Leaders Need to Walk the Talk When It Comes to Self-Care, Too
How are you taking care of yourself? It’s a question I’ve asked many team members, including leaders I have had the privilege of serving, over the course of my career. I’ve even added this question into certain candidate interviews to assess resiliency in individuals. And of course I ask it of myself often. That’s because it is my professional responsibility to ensure I am caring for myself. Provision 5 of the Code of Ethics for Nurses says, “The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety.”
ONS Capitol Hill Days Preps Nurses for Advocacy
Oncology nurses advocate for their patients every day, and it’s easy to see firsthand the difference it can have in those patients’ and families’ lives. But there’s a way to make an even larger impact by using those same advocacy skills at the local, state, or even national level—potentially changing thousands or even millions of lives of patients, survivors, and families across the United States.
Magnet Status Benefits Physicians, Too
Achieving Magnet recognition is the gold standard of a nursing program, demonstrating that an organization’s nursing leaders have established nursing excellence to improve outcomes for patients. And now the results of a new study published in Harvard Business Review show that excellent nurses are positively linked to physicians’ performance as well.
The Work We Do Now Affects Health Care’s Future
The World Health Organization designated 2020 internationally as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. To celebrate the work that nurses do globally, nursing organizations around the world are creating programs that offer recognition—as well as education, training, and professional development.
Advocacy Grows Through Personality as Well as Profession
The word advocacy comes from the Middle English word “advocacie” or “intercession” and the Anglo-French word “advocassie,” meaning “pleading.” As a profession, I believe nurses pride ourselves as being advocates for our patients and their families. I can easily say that most nurses—myself included—think of advocacy in terms of daily practice. We’re always making sure patients have the right resources and knowledge and have their basic needs met to get through their daily treatments.
How Music Can Soothe Your Savage Beast—Stress
Where you put your attention matters more than you realize. For example, when you are thinking or talking about work-life stressors, your ability to take in other sensory input is challenged. One way to break out of the mental stress loop is to listen to music. Music can divert the brain’s attention, giving you a break from repetitive thoughts and judgments. The variety of music genres to choose from when looking for ways to shift your attention and enhance mood is ever increasing.
Practice These Five Self-Care Strategies in Less Than Five Minutes
Oncology nursing is a rewarding profession that offers nurses opportunities to build meaningful relationships with patients and families, manage complex patient situations, and provide compassionate care during a scary time in someone’s life. But what makes oncology nursing so special can also make nurses more vulnerable to occupational stress, which can lead to compassion fatigue or burnout.
U.S. Reps Introduce Legislation to Honor Cadet Nurses
It’s never too late to honor those who served the United States with great valor, especially during times of war and hardship. In April 2019, a group of federal legislators submitted a bipartisan, bicameral bill to honor cadet nurses who served during World War II. At the time, cadet nurses were not recognized with veteran distinctions, despite often serving in active warzones and filling a desperate need for medical care.
What Does the Research Say About Oncology Nursing Certification?
To measure the value of oncology nursing certification, scientists must look at the intrinsic, qualitative outcomes associated with nurses achieving certification in practice. The research for oncology nursing certification has largely focused on perceived benefits for nurses, their colleagues, and their institutions. Data suggest that certified oncology nurses feel validated in their knowledge, report personal satisfaction for undertaking and completing the certification process, and say that it enhanced their professional credibility.
What’s ONS’s Stance on Oncology Nursing Certification?
For many RNs working in oncology settings, certification might seem like the next step for their career and their commitment to patient-centered care. It’s important to understand the process of certification, along with what resources are available to help them succeed. ONS believes that oncology nursing certification benefits everyone in the cancer care continuum—from patients to family members to the nurses themselves and their employers. Certification shows that a nurse has voluntarily met the rigorous requirements for gaining cancer-based knowledge and experience and is prepared to provide high-quality, competent care to patients with cancer. It acknowledges a nurse’s commitment to career development and dedication to patient care in a constantly changing healthcare environment.
Reverse Compassion Fatigue and Grow Resiliency in Oncology Nursing
Compassion fatigue and burnout are adding to the cost of healthcare by personally affecting the nursing workforce, and in turn, the patients they care for and the workplace milieu. In their session on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Sue Childress, MN, RN, OCN®, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, and Pamela Bowman, MSN, RN, OCN®, of Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, discussed defining, identifying and reversing compassion fatigue and fostering resiliency in today’s nursing workforce.
Reality-Based Leadership Helps Nurses Cut the Drama So They Can Problem Solve
Nurses spend an average of 2.5 hours per day on drama per staff person, according to Cy Wakeman, the opening keynote speaker at the 2018 American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Conference in Denver, CO, in October. That’s right, take 2.5 and multiply it by how many staff are working that day.
ONS Launches New Website to Better Support Oncology Nursing Needs
As the field of oncology continues to evolve, so too do the needs of oncology nurses throughout the country. To provide a deeper, cleaner, and more efficient user experience for its members, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has launched its newly redesigned website at ONS.org. The new ONS.org experience easily connects oncology nurses with key practice resources, the latest-breaking literature, cutting-edge courses, and innovative ways to improve the quality of cancer care for patients around the world.
What Do You Stand For?
Some lines are more memorable than others. In the Broadway musical Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton challenges Aaron Burr with this statement: “If you stand for nothin’, Burr, what will you fall for?”
I have stolen that line when teaching nurses about bullying and incivility in our workplaces. Unfortunately, this is a topic that we still need to talk about.
