.
Here is my question for those of you in the field: How relevant/helpful/irrelevant is my own cancer hx when it comes to onc nursing? Obviously, I'm not going to put it on my resume, but is it something that you would mention in a job interview
? I honestly feel like my experiences will be advantageous to my nursing practice -- although I would never generalize my individual experience to everyone with cancer, I do have a unique perspective on the physical and and psychosocial issues, teaching needs, etc. of patients facing at least certain types of cancer dx. Or could that be seen as "poor me, I had cancer, give me a job, boo-hoo-hoo"? Or just unprofessional -- ie, thinking personal health hx has a bearing on the ability to provide good patient care?
Thanks so much for you feedback. Your honest answers are much appreciated!