Meet Your ONS Leader: Michele E. Gaguski
Get to know Michele E. Gaguski, MSN, RN, AOCN®, NE-BC, APN-C, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2019–2022. Michele is the clinical director of medical oncology at Atlanticare Cancer Care Institute in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
ONS Board Closely Monitors Financials to Support Member Programs
At the ONS Board of Directors meeting on September 24–25, 2020, Board members reviewed both the organization’s year-to-date financial and investment performance as part of their stewardship responsibility. They also made plans for a data dashboard to drive decisions and discussed training options for expanding oncology nurses’ voices in the media. Highlights from those discussions follow, and the full minutes from the meeting are available at ons.org/board-minutes.
ONS Center for Innovation Launches New Tool to Help Improve Patient Outcomes
Cancer treatment often causes symptoms that result in treatment delays and unplanned care, which adversely affects patient outcomes, healthcare costs, and patient satisfaction. To decrease those possibilities, the ONS Center for Innovation launched ONS On-Call™, an oncology-specific decision support tool to guide standardized, evidence-based symptom assessment and leverage ONS’s proprietary evidence-based resources for patient-reported symptoms. Designed by nurses, the cloud-hosted tool ensures best practices in the clinic and institution by providing nurses with guided, comprehensive, and evidence-based assessments that illuminate the causative factors of patients’ symptoms and experience.
ONS Calls for Action to Support the Nurse’s Role in Reducing the Global Burden of Cancer
Nurses serve a critical and proven role in reducing the burden of cancer and improving the lives of patients with cancer. Yet, for millions of people across the globe, access to health care is not a given, and nurses don’t have the educational and occupational support to perform to their full abilities.
Position Statements and Response Team Support Therapies and Research During Pandemic
Supporting oncology nurses in administering cancer treatments and nurse scientists in conducting research during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic were priority topics for the ONS Board of Directors’ August 25, 2020, meeting by conference call. After approving its board goals for 2020–2021, the ONS Board made the following decisions that you should be aware of as an ONS member and practicing oncology nurse.
Nurses Have the Purpose, Power, and Passion to Make a Difference
As we enter the final few months of 2020, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, I find myself thinking about the theme that we had for our 45th Annual ONS CongressTM: Purpose, Power, Passion. WHO’s intent in designating the year was to elevate nursing globally and showcase the many roles that nurses have in health care. In the United States, Gallop surveys consistently rank nurses as the most trusted profession, but our colleagues in other countries do not have a similar means of recognition.
ONS Guidelines Give Clinicians Evidence-Based Recommendations for Cancer Treatment-Related Side Effects
Resources that can be used by nurses and other oncology healthcare professionals, patients, and policymakers to improve the care of patients with cancer, were recently launched by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) in its first set of five systematically reviewed clinical practice ONS Guidelines™ for managing cancer treatment-related side effects.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN
Get to know Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2020–2023. Marlon is an oncology clinical nurse specialist at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
American Academy of Nursing Inducts 19 ONS Members as 2020 Fellows
Nineteen Oncology Nursing Society members were included among the highly distinguished nurse leaders who will join the ranks of the American Academy of Nursing’s class of 2020 fellows at the Academy’s annual conference, taking place virtually October 29–31, 2020.
ONS Awards Celebrate Excellence in Cancer Care
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.
We Can’t Touch Each Other, But We Can Still Touch Lives
Since the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home orders were issued in March 2020, the future has been difficult to imagine. National professional meetings, including ONS Congress, graduations, weddings, funerals, and other events that mark the transition from present to future were canceled. Creative, alternative ways to mark a transition to the future are highlighted on social media and the nightly news. Virtual, Zoom, and the new normal are standard verbiage in our conversations.
ONS Earns Awards for Publications and Periodicals
The Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) books, journals, and news magazine have a long history of industry recognition, receiving numerous awards for their commitment to excellence in publishing. This month, Association Media and Publishing, Association Trends, and Communication Concepts, Inc., added new distinctions to the ONS publishing portfolio.
