By Donald Bailey, PHD, RN, FAAN

In an amazing four days in Texas during the ONS 41st Annual Congress, I had the opportunity to learn from experts in oncology care.

Four session tracks (Clinical Practice, Leadership/Management/Education, Advanced Practice, and Research) allowed attendees to tailor learning and skill building to their specific needs. We heard from many of you about how much you appreciated the advanced learning level of presentations during interactive sessions that allowed you get the information you needed.

Here’s a glimpse of other Society news that came out of Congress.

Case Study: ONS Communities (Former SIGs) Emerged

Our new ONS Communities will be the place for members to find their people, ask their question, solve their problems, and teach others. We learned about the new software platform that will allow members to experience a real-time exchange of ideas through dialogue generated from all of you around specific oncology areas of interest. For those of you who had the opportunity to attend the ONS Communities session lead by staff members Diane Scheuring and Darcy Burbage, you came away with a renewed sense of excitement and learned about how you could participate on a short-term work group to develop our guiding principles. We will learn more about ONS Communities at Leadership Weekend in July.

New Board President Assumed Leadership of ONS

At the close of our business meeting on Saturday, Sue Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, was installed as our president for the 2016–2018 office term. She was joined by a new secretary (Barbara Gobel, MS, RN, AOCN®), and two new directors-at-large, Eve Gallagher, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CPHQ, CMPP, and Diane Barber, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®. Going forward, ONS members will have the opportunity to elect their Board members who will then elect the officers from the current Board members.

Congress Attendees Generated Big Ideas

A number of attendees took the time to share with us your ideas for workplace improvement (“let’s develop the ONS Joy Toolkit as a resource to support unit leaders and increase oncology nurse morale and satisfaction”) and helping patients and their families access care (“provide a chemo bus for rural patients and families”). In a closing session presented by the ONS Board of Directors, we learned about the importance of relationships and that we are “better together.”

New 2017 Congress Planning Team Charts a Course for Denver

Next year’s Congress planning team leader Marilyn Hammer, PhD, DC, RN, was visible and available to hear attendees suggestion about topics for the 2017 Congress. Additionally, the abstract submission process will open later this summer, so watch for more information on that. All of us on the Board look forward to seeing you in Denver.