Cedars-Sinai Oncology Nurse Receives Top Honor from UCLA School of Nursing

Sandra Rome, RN, MN, AOCN, named ‘Nursing Champion’ for efforts to redefine, expand role of nurses


Los Angeles - May 11, 2012 – Sandra Rome, RN, MN, AOCN, a clinical nurse specialist in hematology and oncology at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UCLA School of Nursing.

She is among seven nurses recognized for their inspiring efforts to transform the nursing profession and to raise public awareness of the crucial role that nurses play in the nation’s healthcare system.

Rome has been with Cedars-Sinai since 1991, when she was hired to train nurses to meet the specialized needs of cancer patients. In her current role, she oversees about 100 nurses as a clinical nurse specialist in hematology and oncology on the Medical Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

“For her entire tenure at Cedars-Sinai, Sandra has been a stellar clinician, teacher, mentor and contributor to both the art and science of nursing,” said Bernice Coleman, PhD, ACNP, lead heart transplant nurse practitioner who nominated Rome for the honor, presented on May 9. “She exemplifies excellence, making her an invaluable member of the nursing team at Cedars-Sinai as well as an outstanding representative of her alma mater.”

Rome, who hails from Portland, Ore., was drawn to working with cancer patients from the moment she earned her bachelor’s degree.

“I was so in awe of cancer nurses, as they were so knowledgeable about diseases, treatment and symptom management – the whole of the patient,” she said. “They were so uplifting and kind with their patients. Working with cancer patients is a uniquely rewarding experience.

Rome attended UCLA Nursing School on a full scholarship and earned her bachelor’s in nursing in 1984. She returned to the school and completed graduate studies in 1988 to become a clinical oncology nurse specialist.

In 1991, she was recruited to Cedars-Sinai to help develop the Bone Marrow Transplant program, where she has trained nurses and established policies, protocols and rounding practices to provide the best possible care for cancer patients.

She serves on the UCLA School of Nursing faculty as an assistant clinical professor and is recognized nationally her oncology expertise.

Rome is a member of the International Myeloma Foundation Nursing Leadership Board, Sigma Theta Tau and the Oncology Nursing Society. She has published multiple articles and book chapters in nationally recognized journal and texts, including Multiple Myeloma and Lewis’s Medical Surgical Nursing.

The other, diverse 2012 honorees include: the former head of the International Council of Nurses, an educator now working in South Australia; a former editor of a nursing journal; a nursing student who is challenging stereotypes and inequalities that affect all nurses, an expert in mental health nursing; and a highly respected healthcare foundation.

This is the second top honor from UCLA for Cedars-Sinai nurses, as the nursing school presented its 2011 Nurse 21 Leadership Award to Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer. She also was the awards program keynote speaker.