Karmanos nurse wins MDONS Outstanding Oncology Nurse of the Year Award

'Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.'

Agnes Pilecki, BSN, RN, a nurse on Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s bone marrow transplant unit, has been named the Metro Detroit Oncology Nursing Society’s (MDONS) Outstanding Oncology Nurse of the Year. She received the award on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

“As a recipient of this award, I feel responsible for upholding high standards as an oncology nurse and being a role model,” said Pilecki. “I enjoy every aspect of my job, from supporting my patients in the most challenging moments of their lives to mentoring new nurses starting their oncology journey. I also enjoy my involvement in practice improvement and my involvement in the local chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society.”

The Outstanding Oncology Nurse of the Year must be a member of the MDONS and meet specific criteria, such as possessing clinical skills, serving as a role model and mentor to colleagues, and being involved with workplace committees.

Nominated for the award by her colleague, Pilecki has been a registered nurse since 2017 and is passionate about oncology. Her nomination states that she provides Karmanos patients with quality care, takes time to understand her patients and their needs, and aids their families during difficult times. Pilecki engages in quality improvement activities and shares her knowledge with nursing students and newly hired employees within the workplace. She is also very involved with MDONS, serving as the chapter’s program co-chair.

“For a Karmanos nurse to be named the Outstanding Oncology Nurse of the Year is an accomplishment we are proud of,” said Kay Carolin, MSA, RN, chief nursing officer at Karmanos Cancer Hospital. “We’re lucky to have Agnes taking care of our patients. She and our entire nursing staff are dedicated to helping our patients heal during their cancer journey. The gratitude we hear from our patients is because of great nurses like Agnes. We appreciate everything she does for our patients and her mentorship to new nurses at Karmanos.”

Pilecki has worked at Karmanos for five years. She is obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing, focusing on becoming an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. She would like to continue working with oncology patients in outpatient clinics upon graduation.

“Nursing ­— my second career — brings me fulfillment and joy. As a future nurse practitioner, I hope to continue my journey in oncology to serve vulnerable patients to the best of my abilities,” added Pilecki.

She says this anonymous quote sums up what she has learned so far in her nursing career: 'Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.'

To learn more about career opportunities at Karmanos Cancer Institute, click here.