Christopher Okamoto, B.S., B.S.N., R.N., worked two and a half years as a pharmacy technician when, he said, “I realized I wanted more patient interaction.”
Although he had already earned his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, Riverside, he enrolled in a second degree B.S.N. program at National University in La Jolla, California. “I knew there were many career options in the nursing field, and I could explore for a while.”
Okamoto began that exploration when he was offered a position in nursing informatics at City of Hope.
“I found City of Hope at a nursing job fair and applied to the new nurse residency program, but it was already full. They gave me a position working with the systems nurses use in all their charting and patient management while I waited for the next residency to begin.”
After the residency, Okamoto quickly found his niche working with geriatric cancer patients.
Today, Okamoto is a nurse research and education specialist with City of Hope’s Cancer and Aging Research Program. In addition to consulting with and training nurses, Okamoto is in charge of a multiyear grant program focusing on geriatric oncology and is working on an advanced practice nursing degree.
With the many opportunities he’s had already, Okamoto said he feels lucky to have landed at City of Hope, where “I couldn’t have asked for a better team. My colleagues have been so supportive and interested in what I want to accomplish.”
And working with patients? “It’s better than I thought it would be. It’s what keeps me here.”
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