A Tribute to a Special Nurse in Hawaii:
Francisco A. Conde, PhD, AOCNP, APRN-Rx, FAAN

By Lilia Ponce Manangan, MPH, BSN, RN

Birthplace: Manila, Philippines; Mother from Calamba, Laguna and Father from Butuan City; Moved to Los Angeles when he was 10 years old at 6th grade.

College: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA): Bachelor in Science of Nursing (1992), Masters in Science of Nursing, Oncology Specialty (1996), and PhD in Nursing (2003).

Current Employment: Oncology-Advance Practice Registered Nurse, Straub Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI
Affiliate Graduate Faculty, University of Hawaii (UH) School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, Honolulu, HI

Family: Francisco (Cisco) is married with two daughters: his 18-year-old attends Creighton University and his 11-year-old is a 6th grader at Punahou. His wife, Eula, is a palliative care APRN

Professional Experience: Dr. Conde is a well-accomplished Advance Oncology Clinical Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP) as well as an instructor, lecturer, researcher, and author of various articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He also authored book chapters and is a co-editor of the “Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing”. In addition, he is active in various professional organizations and committees. He has received numerous honors and awards, is a member of the honor society of nursing Sigma Theta Tau, and was inducted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) in 2012. He currently serves as the Chair of the Ethics Committee of PNA-Hawaii and is volunteer lecturer for the RN Review Class of Hawaii Nursing Advocates & Mentors Inc.

How did you become a nurse? When I was only two years old, my father took me on a plane ride along with 6 of his students that he was teaching to become pilots. My dad was an Air Force pilot at Mactan Air Force Base. But it was an ill-fated day, the plane crashed in the ocean shortly after take-off. One of the student pilots, Lieutenant Rodolfo Ricafort, pulled me out and saved me. Lieutenant Ricafort and I were the only two who survived. It took 3 days for the rescue team to find the bodies of my father and 5 of his student pilots.

This tragic accident gave me a feeling that God saved me for a reason. Growing up, it became clear that He has called me to a life to service. I thought of nursing as a good platform to serve and to make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families every day. I have been a nurse for nearly 30 years now.
While in the undergraduate program at UCLA, I obtained a nursing scholarship from the US Navy. After graduation, I served as an active-duty Nurse Corps Officer in the US Navy. Afterwards, I worked as a clinical research nurse and Oncology Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) at the Veterans Administration Healthcare System in Los Angeles. I moved to Hawaii in 2005 to work as an assistant professor at the UH School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene.
What motivated you to pursue your advance nursing degrees such as your PhD? After mastering all the nursing skills as a staff nurse, I wanted more skills and knowledge in nursing especially in oncology. I wanted to conduct research to help improve the quality of life of patients with cancer and their families.
Briefly describe a typical day at work: My typical workday involves seeing patients in a busy outpatient hematology-oncology clinic. These include consultations of newly diagnosed cancer patients, follow-up of those who are on active cancer treatment or those who have completed treatment, symptom-based visits, make referrals (as appropriate), and provide patient and family education.
How did you overcome your challenges along the way? Advice to young aspiring male nurses:
Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We will face many challenges and make mistakes, and overcoming those challenges and mistakes will surely make us a better person. So, my advice to young aspiring male nurses who are faced with challenges are:
1) ask for help,
2) develop and implement a plan,
3) be open-minded,
4) have patience and perseverance,
5) be a life-long learner, and
6) learn from your mistakes.