Happy New Year! The beginning of the year is a time to look forward and anticipate possibilities. It is also a time to reflect on what has been accomplished in the past year.
Looking forward, I would like to congratulate Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, who has been selected by the ONS Board as our next president. Laura will begin her two-year (2018–2020) term in May at Congress. Laura’s dedication, analytical approach, and thoughtful deliberations will help her lead our organization.
Fennimore’s selection as president is the first under the ONS bylaw changes that were approved in 2016. Reflecting back, I’d like to revisit how this change came about. Two years ago, ONS members voted to approve a bylaws change in which directors-at-large are elected by the Society’s membership and then officers are elected from within the Board by the directors. Over the past year, Board members implemented the process for choosing a president. We identified a nominating committee, which developed an officer selection process. Qualified directors-at-large submitted a letter of intent and did 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. Following the presentations at our October board meeting, the next president was elected via an electronic ballot.
In preparation for electing our officers, our Board evaluation process has been strengthened. Each year ONS Board members complete a self-evaluation using the ONS leadership competencies. We also conduct peer feedback sessions with each individual board member, and the entire board completes a survey regarding how we are functioning as a team. This process has helped us to identify our strengths and thoughtfully consider who is best qualified to serve as an officer.
Looking back on my two terms on the ONS Board, I have observed the Board transition six times. Each time, I am sad that our experienced, dedicated members are transitioning off the Board, but I am always equally amazed at the new perspectives of the talented, energetic individuals who are coming on the Board. ONS is fortunate to have such amazing leaders, and I am truly honored to serve with all of them.
Our organization was founded by visionary leaders. We are fortunate to have talented leaders to guide us in 2018. The ONS national election is now open. Please help us to ensure our future and take time to vote for our next leaders.