Sylvester Nurse Next President of the Oncology Nursing Society
Jessica MacIntyre plans to use her role to support early-career oncology nurses and nurse practitioners.
For the past 20 years, Jessica MacIntyre has significantly impacted cancer care at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, and in the community.
In April 2024, she will become the next president of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), providing the opportunity to continue to transform cancer care.
“I am honored to be the next president of ONS and look forward to contributing to this great organization that has supported me through the early stages of my career and beyond,” said MacIntyre, D.N.P., ARNP, NP-C, AOCNP, and executive director for Sylvester’s clinical operations.
Empowering Oncology Nurses
The ONS represents 100,000 nurses, and its 35,000 members include nurses, nursing students, nurse practitioners, scientists and educators. They work together to advance their learning and careers, understand and contribute to oncology science and best practices, and advocate for improvements in oncology care.
MacIntyre says she has developed leadership skills through the ONS, contributed to multiple publications and educational modules, learned how to use her voice through advocacy and supported advanced practice initiatives. In her new role, she plans to focus her support on oncology nurses and nurse practitioners, particularly those in the early stages of their careers, to help them prepare to care for the next generation of oncology patients.
“By continuing to promote mentorship, professional development and advancing education, we can create an environment where every oncology nurse and nurse practitioner, regardless of experience, feels empowered, valued, and equipped to deliver exceptional care in this challenging healthcare landscape,” said MacIntyre.
A Passion for Nursing
MacIntyre became interested in cancer care when she was in high school. Her grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She loved her grandmother’s intimate connection with her nurses and how they treated her compassionately toward the end of her life.
“The relationship oncology nurses develop with patients and their families is unique,” said MacIntyre. “We work with patients from prevention to cancer survivorship, becoming their advocates and helping them access care and resources. We use our knowledge in the latest research, technology and treatment options to ensure optimal care.”
MacIntyre graduated from nursing school in 2000 and fulfilled her dream of working at Sylvester two years later. She quickly became the first nurse navigator for Sylvester’s pancreatic/gastrointestinal group, guiding patients through their complex care.
After serving in multiple roles in nursing, she wanted to do more. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice, the highest degree in nursing.
For the last seven years, she has worked in a dual role as a practicing clinician and administrator. She oversees several clinical programs, including oncology social work, cancer support services, cancer survivorship, cancer prevention, and the phase I research clinic.
Other programs include the Patient and Family Advisory Council, which strengthens collaboration between patients and the healthcare team, and the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship program, the only accredited fellowship program with distinction in Florida.
While MacIntyre admits that cancer care can be challenging, she can’t imagine working in any other profession.
“At Sylvester, we don’t just treat the disease; we treat the person,” she said. “I love that I have an opportunity to help cancer patients every day.”
Attracting Top Nurses to Sylvester
Sylvester has never had a nurse serve as ONS president. MacIntyre hopes her role will help bring more visibility to Sylvester, the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida.
“I am proud to represent Sylvester in the ONS,” said MacIntyre. “It is a premier research center and a great place to build a nursing career. It also provides many opportunities for career development.”