Meet Your ONS Leader: Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®
Get to know Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®, treasurer on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2019–2022. Kristin is the clinical operations manager/nurse manager III at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marty Polovich, PhD, RN
Get to know Martha (Marty) Polovich, PhD, RN, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2022. Marty is a part-time instructor in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®
Get to know Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, secretary on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2018–2021. Heather is the clinical editor in oncology for Elsevier and a nurse practitioner for Novant Health Cancer Prevention and Wellness in Winston-Salem, NC.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP
Get to know Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2018–2021. Anne is the executive director for community nursing practice at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA.
Community Support Makes a Difference in HIV/AIDS Treatment
Since 1981, more than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV/AIDS. Nearly 32 million people have died worldwide, and experts suggest that almost 38 million are currently infected with the virus. In the decades since the disease was first discovered, HIV/AIDS treatments have advanced, providing patients with a chance to manage a once-deadly diagnosis. With an active and outspoken community of advocates, patients with HIV/AIDS have seen a swell of support.
AACN Initiative Gives Nurses a Voice Through Voting
During the Year of the Nurse, many organizations are finding ways to promote and champion the expertise and experiences that make up the most trusted profession in the United States. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is focusing on ways nurses will affect the upcoming presidential election, ensuring nursing professionals are registered, educated, and ready to vote in 2020.
Abandoning E-Cigarettes; Lymphedema Bill Stalls; Global Cancer Cases
Vaping pens and other electronic smoking devices were branded as step-down strategies to help the 60 million Americans who are unable to quit traditional cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration even supported the idea initially, but research eventually showed that vaping products contain the same or higher levels of nicotine as other tobacco products and are equally as addictive.
Celebrate Oncology Nurse Leaders During Black History Month
Each year, February marks Black History Month: a time of celebration, recognition, and awareness of the countless accomplishments and achievements of black leaders and trailblazers throughout history. In the oncology nursing community, it’s no different. ONS’s African American leaders have made a lasting difference to patients with cancer and the professional community, paving the way for future generations and championing excellence in oncology nursing.
Donna Clark Was an Advocate for Compassionate Nursing Care
ONS member Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN®, was a dedicated oncology nurse whose impact changed the lives of countless patients with cancer for more than 30 years. Clark passed away on February 4, 2020, after a storied career as an oncology nurse and cancer survivor. Her experiences as both patient and healthcare professional allowed her to cross the gap, relate to patients, and empathize with their cancer journey. Her focus on nursing excellence left a lasting impact on the profession and resonates throughout the larger oncology nursing community.
How We’re Growing Nursing’s Voice in the Health News Media
The Woodhull Study on Nurses and the Media: Health Care’s Invisible Partner showed that nurses were quoted in only 4% of health stories in the news media. In 2018, Mason and team published the Woodhull Study Revisited: Nurses’ Representation in Health News Media 20 Years Later. They found that after two decades, only 2% of health stories in the news media quoted nurses; although not statistically significant, the decrease is still a concern. The 1998 study identified that nurses were just starting to move into positions of authority in healthcare systems, a status that might make them more available for journalists. Yet in 2018, nurses occupied more healthcare leadership positions in diverse sectors but were still not being used as expert sources by journalists. Why?
Meet Your ONS Leader: Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®
Get to know Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Julie is a clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner at the Community Hospital of Indianapolis in Indiana.
Nurses Most Trusted Profession for 18 Years in Row
More than engineers, accountants, professors, or police officers, nurses lead the pack when it comes to honesty and ethics, according to 2019 Gallup polling data. For 18 years in a row, nurses have been recognized as the most trusted profession in the United States—by a considerable margin, too. Ratings for nursing honesty and ethics outpaced every other profession by a wide margin, and nurses lead the next most trusted profession—engineers—by nearly 20 percentage points.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®
Get to know Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Maggie is an oncology nurse navigator at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois.
WHO Developing State of the World’s Nursing Report
In celebration and recognition of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.” As part of this initiative, WHO is holding seminars, publishing papers, and is developing the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will release at the 73rd World Health Assembly.