ONS Director Named Finalist for Pittsburgh’s CIO of the Year
Ryan Conover, the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) director of information services, was a finalistfor the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year. He and 17 other professionals, across five industry categories, were recognized at a virtual awards gala on July 15. Conover was also a finalist in 2016.
ONS Offers Companies the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ to promote Oncology Nurse and Patient Support Materials
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has updated its Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ program, which provides additional benefits to companies interested in promoting nurse and patient support materials. Companies that submit materials and are approved can prominently display the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval logo on marketing collateral for distribution to nurses and patients.
ONS Board Addresses Members About Racism and Disparities in Cancer Care
At our June 4–5, 2020, meeting, the ONS Board discussed our personal heartbreak and anger over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans by aggressive police activity driven by racism. We also discussed ONS’s role and responsibilities as a member organization.
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.
ONS Virtual Conference Bridges the Gap Between Education and Practice Change
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced oncology nurses to navigate abnormal circumstances, both at home and at work. Despite facing similar limitations, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) created a brand-new learning experience to give oncology nurses expert education, networking opportunities, and access to industry representatives in the wake of canceled in-person events. This September, ONS will host the inaugural ONS Bridge™, the most comprehensive conference dedicated to oncology nurses.
Oncology Nursing Society Announces Awardees of Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology
In honor of Oncology Nursing Month, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) announced today the two awardees selected in the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology. The Challenge was designed with the goal of accelerating innovation in improving oncology care, including prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for cancer survivors.
ONS Member Receives ASCO Award for Transforming Cancer Palliative Care
Oncology Nursing Society member Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, director of the division of nursing research and education at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, was one of 14 recipients of an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) special award in April 2020. She received the Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture for her work in palliative care.
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.
New Nursing Research Sheds Light on Chemotherapy Safety
Chemotherapy is one of the most successful forms of cancer treatment available, but it’s frequently thought of as deadly and dangerous because of its hazardous chemical properties and potential for severe side effects in patients. What’s often left out of the chemotherapy conversation is the danger it poses to healthcare workers handling the hazardous medications. In two new articles published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) member AnnMarie Walton, PhD, MPH, RN, OCN®, CHES, assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Duke University in Durham, NC, helped healthcare professionals understand the risks and needs for proper safe handling for chemotherapy.
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.
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.
Nancy Houlihan Selected as ONS President-Elect
To continue to guide the future path of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and its commitment to innovation, advocacy, and excellence in the nursing profession, the ONS Board of Directors has elected Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Director of Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®, as the Society’s next president. Houlihan will succeed Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, who concludes her two-year tenure as president on April 29, 2020, at ONS’s 45th Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX.
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.
To Truly Innovate, We Must Move Beyond the Past
While looking for an image for a presentation, I came across this quote on a picture of a woman whose hands were more than full. It captured the message I was going to be giving. The world of health care, specifically cancer care, continues to evolve rapidly from an array of forces outside of our control. However, in that swirl of change, we have the opportunity to evaluate any resulting barriers or challenges to patient care and to design and implement solutions. To do this, to be creative, to innovate, to problem solve, we may have to let go of things with which we are comfortable but are not of benefit in today’s world.
How Is ONS Supporting OCM Nursing Practice?
The preliminary outcomes for performance in the first year of the Oncology Care Model (OCM) have shown modest but interesting results for the value-based payment model. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ year-one evaluation examined the initial impact of the new payment model on practice in terms of outcomes related to total cost of care per practice, unplanned hospital and emergency department visits, hospital visits, and patient-reported satisfaction with care for six-month episodes of chemotherapy for beneficiaries from July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017.
Membership Dues Will Not Increase for 2020
Using a predetermined formula, the ONS Board of Directors annually evaluates membership dues to ensure the levels will enable the Society to continue to provide ONS members with the high-quality products, services, and resources they need to transform care for patients with cancer. Based on the formula, the Board decided to maintain dues at the 2019 level for 2020.
ONS Names Debra Lyon as Incoming Oncology Nursing Forum Editor
Oncology nursing-led research is the engine that drives practice change when caring for patients with cancer. As a standard-bearer of oncology nursing research and a veteran of nursing research publications, Debra Lyon, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF), becoming the research journal’s sixth editor effective January 1, 2020.
