August 12, 2020—Exemplary oncology nurses stand behind all of cancer’s treatments, supporting patients through side effects, shouldering their burdens and concerns, and advocating for quality care. Each year with its series of awards, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes just a few of the outstanding oncology professionals who have dedicated their lives to patient care.

“Congratulations to our award winners who represent all that is best about our profession. What better time than this to be celebrating oncology nursing excellence as we entered 2020 celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Oncology Nursing Society and designation as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization,” said ONS Board President, Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®. “Little did we know how the world would come to recognize the impact of the nurse in health care delivery during the pandemic. As oncology nurses we witnessed firsthand the changes the pandemic created in cancer care delivery and the rapid need to provide for our patients in unique, innovative and sometimes uncomfortable ways.” 

Distinguished Awards honor career achievements and outstanding contributions to oncology care. Excellence Awards recognize oncology nursing achievements in five core specialties. Pearl Moore “Making a Difference” Awards, named after ONS’s first CEO and executive director, acknowledge oncology nurses who go above and beyond to engage with patients and their families. Employer Recognition Awards celebrate employers who show exemplary support for their oncology staff. The ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher fund, within the Oncology Nursing Foundation, supports the ONS Research Award, which recognizes new investigators who received their doctoral degrees within a year of nomination and contribute to building a scientific foundation for oncology nursing practice. Award recipients receive a personalized plaque, and travel reimbursement to attend the ONS Annual Congress. Most awards include a cash prize.

The recipients for 2020 are as follows:

ONS Distinguished Awards

  • Researcher Award: Gwen Wyatt, PhD, RN, FAAN               
  • Award for Consistent Contribution to Nursing Literature: Sandra Mitchell, PhD, CRNP
  • President’s Award: Carolyn D. Duronio, Esq.

ONS Excellence Awards

  • Excellence in Clinical Practice Award: Megha A. Shah, BSN, RN, OCN®
  • Excellence in Advanced Clinical Practice: Lisa Blackburn, MS, APRN-CNS-BC, AOCNS®
  • Excellence in Oncology Nursing Health Policy and Advocacy Award: Colleen O’Brien, RN, CBCN®
  • Excellence in Cancer Nursing Management Award: Janine Michele Kennedy, MA, CNS, AOCNS®, OCN®, NE-BC
  • Excellence in Cancer Nursing Education Award: April Dumond, MSN, RN, OCN®

Pearl Moore “Making a Difference” Awards

  • Frontline Care Award: Kathleen Morrison, RN, BSN, OCN®, and Nicholas Tertinek, RN, BSN, OCN®
  • Emerging Leader Award: Rebecca Gallegos, RN, BS, BSN, OCN®, CMOM-HEMONC
  • Team Achievement Award: Columbus Cancer Clinic, Martha Simmons, APRN-ANP-BC; Kim Hulsey, LPN, CHW. Nominated by Christin Brown, MBOE, RN, OCN®, LSWS

Employer Recognition Awards

  • Outstanding Employer Award: Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE. Nominated by Courtney Crannell, DNP, MSN, OCN®, NE-BC
  • Outstanding Employer Award, Honorable Mention: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL. Nominated by Jessica MacIntyre, APRN, NP-C, AOCNP®

ONS Research Award

  • Victoria Mock New Investigator Award: Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN

Nominations for ONS’s 2021 awards are open until September 30. Access nomination links by clicking “Learn More” under each category on the awards main page.

ONS is a professional association that represents 100,000 nurses and is the professional home to more than 35,000 members. ONS is committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.