Every Year Is the Year of the Nurse
Celebrations are planned around the globe for 2020 to recognize the impact that nurses make on the health and well-being of our communities. What’s the occasion? The World Health Organization has designated it the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. This exciting year will culminate with the end of the three-year, international Nursing Now! campaign designed to raise the profile and status of nurses worldwide. And we’ll look forward to the release of the new Future of Nursing 2020–2030 consensus study from the National Academy of Medicine that will describe how nurses can help people to get and stay healthy.
Oncology Nursing Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director
For more than 35 years, the Oncology Nursing Foundation has been devoted to supporting cancer nursing excellence. To steward those efforts in the years to come, the Foundation welcomes Anizia Karmazyn as its new executive director. Karmazyn will work with Foundation Board of Trustees, Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, the Foundation’s director of grants and program, and other Foundation staff to Increase support for oncology nursing education, research, and leadership development.
ONS Chapters Answer the Call on Giving Tuesday
After busy Thanksgiving get-togethers and frantic Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping, many people take a moment to reflect and give back to a cause that captures their passion. Dubbed Giving Tuesday, it’s a day dedicated to philanthropy and fundraising. For the first time ever, the Oncology Nursing Foundation issued a Giving Tuesday challenge to ONS chapters—a friendly competition to see which group could get the highest percentage of its membership to donate to the continued growth and excellence of oncology nursing. When all was said and done, 30 ONS chapters helped raise more than $19,000 to support the education, research, and leadership development of oncology nurses everywhere.
Adaptive Organizations Like ONS Thrive With Innovation and Change
Connection, creativity, and change were just some of the components of the ONS Board of Directors’ third-quarter face-to-face meeting held October 31–November 3, 2019. In addition to their regular agenda, the ONS Board conducted enterprise-wide joint and individual meetings with the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and Oncology Nursing Foundation boards.
Russia Fosters Oncology Nursing Professional Development With ONS, EONS Presentations at Cancer Conference
U.S. and European oncology nurses might feel out of their element in a Russian model of nursing practice, which is considerably different than what they’re used to in their own countries. For example, Russian nurses mix all chemotherapy infusions for patients and have no access to pharmacists. Russian blood and marrow transplant (BMT) units have a much higher ratio of physicians to nurses than what’s traditionally seen in other parts of the west. But, like nurses around the world, Russian nursing professionals are keenly interested in improving their oncology practice—although they typically receive education in an academic rather than technical setting.
Nurses Lead From Every Bedside or Chairside
A few weeks ago, a former student who was returning to the Pittsburgh area six years after graduation invited me to lunch. She had completed a master’s degree in the interim and had worked successfully as a nurse practitioner.
ONS Member Ferrell Elected to National Academy of Medicine
As a trailblazer and pioneer in palliative care and end-of-life research, ONS member Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, director of the division of nursing research and education at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, has improved the quality of life for countless patients with cancer throughout the world. In recognition of her vast contributions to oncology nursing science and patient-centered care, Ferrell was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest medical honors in the United States, on October 21, 2019. She joins the ranks of only 2,200 other medical professionals to be appointed to the Academy.
Complexity Is the Cornerstone of BMT Nursing
You’re juggling three patients: one is nauseated and requesting lorazepam now, another’s blood transfusion is finished and the pump’s alarm is loudly chirping down the hall, the third has an order list coming in like rapid fire—and it’s only 8 am. In a blood and marrow transplant (BMT) unit, this sounds like a relatively calm morning.
Take These Healthy Steps to Come Back From an Unexpected Event
Oncology nurses at every professional level may encounter a variety of unexpected experiences, ranging from unkind words uttered by a patient or coworker to a medication error or the traumatic or untimely death of a beloved patient. Although the events seem like isolated, separate experiences, they can have a compounding impact on a nurse’s well-being.
Use These Personal Development Strategies for Self-Improvement
Personal development is a lifelong process. It’s a way to assess our skills and qualities, consider our aims in life, and set goals to realize and maximize our potential. Part of personal development involves challenging ourselves to learn and master new skills. The more we put ourselves out there—away from our comfort zone to try new things—the more we learn about ourselves.
Exhilarating Chapter Leadership Weekend Was the Perfect Combination of Learning and Fun
One word comes to mind to describe the 2019 ONS Chapter Leadership Weekend (CLW): exhilarating. As a chapter Board member attending for the first time, I learned new information, networked and met with dedicated chapter leaders, and of course got to eat some delicious food while in Pittsburgh.
