Caryn Vadseth, BSN, RN, OCN
Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111
Nurse Navigator, Thoracic Oncology and Unknown Primaries
As a young girl growing up, I aspired to follow in my mother’s footsteps to become a nurse. During high school I became intrigued with science and how our bodies work and my interest shifted from wanting to help people with cancer to wanting to find the cure for cancer. Thus I pursued a dual degree in Biology and Chemistry at Immaculata College (now University.) After graduating, I worked for six years in a world-renowned biochemistry lab studying oxidative stress. Although life in the lab was exciting and stimulating, the desire to follow my childhood dream to become a nurse always seemed to present itself. Thus, I returned to school to complete a one-year intensive BSN nursing program at Thomas Jefferson University. I started my nursing career at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on a medical-surgical/oncology floor. I found great pleasure in caring for cancer patients, thus I took a position as an infusion nurse at a local oncology office. In 2007, I joined Fox Chase Cancer Center as a clinical research coordinator in the clinical trials office. This opportunity allowed me to merge my love for science and oncology nursing. While working in the clinical trials office, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and expertise in lung cancer and clinical trials. I had a brief departure from Fox Chase to try home care nursing, however I returned “home” to Fox Chase and my oncology patients as a Phase I clinical research coordinator. In April 2011, I was afforded the opportunity to break new ground by becoming Fox Chase’s Thoracic Nurse Navigator. In this role, I advocate for lung and thymus cancer patients while offering them education and support during their oncology care journey. I work closely with all members of our multidisciplinary team to ensure each patient’s needs are met. I am inspired by my patients’ resilience and courage and I am honored by their willingness to welcome me as a member of the team.