Mercy Oncology Enid has been honored by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. The award recognizes clinics with at least 50 percent of the nursing staff qualified as Oncology Certified Nurses (OCN). The honor – requiring a rigorous exam and a need for continued certification – gives Mercy Oncology Enid a special distinction. They are the only facility with such a designation in the Garfield County town.
“I studied for three months to take the test,” said Joanne Crain, RN, BSN, OCN, nursing supervisor for Mercy Oncology Enid. “When we become certified, we serve our patients better and we become better advocates for our patients.”
Crain shares the OCN certification in Mercy’s Enid clinic with Karry Easterly, RN, OCN, and Kelly Snapp, RN, OCN. Four board certified oncologists practice in the facility, including: Craig Reitz, MD, FACP; James Reeves, MD, FACP; Jess Armor, MD; and Abby Bova, MD.
“We achieved this recognition last August when I took my certification,” said Crain. “We waited for the clinic’s recent Mercy affiliation so that we could get that Mercy cross on the plaque.”
The work Crain and her staff put forth to achieve certification is similar to the efforts of some of their patients who drive more than a hundred miles for treatment.
“With our northwest Oklahoma location, we draw patients from as far away as Kansas and Guymon,” said Crain. “We cover a huge area and people will drive for hours just to receive treatment. Some will drive three hours for an 8 o’clock appointment and they’ll arrive the night before. A local retirement center offers them housing and transportation to our clinic.”
In addition to the time and effort required to achieve OCN recognition, an oncology nurse must possess unique characteristics to manage the challenges of the medical specialty, according to Crain.
“You must be compassionate because it could be any of us in that chair,” said Crain. “Cancer strikes so many and certification allows us to better serve our patients in the delivery of the ministry’s mission of mercy.”
Mercy oncology serves Oklahomans through clinics in Enid, Oklahoma City, Norman and Ardmore.