Ruth McCorkle Leaves Legacy of Innovation, Advancement in Oncology Nursing
ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, had a storied, trailblazing career in oncology nursing, leading the way to advance nursing research, patient-centered care, and educational excellence. McCorkle passed away on August 17, 2019, surrounded by her close family, leaving behind an indelible legacy to the oncology nursing profession.
The Future of Oncology Care Depends on You
Have you had “aha” moments in your life? Times when you finally understood something so completely that you could now fully explain it to someone else? Perhaps you had an aha moment after a session at the recent ONS Congress or after reading an article in the Oncology Nursing Forum or Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Or maybe you finally understood the benefits of dual inhibition of ER+ metastatic breast cancer with antihormonal therapy and CDK4/6 inhibitors after reviewing the recent infographic included with your ONS journal mailing in May.
To Drive Clinical Excellence and Resources, ONS Launches Center for Innovation
As part of its ongoing work to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) launched the ONS Center for Innovation to guide the development of new resources, projects, programs, and applications for ONS’s existing products as well as the creation of new, innovative ones that meet the needs of oncology nurses—both now and in the future.
Continued Conversation Shows That Nurses Need More Genetics Education
During the 44th Annual ONS Congress in April 2019, some sessions featured a Continuing the Conversation event following the main session. As a speaker, this might have been the best part for me. It was filled with unexpected, wonderful surprises and great conversations with oncology nursing colleagues.
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.
ONS Remains a Financially Strong Organization Into 2019
Cancer care is evolving rapidly, and ONS is committed to providing oncology nurses with tools to stay abreast of innovative treatments and technologies used to care for people with cancer. The ONS Board of Directors has both strategic and stewardship responsibilities for the fiscal health of the organization that will help us to meet those goals.
Government-Led Drug Pricing; CMS Reimbursement Updates; Playing Cards Reaction
As Washington attempts to address the soaring costs of prescription medications, some experts are attempting to shed light on the many complicated aspects of the drug pricing issue. The free-market system has countless moving parts, and perhaps so-called big government ownership isn’t the answer to inflating drug costs. As the author aptly states, “From a public-relations standpoint, drug companies are often their own worst enemies. Occasionally, a breathtakingly awful company taints the image of the whole industry.”
ONS Hosts Inaugural International Oncology Nursing Conference in Azerbaijan
Although cancer isn’t one of the very highest causes of death in Azerbaijan, the nation still feels the impact of the global cancer burden: lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers rank number 8 and 10, respectively, on the top 10 causes of death in the country, and their incidence is growing. As part of its commitment to sustainable international programs to support the advancement of cancer care, ONS and its members have a responsibility to disseminate knowledge to international nurses in countries like Azerbaijan.
By Growing Together, We Can Transform Care
The ONS Congress Planning team really nailed it this year. In Just four words, using the theme of Growing Together, Transforming Care, they were able to describe the essence of why we will gather as a professional organization for ONS’s annual meeting.
Future of Nursing; Adults Ration Medication; Drug Parity Act
It’s been almost a decade since the Institute of Medicine—now the National Academies of Medicine (NAM)—released The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. Although many aspects of the nursing profession have been enhanced, still others are woefully lacking in change. Healthcare workplace safety incidents are still too high—up to 12 times higher than in the overall workforce—educational opportunities are still too expensive, and scope-of-practice authority is still too limiting in many states—all of which are ONS policy priorities.
Recognize and Respond to Incivility in Nursing
Five years ago, I was consulted, as a mental health clinical nurse specialist, by a nurse manager seeking assistance in determining an appropriate response to a bullying situation on one of her units. That was the first time I learned that our profession has a longstanding and significant problem with incivility and bullying from within.
Board Forms Framework for the Future of ONS and Oncology Nursing
Setting ONS up for a strong future was the overarching theme of the January 2019 ONS Board of Directors meeting by conference call. The group appointed new members to the Leadership Development Committee—which grows, shapes, and nominates ONS’s future leaders—and devised a strategy for identifying what oncology nursing’s role will be 10 years in the future.
