Rachelle "Shell" Portner, RN, BSN, BA

Rachelle "Shell" Portner, RN, BSN, BA

Rachelle "Shell" Portner


Shell Portner RN is an Oncology Nurse Navigator, supporting cancer patients and their families since 2008, and serves our BASS Oncology patients as a personal guide and advocate throughout treatment and beyond.  

After graduating magna cum laude from UCLA School of Nursing, Shell started her career at the UCLA Medical Center specializing in Rheumatology and Immunology acute care and clinical trials research, as well as leading a team developing health education access for patients.  After moving to the Bay Area and spending time raising her young family, a cancer diagnosis and recovery lead Shell to refocus her nursing practice specialization to oncology, especially the navigation of patients during this highly stressful time.  

Combining personal experience with professional expertise, Shell brings depth and perspective to the unique needs of each patient, enabling her to provide expert and compassionate guidance throughout the patient’s experience.  Shell’s passion is providing holistic support to patients and their caregivers through individualized education to better understand diagnosis, identification of specific needs, connecting with resources, and assisting in planning next steps. “I want every patient to feel empowered with the understanding and clarity they desire to feel peace of mind throughout the entire cancer experience.”  

Shell’s previous experience in Oncology includes the development and facilitation of multiple health-system-wide programs in post-treatment recovery/cancer survivorship, cancer patient psychosocial distress screening and care planning, as well as having led the multi-disciplinary team to create the first National Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons-Commission on Cancer-Rectal Cancer Center of Excellence.  In addition, Shell has developed and teaches various classes focusing on patient education and support for the Cancer Support Community.

As a member of the Oncology Nursing Society’s Nurse Navigation Content Expert team, Shell is helping to guide the future of navigation for cancer patients, as well as keeping up to date on all that is new and useful for patients.  

Shell enjoys being outdoors in nature, participating in multiple sports on land and sea, and continuing to develop as a ceramic and multi-media artist.  Playing with family, friends, and lending time, energy and support to social justice and equity for all are some of the other ways Shell likes to spend time.


Rachelle "Shell" Portner, RN, BSN, BA