Shelby Robin, a pediatric nurse at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and former sarcoma patient, was recently granted the 2015 Brown Foundation Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing. The award, which was once called the Ethel Fleming Arceneaux Outstanding Nurse-Oncologist Award, is the highest recognition given by the foundation to nurses.
Shelby Robin was chosen from almost 3,000 nurses working at MD Anderson treating cancer patients to receive the award, which was created by the Brown Foundation in 1982. The recipients of the award are selected by a committee of MD Anderson’s clinical faculty, patient care administration and nursing staff who analyzes the nominations made either by peers or patients.
Robin, who serves as pediatric nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Services at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, was the top candidate from the final three candidates for the award and will be granted a $15,000 cash prize, a crystal plaque and a commemorative pin. The award was officially granted the award at a ceremony in the Onstead Auditorium at MD Anderson’s George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building.
“I’m blown away at winning this award,” commented Robin, according to a press release from the center. “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.”
The nurse also explained how she knew she had to become a pediatric oncology nurse and help others experiencing the same difficulties she has been through. “I had Ewing’s sarcoma, and I was actually treated on this same floor where I work now,” she said. “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 entered MD Anderson for the first time when she was 12 years old as a sarcoma patient and returned in 2010, when she was already a professional student nurse extern in the Pediatric Inpatient Unit. “Kids getting cancer is a really maddening, unfair thing. Being able to help those kids is what brings me back every day. I want to learn more and do more for these families,” added the nurse.