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DNP Graduate has Big plans for Big Ten


Ryan Gennette, DNP ’23, felt called to become a nurse after witnessing a family member battle cancer. The compassion he witnessed from nurses caring for his grandmother opened a career path he had not previously considered. Now Gennette plans to make an impact on MSU Nursing by developing an Advanced Oncology Certification program.

Gennette originally attended college to study Environmental Health Science, which offered little career pathways of interest to Gennette. While he explored career options, his grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer after failed treatment. Nurses began home care for Gennette’s grandmother.

“They knew how much pain she was in. The compassion, the love for their patients, it’s a calling,” said Gennette. “I could see it in their eyes and in their heart.”

Gennette transitioned quickly to nursing, receiving his BSN from Cleveland State University in 2013 and his MSN from Chamberlain University in 2017. He received board certification in nurse practitioning through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Gennette began to specialize in oncology following the inspiration of his grandmother’s cancer battle. He now treats oncology patients at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing.

Attending MSU for his DNP was an easy choice having worked at Karmanos, formerly the MSU Breslin Cancer Center. “I always wanted to go back for my doctorate,” said Gennette. “I figured that if I went back, I always wanted it to be at MSU.”

Gennette devoted his time during his DNP program to oncology specific endeavors. He developed a quality improvement project to ensure patients were appropriately prescribed olanzapine as part of their antinausea regimen during chemotherapy treatments.

“We did an observation period of six months, and after six months, the compliance rates showed that [the project] was successful. We had greater than 85% compliance for olanzapine prescribing.”

Gennette shared “Big” plans for his alma mater after graduation. He plans to create an oncology certificate program that prepares nurse practitioners for the Advanced Oncology Certification. Ideally, this certificate program would be three classes long, including additional clinic hours to expose students to hematology and oncology practice. No other school in the Big Ten Conference has such a program, and very few programs exist in the United States.

“With the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, it would be a great addition for us to help educate new hematology oncology nurse practitioners,” said Gennette.

“Having a master’s degree and being a DNP-educated nurse practitioner, I felt that I would be an appropriate lead for that education endeavor at MSU.”