Cancer care is always changing, new science is constantly developing, and oncology nurses must work to keep up. ONS’s philosophy is that every nurse has room to develop knowledge, practice, and research. As an organization, we embody a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development because we understand that both are crucial to oncology nursing and patient outcomes.

Kathleen Wiley, RN, MSN, AOCNS®
Kathleen Wiley, RN, MSN, AOCNS®, is the director of oncology nursing practice at ONS in Pittsburgh, PA

ONS’s unique approach to education aligns competencies with each nursing discipline. The Society developed and maintains competencies for seven key oncology nursing roles, which ONS staff and content developers use to create educational content that addresses each tenet of nursing care for that discipline.

The Society’s educational programming spans a nurse’s career trajectory. Our content for novice nurses enhances facility-based orientation. We provide more advanced programs for nurses seeking certification and more specialized role-specific resources. For nurses at any level, the content facilitates knowledge growth as well as leadership, advocacy, and research opportunities.

Programs are built through collaboration of ONS member clinicians as subject matter experts with ONS staff who have expertise in developing programming and instructional design. The first step is to identify quality educational products that will translate to improved cancer care. We connect with ONS members through social media, review threads on ONS Communities, and conduct surveys through email campaigns to gauge the topics that are most important to and sought after by our members. We also evaluate related knowledge and practice gaps to ensure our educational content can help nurses improve care.

Next we start the content development process. Subject matter experts help inform and develop our resources, and we use only the most current evidence-based literature. We also ensure that the content ties into other ONS publications, guidelines, and position statements, which maintains consistency across our resources and allows for seamless integration into clinical practice settings.

Finally, our learning platforms use cutting-edge, innovative technologies that benefit all types of learning styles, including online courses, learning libraries, in-person and virtual conferences, podcasts, videos, chapter programs, and journal articles. All of those opportunities are available at

Our rigorous processes for developing and maintaining educational content has earned ONS accreditation with distinction from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 

Through ONS, oncology nurses can foster different interests and professional goals regardless of education level and subspeciality. A holistic approach—attention to detail, awareness of global trends in cancer care, and commitment to every role in oncology nursing throughout the care continuum—is what makes ONS the professional home for oncology nurses.