Meg Helsley

Innovation and teamwork are two words Meg is very familiar with. She understands the impact they have on her team’s performance and the care delivered to her patients. Meg has not only impacted her peers, but her patients’ lives immensely. She has built up trust and rapport with frontline nursing staff members, advanced practice providers, physicians and clinic leadership to help facilitate the new model of care delivery that promotes patient safety and satisfaction. She is a great role model for the one around her and more than deserving of this award.


This nominee displays integrity in her work and interactions with staff and patients. In her office, you can find art stating “Always Assume Positive Intent.” She exemplifies this quote in all interactions. During many intense meetings, the nominee remains calm and speaks with a warm and respectful tone. The nominee is extremely perceptive and consistently brings each meeting participant back to the focus of the agenda topics. She has a keen gift of hearing every voice and tying in all concerns.


This nominee continually looks to how her work and the work of any group she participates in can advance the nursing profession. She holds certification as an Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, co-chairs the DCI Well-Being Committee, presents at various courses and events within Duke University Health System and helps to support the advancement of nurses working on their clinical ladder progression. She promotes staff nurses obtaining their certification by providing resources for them to study for certification exams. She holds herself and her work to a high standard and delivers. What she says she will do, she does, and with a perfectionist touch. She also helps advance the nursing profession by focusing on the well-being of all staff. As part of her work on the DCI Well-Being Committee, she seeks to understand the challenges frontline staff have, and looks to collaborate on ways she can help care for her colleagues who are working in a high demand field, especially during the challenges of COVID.


This nominee worked closely with the NM of the clinic to help implement a primary nursing model for the breast medical oncology patients. This model of care promotes patient safety and satisfaction by pairing the patient with the same clinic nurse, medical assistant and APP/physician at each visit. Using this model of care, the nurse is able to recognize changes in the patient’s baseline and track symptoms over the patient’s cancer treatments. The continuity of care is also continued when patients call in or send a message via MyChart, as the primary team manages these communications. The nominee helped facilitate this new model by working with the group to delineate expectations of each role, and created an easy-to-read chart that can be referenced. This chart has been so helpful that other clinics in the building are adopting it to practice. All of these interventions directly impact the care patients are receiving. It is now timely and patient-centered.


The nominee collaborated with members of the healthcare team such as coordinators, Maestro, PRMO, frontline nursing staff, physicians, and advanced practice providers to implement various initiatives. Most notably, the nominee pioneered the implementation of the breast questionnaire into an electronic format, which is now visible in Maestro. Prior to this implementation, a patient’s appointment could be delayed for up to 30-45 minutes due to the complexity of completing the form. After remaining steadfast to this project for three years, this form is now accessible to the patient in MyChart prior to the patient’s appointment. The electronic version now saves ample amount of time for all members of the team. Most importantly it alleviates stress for the patient to remember to bring numerous documents for such an emotional appointment.


Honoring the humanity in all, this nominee embodies this guiding principle. After a colleague suffered significant injuries from an accident, the nominee coordinated a meal delivery service. The nominee facilitated communication and donations with various team members to assure meals were delivered weekly to the colleague and the family. Additionally, this nominee provided a robust care package to assure daily needs of the colleague were taken care of while healing from the injuries. After the colleague’s return to the office, the nominee was always mindful of the person’s well-being, leaving encouraging notes, cards and stating heartfelt words to ease the transition and healing.


This nominee has directly impact the well-being and care of patients, their loved ones and staff; a true embodiment every day of the Duke core mission of caring for our patients, their loved ones and each other.

Meg Helsley

Meg Helsley


Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Duke Oncology Services
Duke University Hospital


Edward & Florence O’Keefe Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing Practice
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Congratulations to Duke University Hospital’s 2021 Friends of Nursing Excellence Award Winners
Duke Cancer Institute logo
Congratulations to Our 2021 Award-Winning Oncology Nurses!
Duke Center for advanced Practice
The Center for Advance Practice congratulates all Friends of Nursing Winners and Nominees!



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021