A note from Nancy Nibbe, ANP…
I fell in love with Alaska in the early 80’s before the plane even landed. If the views of mountains and glaciers out the window didn’t do it, the fireweed lining the runway finished the job! I finally moved here in 1989 and promptly started nursing school at UAA, graduating in 1993 with my BSN (I already had a humanities degree from the University of Pittsburgh- My father was thrilled I would finally have a real job!). Right out of the chute, I was drawn to oncology and worked at both Providence and Alaska Regional Hospital in their medical oncology units. I was also one of Alaska Regional Hospital’s first home health nurses. Taking care of patients in their homes was a crash course in really looking at things from a different perspective that I draw on to this very day.
I graduated with my master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner in 1999, also from UAA. After graduation I had the good fortune to be hired by Dr. Dale Webb at Katmai Oncology. At the time, I was the first nurse practitioner practicing in oncology in Anchorage. I was soon joined by others and we trail blazed the role. In May 2005, I followed my soon-to-be husband to Cleveland, Ohio, where he pursued his PhD. For the next 4 years I worked at the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Western University with the outpatient bone marrow transplant team. I primarily worked with patients who had hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma, treating and supporting them through their initial therapies and in long-term follow-up. One oncologist I worked with also followed a small group of breast cancer survivors and I found a new love. In 2006, I became certified as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP).
Finally the day came in July 2009 when we would return home to the Great Land! What a drive it was. I had a job waiting for me with Dr. Marilyn Sandford at Alaska Breast Care and Surgery. The treatment of breast cancer is probably one of the most dynamic areas in oncology and things change quickly. This is an exciting time to be involved in caring for patients with breast cancer, but at the same time it can make understanding your breast cancer more difficult and treatment decisions more complicated. I try to help every patient leave this office with the information and tools they need to make those decisions.nancy nibbe's certifications