We Are RWJBH Nurses: Meet Oncology Nurse Arlene Cruz

Oncology nurse Arlene Cruz

Oncology nurse Arlene Cruz believes that everyone should have a compassionate advocate serving in their corner when they need it most. At Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – CINJ, NJ’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Care Center, together with RWJBarnabas Health, Arlene has the privilege of getting to know her patients well and experiencing the special relationships that are at the core of oncology nursing.

“Empathy is the most important skill to cultivate as an oncology nurse,” says Arlene, emphasizing how resilience is so essential to nursing practice. “In oncology nursing, as in all areas of nursing, practicing self-care and prioritizing mental health is key. You need fortitude of mind and body to give gentle care to patients.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nurses at Rutgers Cancer Institute created safe spaces to help process grief, frustrations, and anxieties without judgement. “We still have these safe spaces to help support each other,” Arlene says. “I take pride in being part of the caring clinical team at Rutgers Cancer Institute and have been inspired to continue my education to become a nurse practitioner.”

A nursing career affords flexibility, professional growth and unlimited opportunities. Learn more about our nursing team.

Join our team! Search nursing jobs at RWJBarnabas Health.