Heather Pierce, MSN-FNP
Heather graduated with her bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College in 2001.
She received a master of science in nursing – family nurse practitioner (MSN-FNP) from Bradley University in 2019 and is an oncology certified nurse (OCN).
When did you join Illinois CancerCare?
June 2008, RN / March 2020, APN
Hobbies / Interests:
I enjoy running and reading. Most of my spare time is spent at my kids extra-curricular activities and sporting events.
What medical change has impacted the field of cancer the most since you began practicing medicine?
I would say immunotherapy has changed the oncology field the most. It is amazing to see people receive drugs that can cure or stabilize their disease without causing severe side effects. In the end it is about enjoying life and living to the fullest and immunotherapy is making that possible!
Why did you choose your field?
I enjoy oncology and learn something new every day. I enjoy the patients and their loved ones I am privileged enough to meet and walk the journey beside them. I have met some extraordinary people and made some everlasting friendships. I feel I learn more from patients than they do from me at times. Working in oncology is not at all easy and is not for everyone. I personally could not imagine doing anything else. I tell people all the time, I love my job but I hate cancer.
Do you have any advice to give patients after they have been diagnosed with cancer?
You are stronger than you know and never stop believing in yourself. You can do or take on anything if you believe. I will always tell patients a positive attitude and strong support system will take you far. If you ask my kids I am notorious for leaving them inspiration quotes when they face challenges or are nervous about something. I do the same with patients. I will always inspire them to believe in themselves and what they can do.