McCorkle Is the First Nurse to Receive Yale Cancer Center Lifetime Achievement Award

January 19, 2018 by Chris Pirschel ONS Staff Writer/Producer

ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAAN, was awarded the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award ( for her national and international contributions to oncology, specifically in the areas of palliative care, psychosocial care, and quality of life research. McCorkle is the first nurse to receive this honor from the Yale Cancer Center.

“My forty-five years in oncology as an advance practice nurse have been devoted to helping patients recognize, report, monitor, and intervene with their symptoms so they can remain as functional as possible,” McCorkle said. “I am truly humbled to receive this award and thank the team at Yale for one of the most important honors that I have ever received.”

McCorkle joined the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1998 and served as chair of the doctor of nursing science program from 1998–2004. She is currently the director of psychosocial oncology. Prior to her time at Yale, McCorkle worked at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. In 1990, McCorkle was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

As a long-standing ONS member, McCorkle has served on many committees and projects. She was part of the Advanced Practice Nursing Special Interest Group, contributed to several grant reviews for the ONS Foundation, and published extensively in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing ( and the Oncology Nursing Forum ( In 2013, McCorkle was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from ONS. In 2012, she was also named a Friend of the Foundation as a distinguished nurse researcher through the ONS Foundation.

McCorkle’s literary contributions to oncology are vast. She is a prolific researcher and author, publishing extensively in journals including the Psycho-Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, and Journal of Cancer Survivorship, among many others. She is also the author of several books, including Pocket Companion for Cancer Nursing and Safe Passage: A Global Spiritual Sourcebook for Care at the End of Life.

As the recipient of numerous awards, McCorkle’s work in oncology has been recognized far and wide within the healthcare community. With a career that spans more than 45 years in research, clinical, and educational work, McCorkle has progressed patient-centered care and elevated nursing’s role within cancer research and care.   

Copyright © 2018 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact for quantity reprints.