Nancy Houlihan Selected as ONS President-Elect

November 25, 2019 by Chris Pirschel ONS Staff Writer/Producer
Nancy Houlihan
Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®

PITTSBURGH, PA—November, 25, 2019—To continue to guide the future path of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and its commitment to innovation, advocacy, and excellence in the nursing profession, the ONS Board of Directors has elected Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Director of Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®, as the Society’s next president. Houlihan will succeed Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, who concludes her two-year tenure as president on April 29, 2020, at ONS’s 45th Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX.

“It’s an exciting time in oncology with innovations in treatments that extend life and new technologies redefining care delivery. Oncology nurses are at the forefront of those changes, defining the care of patients in a new paradigm and adapting to new challenges of access and digital platforms,” Houlihan said. “I look forward to working with our dynamic Board of Directors who is committed to ensuring that oncology nurses have the knowledge, skills, and values to lead innovations in cancer care—now and through the next decade.”

Houlihan has been an oncology nurse for her entire career. She achieved her bachelor of nursing science from Hunter College City University and her master of arts in nursing as a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, both in New York, NY. At MSK, Houlihan has worked in several clinical and administrative positions, including clinical nurse specialist, clinical program manager for the Cancer Survivorship Program, and nurse leader for the Breast and Imaging Center. She is also a member of MSK’s Executive Nursing Council.

“Nancy has served ONS in many ways and is well known to many ONS members,” Fennimore said. “She has contributed to ONS as a chapter leader, author, editor, and member of project teams and national committees. Nancy is a proven leader who brings a rich background of oncology nursing to the role of president. The ONS Board is excited to work with her in this new role.” 

Houlihan has been an active ONS member for more than 20 years. She served as an officer in her local New York City ONS Chapter, where she remains a member; was a member of the Society’s 2009 Cancer Survivorship Task Force; was chair of ONS’s Nominating Committee in 2011; served on the Congress Planning Team from 2013–2014; and was the Board representative for the Society’s Leadership Development Initiative Think Tank in 2019.  

ONS is a professional association of more than 35,000 members 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 (

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