Three ONS Members Selected to Inaugural Class of CNSI Fellows
To recognize outstanding contributions and excellence to the field of clinical nurse specialists, the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute (CNSI) selected 38 nurses to its inaugural class of fellows, including three ONS members Marilyn Chrisman, MS, APRN, GCNS-BC, Patricia Geddie, PhD, CNS, AOCNSA, and Tina Mason, MSN, ARNP, AOCNA, AOCNSA. They will be among the first fellows to use the FCNS credential in practice.
Summer Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program Supports Undergraduate Students
As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase, more oncology-trained nurses are needed to care for this population. Unfortunately, not all schools of nursing have clinical experiences in the oncology setting. However, the University of North Carolina leadership is committed to increasing the pipeline of students interested in caring for patients with cancer and their families through an innovative summer fellowship program.
Nurses Ranked ‘Most Trusted Profession’ in 2018
Public opinion surveys from respected groups such as Gallup serve as a barometer on certain topics and issues. In Gallup’s , nurses were again ranked the most-trusted profession in the United States for the 20th year. In 2019, 84% of respondents said they rated nurses “very high” for honesty and ethical standards, leading the pack by a wide margin. Patients, families, and caregivers know firsthand that nurses are driving patient-centered care. For that very reason, they rank nurses higher than physicians, clergy, police officers, and educators. It’s a position that commands respect.
Building Collaboration, Education With Oncology Nurses in Malawi
Nestled between Tanzania and Mozambique in eastern Africa, Malawi is a country of more than 18 million citizens. It faces a unique cancer burden that’s proven challenging for practitioners and patients alike. With a high prevalence of HIV-infected individuals, Malawi sees a proportionate rate of AIDS-related cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Currently, healthcare professionals in the country face a lack of standardized oncology education and resources. Roughly 84% of the country’s citizens live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare institutions.
Cancer Prevention: Oncology Nurses Save Lives by Raising Awareness
Despite flashy television campaigns, countless pamphlets and brochures, and seemingly constant reminders, people are still unaware of important cancer prevention information. The World Health Organization estimated that 30%–50% of all cancer cases are preventable. But between modifiable behaviors, hereditary and genetic risks, infectious agents, and more, the general public finds itself mostly unprepared to tackle the cancer prevention conversation.
ONS Past President Sandra Schafer Leaves a Legacy of Compassionate Leadership
From her patients to her colleagues to the entire cancer care community, ONS Past President Sandra Lee Schafer, RN, MN, AOCN®, made everyone she touched feel special, inspiring and motivating a generation of oncology nurses in advancing care for patients with cancer. Schafer passed away on December 7, 2018, but her legacy of compassion and care lives on.
ONS Members Share Education, Resources in Peru
“If you know other countries and their people, there will be no wars or hatred.” That was the motto I understood when I was younger and I remember participating in international oncology and nursing conferences, exchanging knowledge, resources, and education with other countries. Cancer connects us all, and that maxim has stuck with me and marked my interest in travelling and meeting new people.
Oncology Nursing Foundation Refocuses Commitment to All Oncology Nurses
Support for oncology nursing is critical to the advancement of the profession and the future of care for patients with cancer. The Oncology Nursing Foundation—formerly known as the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation—is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable organization dedicated solely to supporting oncology nurses both nationally and internationally. Today, the Foundation announced its name change to wholly encapsulate the organization’s longstanding focus and goals. Through continuing education scholarships, research grants, and career development funding, the Oncology Nursing Foundation supports oncology nurses in their pursuits to provide safer and more effective cancer care for their patients.
This Week, Recognize and Thank Your Oncology Nurse Practitioner Colleagues
Nurse practitioners (NPs) play an undeniably valuable role in producing quality outcomes in cancer patients. For National NP Week from November 11–17, 2018, pause with ONS to recognize, thank, and support the oncology NPs who relentlessly pursue excellence, striving for the best for their patients from diagnosis through survivorship.
ONS Is Proud to Be Part of a City Stronger Than Hate
On an unseasonably warm Saturday in October, Pittsburgh, PA, was struck by one of the United States’ greatest tragedies in recent history. The shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill—a quiet, unassuming neighborhood in the heart of the city—sent shockwaves through the community, the country, and the world. On October 24, 2018, one man’s attack violently stole 11 lives from the Jewish community.