Cancer Care of Western North Carolina

Tena Messer, MSN, ANP-C, AOCN

In 1990, Tena graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College as a registered nurse. Following her experience with the patients on the urology/oncology unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, she decided to specialize in oncology. During her employment at St. Joseph’s Tena fulfilled the role of charge nurse, completed certification in chemotherapy administration, and became an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society. In 1992, Tena began working at Cancer Care of WNC, PA. She coordinated physician schedules, administered chemotherapy, provided patient and staff education, and developed documentation standards. During this time, she trained staff and developed the process for chemotherapy preparation and delivery using ONS guidelines. In 1993, Tena advanced to clinical coordinator. During this time, she received multiple awards/recognitions, and scholarships and completed her BSN through Western Carolina University. She resigned this position in December 2000, but remained an employee of CCWNC, assisting physicians in the care of patients by providing physical exams and pre-chemotherapy assessments. She enrolled in the nurse practitioner program at Duke University in August 1999 and received a MSN degree and an ANP certificate with honors. In 2002, Tena accepted a nurse practitioner position at CCWNC and provided care for adult oncology/hematology patients, developed standards of practice guidelines for NP/PAs for the company, and became the NP/PA coordinator. In July 2011, CCWNC’s office space was destroyed by fire. Following this unfortunate event, Tena led the practice through establishing an emergent location and assisted the company through this difficult transition. She accepted the position of clinical operations director and collaborated with Mission Hospitals to design and establish a facility for the practice at the SECU Cancer Center. Currently, Tena continues in the position as clinical operations director for CCWNC. On behalf of CCWNC, she works collaboratively with Mission Hospitals to continually develop quality, evidence-based oncology care in the WNC region. In 2013, with the support of the CCWNC staff and physicians, Tena led the practice to QOPI (Quality Oncology Practice Initiative) recertification, assisted the physicians through successful meaningful use attestation, and opened CCWNC’s sixth satellite clinic in WNC. Tena continues to practice as a nurse practitioner, seeing patients in the Sylva clinic and providing backup coverage for the CCWNC inpatient service at Mission Hospitals and the outpatient infusion service at the SECU Cancer Center. Her goal and passion is quality oncology care for the patients of WNC and support for the staff and physicians that provide this care.