Shelby Robin, RN, pediatric nurse and former sarcoma patient at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, was presented with the 2015 Brown Foundation Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing in a June 11 ceremony.
Robin, who works in pediatric intensive care services at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, heard the news May 28 when the selection committee, co-workers and friends surprised her with a large bouquet of flowers, according to a news release.
“I’m blown away at winning this award,” Robin said in the release. “MD Anderson has the best nurses out there. The quality of nurses I’ve worked with and learned from is a testament to that. Many mentors, preceptors and clinical coaches have guided me, so I think this is an award for everyone.”
A selection committee of MD Anderson’s clinical faculty, patient care administration and nursing staff reviewed peer and patient nominations before narrowing the selection to three finalists. Formerly known as the Ethel Fleming Arceneaux Outstanding Nurse-Oncologist Award, the award is MD Anderson’s highest honor for its nearly 3,000 nurses. The Brown Foundation, Inc., established the award in 1982.
MD Anderson President Ron DePinho, MD, served as master of ceremonies at the June presentation in the Onstead Auditorium at MD Anderson’s George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building. Robin received $15,000, a crystal plaque and a commemorative pin.
History as a patient
Robin first came to MD Anderson as a patient when she was 12.
“I had Ewing’s sarcoma, and I was actually treated on this same floor where I work now,” she said in the release. “The nurses held my hand, made me feel normal, talked me through everything and helped me to not be afraid. To me, there’s no higher honor than to become one of those people for the children at MD Anderson.”
Robin returned to MD Anderson in 2010 as a professional student nurse extern in the pediatric inpatient unit. She advanced to clinical nurse and charge nurse in the same unit, eventually moving to pediatric intensive care in May.
“Kids getting cancer is a really maddening, unfair thing,” Robin said in the release. “Being able to help those kids is what brings me back every day. I want to learn more and do more for these families.”