Rita Musanti

Rita Musanti, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCNP

Assistant Professor
RBHS Endowed Chair of Oncology Nursing
Division of Nursing Science

rita.musanti@rutgers.edu

View Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Rita Musanti is a respected expert in oncology nursing, with an extensive background in oncology research focused on enhancing care and quality of life for cancer survivors.  She draws on this experience and expertise as an Assistant Professor, and as the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Endowed Professor of Oncology, at the Rutgers University School of Nursing where she has been a faculty member since 2013.

Some of Dr. Musanti’s research is thus aimed at developing programs and support systems that increase the likelihood the survivors will adopt a physically active lifestyle. This research includes using a combination of new technology, such as activity monitors, and the support of a ‘fitness’ team to assist the survivor in establishing a physically active lifestyle.  The current exercise program evolved over the years from her initial cancer exercise programing, The Wellness Workout,  which has been adopted and adapted for use by regional community cancer support groups.

In response to current trends in cancer lifestyle research,  Dr. Musanti is investigating the genetic link between cancer treatment  and physical symptoms such as fatigue, a symptom which decreases with proper physical activity. Working with researchers from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (RCINJ) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), Dr. Musanti hopes to extend what we know about the gene changes that associated with fatigue. In doing so, we may not only identify those patients at risk of developing debilitating fatigue but we may uncover how physical activity works to reduce this symptom.

A nationally certified adult nurse practitioner (APN), Dr. Musanti has worked for many years providing direct care to oncology patients as an oncology research nurse and APN. She maintains a clinical focus in cancer prevention services at  the Rutgers Community Health Center and is a member of CINJ’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program.

Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing CoverAn active member of the Oncology Nursing Society, Dr. Musanti was a key contributor to a web-based continuing education course for oncology nurses that teaches nurses about exercise in cancer patients so that they can lead the discussion with their patients about the benefits and precautions of exercising when you have been diagnosed with cancer. In addition, as guest editor for the Exercise and Cancer supplement to the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing Dr. Musanti facilitated the dissemination of key information about physical activity in cancer care to practicing clinicians.

Dr. Musanti is certified by the  American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and a ACSM/ACS Certified  Cancer Exercise Trainer.

Dr. Musanti earned her BS degree in biology from Glassboro State College, a Nursing Diploma from Saint Joseph’s School of Nursing, her MSN Seton Hall University, and her PhD in Nursing at Rutgers.

 

Ongoing Research:

 

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