Caroline Costello Named 2016 BMTCN® of the Year

PITTSBURGH, PA – Oct. 7 – The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) has chosen Caroline Costello, RN, MSN, MBA, CPON®, BMTCN®, as the 2016 Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse of the Year. Costello, of Westwood, MA, was selected for the award based on her contributions to blood and marrow transplant nursing care service, support, and promotion of blood and marrow transplant nursing certification. 

“I was thrilled when the certification was available...Completing the BMTCN® certification validated my practice as a BMT nurse and defined my practice," says Costello.

Caroline A. Costello was the first nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital to obtain BMTCN® certification. Costello strongly promotes certification around her institution. She created an annual review course for the BMTCN® exam called, “Advanced Concepts in the Care of Pediatric HSCT Patients.” Costello established an intake process for new patients and families upon admission.  She is dedicated to the patients and families and frequently evaluates her processes with medical leadership to facilitate changes. She also helped to develop the orientation process for new staff.

In addition to her contributions at work, Costello authored a chapter on Skin Changes During Treatment in Essentials of Pediatric Oncology Nursing. She has also authored study aids for APHON.

She has focused on educating nurses outside of Boston. She has presented BMT education to nurses around the country, and has hosted nurses from Egypt, Mexico, and Japan and provided them with education and shadowing experience in the stem cell transplant unit.

In 2014, Costello was a recipient of the Roberta Scofield Memorial Certification Award. She is also a Reiki Master, and is currently working on a study to assess Reiki’s effects on pain, nausea, and anxiety on pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.

Costello was honored at the ONCC Recognition Breakfast at the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Annual Conference in September.

The Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse of the Year is presented annually to an outstanding Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse. To win the award, nominees must have recommendations from two colleagues in the nursing profession; prepare an essay describing how (s)he has promoted certification; summarize services offered that enhance blood and marrow transplant care and nursing service; and demonstrate accomplishments in at least one area of oncology nursing practice – clinical practice, education, or research.

Costello is one of more than 37,000 nurses certified as an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®), Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON®), Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN®), Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP®), Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS®), Certified Breast Care Nurse (CBCN®), Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON®), or Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse (BMTCN®).


The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in patient care and professional practice by validating specialized knowledge in oncology nursing and related specialties. ONCC administered the first Oncology Certified Nurse examination in 1986.

Today, ONCC offers basic and advanced certification in adult oncology nursing, basic certification in pediatric oncology/hematology nursing, and specialty certification in breast care nursing and blood and marrow transplant nursing.

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