Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA, has been selected as the next ONS president for the 2018–2020 term. She will be president-elect effective January 1, 2018. Fennimore’s appointment is the first under the ONS bylaw changes that were voted into practice by members in 2016. These governance changes provide the ONS Board of Directors the authority to select candidates from among the member-elected directors-at-large to fill officer roles on the ONS Board.

Fennimore, a 35-year oncology nurse, achieved her bachelor of nursing science from West Virginia University in 1979. She went on to gain her masters of nursing and doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997 and 2009, respectively. Fennimore first worked in surgical oncology, but later in her career pursued leadership and educational roles.

She’s served as a clinical director at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute from 1992–1997, as ONS’s director of education from 1999–2006, and as the director of nursing at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital from 2006–2008 and then as the director of organizational development, nursing education, and research at UPMC Presbyterian . From 2010–2015, Fennimore served as the director of clinical programs for UPMC Health Plan, where she provided case management staff with leadership and clinical direction for adult, maternity, and pediatric patient populations. Since 2015, she has worked as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing where she teaches in the DNP program focused on Health Systems Executive Leadership.

“I am very excited to serve as the next president of ONS,” Fennimore says. “I look forward to the support of outstanding ONS volunteer and staff leaders. Together, we will build on and sustain our rich history as the professional home for nurses who care for patients with cancer.”

Selecting a New ONS President

Choosing and appointing the next ONS president was a measured process that the ONS Board of Directors carried out leading into its October 2017 meeting. Qualified directors-at-large were encouraged to submit a letter of intent and invited to hold a TED talk-style presentation to address organization-specific questions facing oncology nursing and the future of cancer care. Candidates were thoughtfully considered based on their qualifications, presentations, and a predetermined set of criteria.

“As board members,  we implemented the bylaw change   establishing the selection process for choosing a president from among our board members,” Susan Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, ACNS-BC, FAAN, current ONS president, said. “Along the way, the board evaluation process has been strengthened, and I want to thank all of the candidates for sharing their expertise and running for office. I’d also like to thank Joni Watson, MBA, MSN, RN, OCN®, and Jean Rosiak, DNP, RN, AOCNP®, CBCN®, for their leadership as part of the nominating committee and helping to develop the presidential selection process.”

Moving forward, the ONS Board of Directors will continued to select officers according to this process, including electing a new treasurer in March 2018. New presidents will continue to be selected at the board’s October meeting.. The elected presidential candidate will assume the title president-elect effective January 1 and will begin his or her tenure as president at the following Congress. This window of time allows newly elected presidents to  orient with their predecessor to gain a deeper understanding of the ONS president’s extended roles and responsibilities.

In 2018, ONS members will vote to elect three new members to serve on the ONS Board of Directors. Member elections begin January 7 and run until February 16, 2018. Watch your email for your ballot, and vote for your newest board members.

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