To uncover what you value and whether your ONS membership is currently meeting your needs, ONS surveys its members every January. Your responses help us understand how you experience ONS and what is important to you as well as the challenges you face and the skills you need for the future. This year, 1,068 of you returned your surveys, and I am grateful that you took the time to provide your feedback.
ONS Membership Amplifies Your Voice
Two events recently demonstrated to me why being an ONS member is important and rewarding. As an essential part of a nurse’s professional responsibility, advocacy is one of ONS’s core values. We advocate on behalf of people with cancer to ensure they have access to quality care, and we also advocate on behalf of our profession—and by “we,” I mean you, our members.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act, which supports reimbursement for lymphedema treatment supplies, has been part of ONS’s health policy agenda for several legislative cycles. Our advocacy education and resources empowered members to be advocates for this and other priority legislation, and many of you informed your elected officials why the legislation was needed. Adding your voices to ONS’s collaboration with other organizations finally led to the bill’s passage at the end of 2022.
When ONS informs elected officials that we speak for 100,000 oncology nurses, it has an impact. Even more meaningful were the stories and examples members shared to illustrate why access to lymphedema treatment is quality care. Thank you all!
ONS Membership Creates Connections
With close to 35,000 members, ONS represents the broad expanse of where and how cancer care is delivered. Networking has always been integral to the value of a member organization. Although we have many more ways to connect today than when ONS was formed almost 50 years ago, an oncology nurse’s network is never more important than when a personal situation arises.
During the holidays, my cousin contacted me about her 35-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with a mass in her chest, suspected to be malignant. She asked for my help and recommendations of where her daughter should go for treatment in her area. As an ONS member for more than 40 years, I have assisted in making many connections, but this was the first time for a family member.
In this situation, I knew more than one colleague I could reach out to directly, but even if I hadn’t, I knew I could access my peers through the member directory, communities, or chapter listings. I so appreciate my colleagues who connected with her and are coordinating her entry in the cancer care environment while I support my cousin virtually.
Share the Value You Find in ONS With Others
ONS volunteer opportunities and education influenced and shaped my career development as a nurse and a leader. As CEO, I see the effort that volunteers and staff put into developing the high-quality, evidence-based resources you tell us are important on the annual survey. We have heard repeatedly that individuals become members because another member told them about ONS and invited them to attend a chapter meeting, take a course, or attend ONS Congress®. ONS is your professional home; invite others to join you. Expand our network’s reach. It is vital, professionally and personally.