Nurse of the Week: Ethel Law, Nurse Practitioner for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Nurse of the Week: Ethel Law, Nurse Practitioner for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

As an advanced practice nurse, Ethel Law knew she wanted to pursue nursing research and care for oncology patients. She went to work as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner in the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in 1991 to begin her career working with neuro-oncology and neurosurgery patients directly after graduating from nursing school. In addition to the opportunity to build a strong foundation of nursing skills at MSK, Law felt that she had a lot of to offer to patients with neurologic problems.

In working with neuro-oncology and neurosurgery patients, Law began fulfilling the aspirations that had drawn her to nursing. Many neurologic patients have motor or sensory deficits, and Law helped them overcome those challenges to give her patient’s the best quality of life possible during and after treatment.

Law continued her work with neuro-oncology patients in 1999 when she moved to ambulatory care, working with the Endocrinology Service and later the Department of Radiation Oncology. For ten years Law worked as a Nurse Practitioner with gastrointestinal cancer patients who were receiving radiation therapy before going to work in the Gastric and Mixed Tumor Service, a surgical oncology service where she still remains today.

Her early career experience with neuro-oncology patients led Law to pursue nursing research throughout her career. She became a member of MSK’s Ambulatory Nursing Research Council as well as the ambulatory care representative for the institution’s first Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Council. In 2004, Law collaborated on an evidence-based practice project resulting in a patient-education book for families of Memorial Sloan Kettering patients called A Guide for Caregivers. In 2009, Law collaborated on another evidence-based practice project with the Department of Radiation Oncology, producing guidelines for managing skin reactions in patients receiving radiation.

Later work with women receiving pelvic radiation led Law to undertake a research study on improving patient quality of life. Pursuing research under the Nursing Fellowship Program at MSK, Law’s study focused on 115 women who had been treated for gynecologic or colorectal cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering, hoping to shed light on how to improve long-term quality of life for female oncology patients.

DailyNurse is happy to feature Ethel Law as our Nurse of the Week as she continues her clinical work and commitment to conducting nursing research. Through hands-on patient experience, she will continue to learn about and understand clinical needs of patients, letting her clinical work serve as inspiration for her next research project. Caring for and interacting with patients has always been her goal and passion, and Law hopes to continue doing the work she loves.

Ethel Law is just one of many inspiring and heartwarming professionals in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. After a profile of people who have been touched by MSK’s Department of Pediatrics on Humans of New York , Memorial Sloan Kettering continued to share stories of their wider community, the People of MSK.