Nancy Moldawer, RN, MSN, is the Co-Chair of the KCA’s Clinical Advisory Board and currently works at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
We spoke to Nancy about her work in the KCA and in medicine.
How long have you been working with the KCA and what motivated you to get involved?
I have been a part of the Nurse Advisory Board (now the Clinical Advisory Board) since 2004 when a select group of oncology nurses with a kidney cancer background were asked to be part of a Nursing Advisory Board with the KCA. It didn’t take much for me to get motivated. I found the organization to be a wonderful way to increase my knowledge about kidney cancer, stay current about new treatments, and have a nursing role in clinical and translational research that have led to profound treatment discoveries for patients with advanced kidney cancer. One of my greatest professional experiences that I have gained has been the on-going relationships with other nurses that share the same compassion and expertise in the care of the patient with kidney cancer.
I have worked solely with kidney cancer patients since 1985 and have seen a tremendous amount of progress and the huge impact on patient care. Patients have come from a place where no meaningful therapies existed, to highly toxic treatment options, and now to a place where they can have primarily an outpatient experience, improved outcome and longer survival. Supporting, caring and educating patients has been a commitment of my nursing career and I am able to share that commitment with the KCA.
What prompted/inspired you to go into the medical field?
When I was applying to colleges, I had a conversation with an aunt who was a big influence in my life. She encouraged me to consider Nursing, as several of my cousins had also gone into the medical field. I wanted to go to the University of Michigan and because I knew that the school had a good nursing program, it seemed like the right thing to do.
I fell into Oncology because of an elective course I took at the University of Pennsylvania while I was preparing for my master’s degree in Nursing. It inspired me and changed my world.
What is meaningful about your role as a healthcare professional?
The most meaningful thing is helping patients as they navigate their journey with cancer. In my unique nursing role, I can be with patients and families from the time they are diagnosed up to the end of their journey. There are several important transitions times for patients, and I can be consistent support for them. I feel I know my patients well and build strong relationships with them. I find being available for patients throughout all the many ups and downs is an extraordinary time for me to practice my advanced nursing skills.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy the outdoors and spending time with my family, close friends and colleagues. Together, we enjoy a laid-back life in beautiful California.