Katherine “Kat” Petree, a nurse practitioner student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has been helped in her studies and rewarded for her contributions in patient care. Petree, a candidate for a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, has received a scholarship from the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation (OCAF).
Almost as gratifying as receiving the scholarship was being reunited with some of her former patients at the award ceremony at the foundation’s recent annual meeting.
The Tennessee-based OCAF aims to educate women about ovarian cancer. It was founded, Petree said, by families of women who had dealt with the disease. In addition to its educational efforts, the foundation decided to honor and support a nursing student who works with cancer patients.
“That’s a really sweet sentiment,” Petree said. “It’s nice to know that they appreciate nurses and the role they play. It was a huge surprise, and a total blessing.”
Petree earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from UTHSC in 2012 as a Clinical Nurse Leader. She then worked at the West Clinic (now the West Cancer Center) for two years before deciding to return to UTHSC to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, choosing the family nurse practitioner track. She expects to graduate in May 2017.
“It’s a passion for me,” Petree said of oncology. Because patients have multiple treatments of chemotherapy, she gets to know patients and their families. “That’s when nursing is most successful, when you feel you know them and they know you.”
More information about the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation is available at www.ocafoundation.org.