Oncology nurse Erikka Johnson (right) receives the prestigious de Souza Nurse Designation, February 4, 2016. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Nurse Obtains Prestigious Designation

A Windsor Regional Hospital oncology nurse is the first in the city to obtain the prestigious de Souza Nurse Designation.

Erikka Johnson is one of 20 nurses in all of Ontario to complete the extensive course work and a clinical fellowship to be designated.

“Cancer affects the entire family and not just the patient. You need to be capable, confident and empathetic to treat the patient and support their family,” says Johnson. “The de Souza Institute has given me an opportunity to be a better nurse, especially when dealing with end of life care. I am very proud to apply this advanced knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life for my patients and their families.”

Johnson took her clinical fellowship in the hospice setting which she says helps her treat patients in the acute care setting of the cancer centre.

“Before this happened I really knew about their journey here but I didn’t really know from experience what was going to happen to them when they left our setting. So that has allowed me to fill in those gaps,” says Johnson.

The de Souza Institute is a learning centre dedicated to cancer care excellence and provides educational support and professional development.

Windsor Regional Hospital says the demand for nurses with specialized skills in cancer care continues to grow because the the number of cancer patients in increasing. According to the Canadian Cancer Society two in five Canadians will develop cancer within their lifetime.