Clinical Nurse Specialist (Murtha Cancer Center)

Updated: March 24, 2020
Job ID: 215481
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Bethesda, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Nurse Specialist to support the Clinical Trials Program at the John P. Murtha Cancer Center (MCC), located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MCC. This position requires US Citizenship and an active Maryland license. 

The John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed Bethesda is a modern, patient-centric, tri-service military healthcare facility. Its comprehensive core of military and civilian oncologists and other cancer­ trained clinicians and researchers provide multidisciplinary cancer-care delivery and patient-family support services. Our Cancer Center, the only DoD Cancer Center of Excellence within the Military Health System, offers its patients access to cutting-edge cancer diagnostic and treatment technologies.

Incumbent will provide nursing care to eligible adult beneficiaries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). Collaborates with physicians, and other professional health care providers, to assess, coordinate, plan, and implement the newest approaches and practices in delivery of efficient, cost-effective hematology-oncology care for the beneficiary population, encompassing active duty DoD service personnel, retirees, and their family members.


  1. Incumbent applies a wide range of professional nursing theories, principles, and procedures in providing care to hematology and/or oncology patients
  2. Plans, provides, oversees, administers, and documents professional patient care, in accordance with nursing standards of practice and established policies/procedures.
  3. Utilizes the comprehensive nursing process to participate and provide input into patient treatment plans for hematology and/or oncology patients.
  4. Identifies, documents, and implements nursing care, appropriate to patient care problems.
  5. Obtains patient history and completes a full nursing assessment.
  6. Identifies and documents the effectiveness of care and treatments provided; participates in revisions to the treatment plan, as needed.
  7. Utilizes critical thinking to participate in the course of action, in collaboration with licensed independent provider (LIP) orders; interprets appropriateness of order to the patient's present condition.
  8. Utilizes established medical criteria in evaluating/assessing the effectiveness of patient treatment.
  9. Interprets and ensures compliance with established policies, procedures, and standards of care and practice.
  10. Operates and monitors specialized, medical/surgical equipment, observing and assessing patient condition and safety hazards, while ensuring immediate action to resolve and correct.
  11. Interprets and ensures compliance with established policies, procedures, and standards of care and practice.
  12. Collaborates with interdisciplinary team to develop strategies to improve hematology/oncology patient care services.
  13. Responds appropriately to life-threatening situations in the absence of LIP direction.
  14. Serves as a multidisciplinary, hematology/oncology team member in providing comprehensive nursing care to hematology/oncology patients in the ambulatory setting.
  15. Reviews LIP orders, administers medications, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and blood products, as well as managing the related side effects to the treatments and the disease process.
  16. Monitors, and documents patients' responses to treatments, within guidelines of nursing practices and medical treatment facility (MTF) policies.
  17. Observes, interprets, and reports changes in patients' condition, medical data, and/or diagnostic test results, taking necessary corrective actions, or reporting to a physician or supervising nurse.
  18. Aids in the identification and intervention of variable needs of hematology/oncology patients and their families; including, but not limited to, physical and psychosocial comfort and support, safety, nutrition-social, spiritual needs, and multi-cultural diversity.
  19. Provides education, support, and counseling regarding oncology diseases and side effects of chemotherapeutic agents.
  20. Acts as a liaison between patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals.
  21. Provides professional telephone triage and medical advice to hematology/ oncology patients and their caregivers.
  22. Acts as facilitator to mediate complaints and concerns of patients, family members, and staff, taking immediate action to resolve or refer to a higher level.
  23. Serves as mentor, resource person, and preceptor to newly assigned hematology/oncology staff.
  24. Determines staffing requirements/mix and appropriateness of bed utilization, based on analysis of patient acuity data.
  25. Plans, delegates, and directs nursing care, in accordance with patient care requirements and staff skill levels.
  26. Serves as hematology/oncology unit/clinic charge nurse, team leader, and/or triage nurse, as assigned.
  27. Maintains professional affiliations, enhances professional development, and remains abreast of professional literature, to ensure pace with trends and prevalent practices.
  28. Participates in meetings to evaluate clinic policies/processes and recommend improvement solutions.
  29. Participates as a key member in the hematology/oncology educational programs, assisting in the orientation, mentoring, and oversight of assigned professional and paraprofessional staffs.
  30. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Professional knowledge of medical care and treatment for seriously ill patients; ability to interpret care plan to patient and family members.
  • Extensive knowledge of chemotherapeutic agents, their actions, side-effects, and counter­ indicated use.
  • Advanced knowledge of specialized nursing care, required to manage acutely ill oncology patients; including, but not limited to, lab data, physical and psychosocial reactions to treatments, central line management, and patient/staff safety concerns.
  • Knowledge of care and maintenance of a variety of invasive short- and long-term lines, including Hickman, Broviac, Groshong central catheters; implanted venous access devices; and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
  • Ability to abide by and deliver, safe nursing care, utilizing guidance prescribed by infection control policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge and ability to precisely calculate fluid levels to include special intravenous drips and vital signs.
  • Knowledge of level of risk related to neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, infection, and electrolyte imbalance.
  • Knowledge of a variety of toxic and potent medications and a complex antibiotic regimen, requiring special precautions by direct intravenous, intravenous push, or piggyback and other routes, according to unit policies and procedures.

Minimum Education Training Requirements: Degree in nursing. ONS chemo/bio provider card.

Minimum Experience: 2 to 4 years nursing experience, at least 1 year in chemotherapy care.

Physical Capabilities: Position entails prolonged standing, walking, bending, and stooping. The ability to lift, push, or pull heavy objects may also be required. Prolonged periods of walking and standing are required, as well as the ability to lift, push, or pull objects, greater than 50 pounds.

This is a mandatory drug testing position. This position has a mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination requirement and is therefore subject to annual seasonal influenza vaccinations. Applicants tentatively selected for appointment to this position will be required to sign a statement (Condition of Employment) consenting to seasonal influenza vaccinations.

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: Licensed as a Registered Nurse in the state of Maryland. A compact nursing license will not be accepted. Certified in basic cardiac life support. Incumbent applies a wide range of professional nursing theories, principles, and procedures in providing care to hematology and/or oncology patients Plans, provides, oversees, administers, and documents professional patient care, in accordance with nursing standards of practice and established policies/procedures.

Work Environment: Incumbent involves everyday exposure to infections, and/or other harmful chemotherapy and radiation agents, hazardous materials, etc. Specific safety and infection control measures may be required; including protective clothing, such as gowns, gloves, masks, hats, shoe covers, and goggles. Exposure to radiation agents is possible, but uncommon; however, exposure to cytotoxic agents is very common and may be an everyday exposure. May be required to work on any day or shift; including PMs, nights, weekends, holidays, or on an "on call" basis, necessary to meet mission requirements.

Background: U.S. Citizenship required; eligibility to obtain and hold a Secret Security Clearance.

Employment with HJF is contingent upon successful completion of a background check, which may include, but is not limited to, contacting your professional references, verification of previous employment, addresses, education, and credentials, a criminal background check, drug screening, and a department of motor vehicle (DMV) check.  

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.