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New Affiliation Opens Top Cancer Treatment Center to NAU Nursing Students

Students in the School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University (NAU) now have access to hands-on experience at a premier cancer treatment center in Goodyear, Ariz.

An affiliation agreement is opening the way for NAU undergraduate and graduate students to fulfill degree requirements and gain intensive clinical experience at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center.

“We now have the possibility to offer this to fantastic students who are interested in oncology,” said Debera Thomas, dean of the School of Nursing at NAU.

Thomas pointed to three specific opportunities for NAU students at the Goodyear facility. For senior nursing students, a capstone preceptorship at the cancer center could complete their coursework. Another possibility, Thomas said, is for nurse practitioner students to perform their clinical hours. Finally, a student in the new doctor of nursing practice degree program could conduct a required research project.

“This is a highly specialized place,” Thomas said. “We’re looking for a niche group of students who want a more intensive experience.”

“We are excited to provide this opportunity to the NAU nursing students and to expose them to our unique, integrated care model,” said Dee Emon, vice president of Patient Care Services at CTCA. “They will get a breadth of experience through interactions with our multidisciplinary team of experts including medical oncologists, nutritionists, naturopathic physicians, oncology nurses and mind-body therapists.”

Emon said the first NAU student is scheduled to start her internship at CTCA by the end of this month.

“As a CTCA board member and a Regent, I have the highest respect for both organizations and am excited to bring them together to provide the highest-quality of future clinicians for Arizona, said Ernest Calderón. I know first-hand the quality and caliber of the clinical team at CTCA and the education staff at Northern Arizona University (NAU). There is no doubt this partnership is going to be equally beneficial to both organizations.”

Through this partnership, Thomas also plans to visit the center to give presentations about nursing and higher education to staff.

About Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is a four-year, high-research residential campus with a total enrollment of more than 25,000 students. The main campus is in Flagstaff, with 36 satellite campuses located across the state and online classes available to anyone, anywhere. Research in genetics, earth sciences and environmental sustainability has drawn international recognition to the university, which is also highly regarded for its education, business and engineering programs. NAU also operates 2NAU, a joint admission program, with 17 community colleges.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America
CTCA is a growing network of regional destination hospitals specializing in complex and advance-stage cancer care. CTCA provides a comprehensive, fully integrated and individualized cancer treatment experience at hospitals located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, suburban Phoenix and Tulsa, with a fifth hospital opening in Atlanta in the summer of 2012. The Patient Empowered Care® model at CTCA places patients at the center of their care, encouraging and enabling patients and their families to take an active role in treatment decision-making. For more information about CTCA, visit

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to

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