By Eva Gallagher, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CPHQ, CMPP

As the ONS Board of Directors held its first meeting with some of its newest members after the 43rd Annual ONS Congress in May, transitions were top of mind.

The Board successfully transitioned its leadership as new president, Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, and three new directors-at-large (Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, Anne Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, and Susan Bruce, MSN, RN, OCN®, AOCNS®) came on board. They also elected a new treasurer from among their ranks, Eva Gallagher, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CPHQ, CMPP, then dove into addressing a priority issue in nursing: its future.

To facilitate that discussion, Fennimore introduced the concept of a “mega issue” as a new agenda feature, allowing the Board to have a lengthier discussion following a structured process. At this meeting, the mega issue was leadership development.

Leadership Development and Succession Planning

Leadership development for nurses is a profession-wide priority and the Board discussed the broad implications for increasing nurses’ influence as well as preparing the next generation of leaders for ONS boards. The concept of succession planning is one way to address this, and the Board identified some barriers they’ve observed and heard from the membership:

  • Not enough new leaders are getting involved at the chapter and national level.
  • Now that the Board is elected from within under the new bylaws, it may affect succession with term limits (e.g., a treasurer or secretary may be in the position for only one year).

To help address those challenges, the Board will continue to partner closely with the Leadership Development Committee and provide input into the election slate and leadership development activities.

The future of oncology nursing will continue to be on the Board’s agenda at the July meeting, where Board members will bring more ideas to the table. They plan to discuss concepts such as the model of ONS’s previous leadership development initiatives as well as increasing awareness of what general nursing groups are offering to develop future leaders.

Other topics addressed during the meeting included a review of 2018 ONS financials, goal setting for the 2018–2019 Board, assessment of Board activities at Congress, and preparation of recommendations for next year’s conference. For a full overview of the meeting, view the minutes on your ONS profile.