PITTSBURGH, PA—December 21, 2021—The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) launched its third ONS–ONCC Hackathon™ in November, designed to create innovative solutions for current and future nurses in the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based cancer care in all possible settings.

The winning team comprised of Shannon Krajewski, MSN, RN, OCN®, CMSRN, and Stefanie Wenger, MSN, RN, BMTCN®, OCN®, proposed a solution to increase preceptor development by creating a toolkit that ONS will include on its website. The toolkit will provide preceptors with the resources they need to successfully train nurses new to the oncology specialty.

“Innovation is an ONS core value, and as an organization, we are committed to leading the transformation of cancer care through this challenging period of constant change. The Hackathon provides us with a platform for generating ideas and solutions in partnership with our members, the oncology experts on the front lines of change management, and industry mentors,” Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®, ONS board president, said. “The ideas generated at this Hackathon are cutting edge and have the potential to lead oncology nursing in exciting new directions.”

The four-week virtual event brought together oncology nurses with varied backgrounds and expertise to brainstorm on how to best nurture and validate the competence of nurses who deliver cancer care to patients in a variety of settings, with varying levels of intensity, from 2021–2029.

“We need to prepare the future nursing workforce to deliver care where the patient is versus the patient always coming to a treatment site,” Michele Galioto, DNP, RN, CNS, executive director for the ONS Center for Innovation, said. “If our workforce is not ready for the changes in safe cancer care delivery, then we need a different way of preparing future nurses.”

Hackathon participants worked together to accelerate discovery and brainstorm, design, and provide solutions that address the identified challenge. Participants included oncology nurse leaders, nurse educators, school of nursing faculty, staff, and advanced practice nurses who created innovative solutions that optimized knowledge, skills, expertise, and systems to best prepare the nursing workforce.

Many expert facilitators, speakers, and mentors were available throughout the Hackathon to provide guidance and validate solutions to foster the best-quality solutions:

  • Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
  • Tracy Gosselin, PhD, RN, AOCN®, NEA-BC, FAAN, senior vice president, chief nurse executive, and chair of nursing at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Anne Gross, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Patricia Jakel, RN, MN, AOCN®, oncology education consultant
  • Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE, executive director at the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Mary Ellen Rich, MBA, director of credentialing at the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation 
  • Susan M. Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, associate professor emerita at Duke University
  • William Taylor, PhD, senior scientist in the Talent Assessment and Analytics program at the Human Resources Research Organization
  • Maxim Topaz, PhD, RN, MA, Elizabeth Standish Gill associate professor of nursing at the Columbia University Medical Center
  • Melissa Lopez Varon, MSc, program director at MD Anderson Cancer Center

ONS is a professional association that represents 100,000 nurses and is the professional home to more than 35,000 members. ONS is committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.