ONS Member Ruth McCorkle Named AAN Living Legend
For exceptional accomplishments in nursing and health care through the course of her oncology career, ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, has been named an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Living Legend. The Living Legend designation is AAN’s highest honor and was awarded to seven nursing professionals for 2018. The Academy will honor its Living Legend designees at its annual policy conference in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018.
Oncology Nursing Certification Is a Valuable Step on the Road to Leadership
I still remember what it felt like to sign my name in the chart for the first time after passing the OCN®—and later the AOCN®—examination: excitement, accomplishment, relief, and pride. I knew that the credential didn’t automatically make me a smarter or better clinician, but it did validate the knowledge and skills that I had been working so hard to achieve over my years of practice as an oncology nurse.
Find, Be, and Thank an Oncology Nursing Mentor This May
The month of May is a perfect time to think about new beginnings. Among its seasonal events such as Mother’s Day, weddings, baby showers, and graduations, we also celebrate Oncology Nursing Month and ONS Congress in Washington, DC, this year.
Lay Patient Navigators Can Help Oncology Nurses Guide Patients Through Cancer Care
Even for medical professionals working in health care every day, the U.S. healthcare system can be incredibly complex. Understanding where to obtain information and how to connect patients to resources can be difficult. For patients, navigating their treatment journey can be—at times—downright impossible. Coordinating care for patients with cancer is a crucial component to successful outcomes and quality cancer care.
How ONS Supports Oncology Nurse Navigators in Care Coordination
When I worked in the clinical setting, like many of you, I guided patients through treatments, prepared them for managing their care at home, celebrated the completion of treatment, and grieved the deaths of many. I coordinated patients’ care.
Is Sexual Harassment of Nurses Prevalent in Health Care?
The MeToo movement, an online campaign where women from all walks of life shared their stories of personal sexual assault and harassment, went viral in October 2017. The goal of their stories was to demonstrate the prevalence of sexual misconduct, especially in the workplace. Victims of sexual violence and harassment often go unnoticed and unheard, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it affects approximately one third of women worldwide. In a 2017 poll of American women, 54% reported “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances” and 95% said it goes unreported.
Cancer Prevention Is Political Pillow Talk
On February 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day, I had the honor of representing the ONS at the Congressional Families Caucus with Alec Stone, ONS director for public affairs, who made the connection between Congressional Families and ONS. The Congressional Families Caucus is made up of spouses of congressional members serving in the House of Representatives and Senate.
One Nurse Challenges the Profession’s Stereotypes in Fiction
The white dress, emblazoned with a red medical cross, might be one of the most well-known fiction tropes about nursing, but it isn’t the only one—not by a longshot. In TV shows, movies, books, and more, nurses are often depicted in stereotypically inaccurate ways. Those misrepresentations paint a wildly incomplete picture of nursing’s role in patient care, often leading to real patients who misunderstand the crucial role nurses play in their care.
Leadership in Nursing Takes Many Forms
Do you promote optimal patient outcomes, advocate for patients’ voices, and implement change? Then you’re a nurse leader. It is easy to think of nurse leaders as those in administrative positions or conducting bedside research, but the reality is that nursing leadership can take on many roles through a variety of different nursing positions, from generalist to certified to advanced practice. Leadership is about influencing change and improvement, inspiring those around you.
ONS Members Share Resources, Experiences With Philippine Colleagues
Cancers are never confined by borders. For most disease types, the ones seen in clinics and institutions throughout the United States are the same found in other first-, second-, and third-world countries. The realities facing cancer, treatments, and patient outcomes are often challenging to address no matter where you live, and it’s one of the many common threads that tie oncology professionals together the world over.
Strengthen a Commitment to Practice Change Through EBP Immersions
That “science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation” in care delivery through evidence-based practice (EBP) that uses research outcomes, clinical expert perspectives, and patient and family engagement, the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care project charter visualizes. By 2020, the goal is to ensure that 90% of clinical decisions are individualized yet supported by the most current, relevant, and best-available evidence and effective tools are in place to measure outcomes.
Oncology Nurse and ONS Member Selected to Attend Global Entrepreneur Summit in India
In clinics across the country, oncology nurses are moving the needle when it comes to patient-centered care. They innovate, create practice change, and are the lifelines for many of their patients. One oncology nurse and ONS member has combined her unique background in software development and health care to form a new business that aims to provide real-time practice resources to oncology nurses. In recognition of her achievements, ONS member and chief executive officer of Helpsy Health, Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, has been selected to attend the 8th annual Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India.
Using Photography to Track Progress of Head and Neck Cancers
Building relationships with patients is just one of the many roles of oncology nurses. However, it’s generally not possible to see your patients every day. This isn’t uncommon, but it can pose problems to oncology professionals treating patients with head and neck cancers.
Use a Self-Care Mantra to Boost Compassion
Oncology nurses are generally compassionate people and dedicated to helping others live the best they can while experiencing a life-changing illness. Over time, such dedication can lead to compassion fatigue, especially when others suffer.
Acing Your Job Interview: Make Your Minutes Count
The job interview process boils down to 60 precious minutes. That’s right. You basically have 1 hour to convince your potential future employer that you can perform the required job duties and that you are the right person for the job. This article provides tips for ensuring you make the most of your time in the spotlight.
Why Is Certification Important? Let Us Count the Ways
The impact of professional certification goes far beyond the authority to practice. Certification is a testament to expertise, excellence in patient care, and commitment. This article uses the diverse certification journeys of three oncology nurses to highlight some of the key benefits of certification. Their paths offer direction and motivation to new and experienced nurses in this specialty.