The changing economic climate and generational desires have impacted nursing organizations that have traditionally been strong advocates to educate nurses and improve patient care. In light of this, the ONS Board of Directors is discussing relevance as we look toward the future of ONS. Key concepts from dictionary definitions include “sensible or logical connection to something of value,” “importance for real-world issues,” “applicability and pertinence,” and “germane.”

ONS is sought after by other national and international groups with similar values. Why is that? ONS is viewed as addressing important real-world issues. One example is ONS’s invitation, one of only 10 invitees, to attend the American Society of Clinical Oncology Collaborative Quality Measure Summit. Our leaders reported on the ONS/ONS Foundation evidence-based measures, inspiring an interprofessional discussion of patient-centered quality measures that led to identification of the need for multiple symptom assessment, intervention, and management, rather than looking at individual symptoms in isolation. The ONS measure submission also led to discussion about collaborative goal setting with patients, showing applicability and pertinence that is germane to patient care.

Is relevance important? Yes. Does it just evolve? No. Relevance requires continued effort to build on the organization’s strengths, concentrate on resources already present, and develop leaders who fit the organization and do not fear change, but do fear loss (Harrison & Byers, 2011). Leaders need to be nimble, making decisions quickly but with input from relevant others such as the previous ONS president, collaborators, the membership, and the current environment.

Is ONS still relevant? Yes. Look at the strategic plan’s pillars of knowledge, technology, leadership, and quality. Can ONS stay in the race for relevance? Yes, but the activities of membership need to be practiced and built upon by communicating to and with the leaders. This race has a finish line to accomplish ONS goals, but it does not end there. If we look carefully, more exciting off-shoots and paths emerge in the continued relevance race as ONS staff and members focus on creativity and innovation to achieve the ONS mission to lead the transformation of cancer care.

Following are highlights of the actions and decisions the ONS Board of Directors made during its October, November, and December 2012 meetings to maintain relevance.

Strategic Plan

  • Staff presented an update on the technology strategic plan. Systems are being upgraded or implemented to enhance the user experience.
  • The Board completed the core work exercise that began during its July meeting.


  • All Board members are reading Race for Relevance by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers in preparation for Mary Byers’ Board presentation at the January meeting.


  • The Board reviewed and approved a revised asset allocation to increase cash and equivalents and reduce the intermediate fixed income for 2013. Overall investment margins for third quarter were improved.
  • The treasurer’s reports were reviewed and approved.
  • The Board approved the 2013 building, capital, and operational budgets. The budget remains balanced for 2013. The group also approved the 2013 compensation package as presented by the compensation committee.
  • A membership dues increase for all categories was approved for 2013. The increase amount will be discussed at the March 2013 meeting and will be communicated to members as soon as a decision is reached.
  • The Board approved a variance request to begin the implementation of changes for the digital/mobile version of ONS Connect, which will be restructured and relaunched in spring 2013.
  • A discussion was conducted around philosophies in how pricing of ONS products and services. It focused on the distinction of pricing for members versus nonmembers.


  • The Board discussed needed skill sets with the Nominating Committee and reviewed potential names for the Board-appointed Nominating Committee member. A final decision will be made in January 2013 and reported in a future installment of Board Briefs.
  • The SIG Council recommended to change the minimum requirements for a focus group to apply for a SIG; the Board approved the change.
  • The merger of the Ohio River Cities Chapter with the Mountain State Chapter was approved.
  • The Board approved the disbanding of the GYN Focus Group.
  • The transition of the North West New Jersey and Napa Valley California chapters in progress to full chapters was approved.
  • Chapter special project funding was awarded to the Santa Clara Valley and Central Georgia chapters.

Professional Practice

Affiliated Organizations

  • The Board reviewed the ONS:Edge financials through November 2012.