HOPA and ONS Collaborate on Safe Handling Guidelines Consistent With National Recommendations
The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) have partnered to develop a joint position statement in advance of an upcoming compliance deadline for U.S. Pharmacopeia Chapter 800 (USP <800>).
ONS Publications Receive High Honors in Awards Competitions
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) periodical publications have been recognized for their commitment to excellence, with recent honors bestowed from Association Media and Publishing, Communication Concepts, and the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors.
Summer’s Dog Days Are Energizing, Not Lazy, for ONS and Its Volunteers
A few weeks in July and August are known as the dog days of summer—the days where the heat makes us feel particularly laid back and lazy. I have always thought that these hottest days of the year, when even dogs languished from the heat, gave us a chance to slow down and offered a break from the intensity of work or school. It was a time for families to enjoy relaxing vacations and children to make memories of new friendships and adventures. I decided to Google the meaning of dog days and lazy days. I found that the term lazy days was similar to my thinking, but dog days has a different meaning.
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.
Healthy Finances Allow ONS to Advance Oncology Nursing and Science
ONS wrapped up the first four months of 2019 as a financially strong organization, according to the finance reports the ONS Board of Directors received during its June 13–15 meeting. The Society’s investments are up almost 9%. It also saw an increase in ONS Congress revenue from 2018 to 2019 and will not raise Congress registration fees for 2020. A solid financial outlook allows ONS to continue to serve its members by representing and growing the profession.
ONS Holds Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days
On September 22–24, 2019, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) will hold its Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days in Washington, DC. The three-day education and advocacy event will prepare more than 100 oncology nurses to work with elected officials on health policy issues important to their patients and profession. Capitol Hill Days encourages nurses to be advocates and leaders in their communities and in their practice by helping ONS make a real difference in the national healthcare conversation.
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.
Educational Integrity Is an ONS and ONCC Priority, Evident in Revised Policy
Leadership, integrity, inclusion, and diversity were common threads in several discussions during the ONS Board of Directors’ conference call on May 21, 2019. In addition to finalizing plans for their participation in the Leadership Think Tank, which will be held on July 22–23, 2019, the Board made the following decisions and approvals.
Think Tank Will Explore Nurse Leadership Development Initiatives
On Sunday, April 14, 2019, the ONS Board of Directors held a face-to-face meeting at the end of a highly successful ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA. New directors took office and new plans unfolded for fostering nurse leaders and supporting ONS chapters.
How ONS Is Supporting ONNs’ Professional Development
Professional development needs of oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) have not been clearly identified, both for novice and more experienced navigators. Although some work has begun to define training for novice ONNs, most information about education for experienced ONNs comes from evaluation data and anecdotal reports.
Here’s How ONS Is Transitioning Symptom Management Resources Into Guidelines
Using the best evidence to inform care leads to better patient outcomes and can prevent over- or underuse of healthcare resources. Clinical practice guidelines are an important tool for healthcare providers to ensure they are using informed care in their practice. On Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Pamela Ginex, EdD, RN, discussed ONS’s symptom management guidelines and a new initiative to develop and implement guidelines into clinical care.
ONCC Welcomes New Executive Director
The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)—an independent affiliate of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)—has been providing oncology nurses with certification to demonstrate their expertise and excellence in oncology nursing care for more than 30 years. On April 8, 2019, ONCC will welcome Tony Ellis, CAE, as its new executive director. Following the retirement of long-time director Cynthia Miller Murphy, MSN, RN, CAE, FAAN, Ellis will be only the second person in ONCC history to serve executive director.
Miller Murphy Retires After Storied Career in Oncology
As a vanguard for oncology nursing certification and practice excellence, Cynthia Miller Murphy, MSN, RN, CAE, FAAN, executive director for the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC), is a nationally recognized expert in credentialing. Her tenure as ONCC executive director helped nurses achieve more than 100,000 different certifications to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in nursing and patient-centered care. After almost 30 years at ONCC, Miller Murphy is retiring as executive director effective April 8, 2019.
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.