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.

As I write this column, Pittsburgh is still cold and gray and thoughts of warm and sunny California seem far away. But, looking over the ONS Congress brochure felt a little like poring over seed catalogs with my dad about this time of year. I remember his excitement in seeing the potential in the Burpee seed catalog photos of hearty Big Boy tomatoes, sturdy bean stalks, and luscious strawberries that were just waiting to germinate in pots of peat moss on a windowsill. 

That image of a growing plant is a perfect analogy for what we will experience at the ONS 44th Annual Congress to be held April 11–14, 2019, in Anaheim, CA. We will grow together in our knowledge of how to provide quality cancer care and spread that understanding to our colleagues and the people in our care.   

Learn About Evolving Care

Like all living things, the science of cancer care is evolving. ONS members can respond to an ever-expanding environment by learning from our peers and gathering the best evidence-based solutions to complex issues such as:

  • Safely handling cancer drugs
  • Providing superior navigation for patients throughout their cancer journey 
  • Supporting resilient nurses in delivering compassionate care 
  • Bridging science and practice
  • Fostering exceptional leadership in oncology nursing
  • Advancing evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care  

Grow Your Knowledge, Career, and Professional Network

I am an oncology nurse who has experienced many growing seasons throughout my career and have been fortunate to attend ONS Congress for many years. I have learned something every year, even though my role has changed from direct caregiver to leader to teacher. My mind, body, and spirit are fed by this conference as colleagues, friends, and oncology nursing experts gather together. Congress has been a place where I have had a chance to learn about the newest cancer therapies and symptom management, explore opportunities for career and leadership development, and expand my professional network. And it has also been a place for me to give back to the profession that I love through presentations and posters and, increasingly, by helping new oncology nurses to get the most from their experiences at Congress. 

I will probably never be the master gardener that my dad was. But as oncology nurse leader, I know that I can nurture others and encourage them to grow their skills. If you are a nurse in clinical practice, a leader trying to guide practice through management or education, an advanced practice nurse, or an oncology nurse scientist, ONS Congress has something for you that will cultivate your mind, body, and spirit and help all of us transform cancer care. I hope to see you there!