Strategic Plan Outlines the What, Why, and How for ONS in 2020–2022

March 09, 2020 by Laura Fennimore DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, 2018-2020 ONS President

A key responsibility of any board of directors is to set the strategic direction for the organization. Volunteer board leaders determine the what and why of initiatives that will move the organization forward. Staff leaders develop the how statements: goal descriptors, implementation tactics, and measurable outcomes.  

Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, ONS President
Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, ONS President

The ONS Board and staff leaders have spent a great deal of time in the past year planning, exploring, and projecting priorities for the future. We worked with a design thinking firm, past ONS presidents, ONS members, and key thought leaders in health care to project the future of oncology nursing by 2029 through a comprehensive review of forecasted changes in oncology care and treatment, healthcare delivery systems and payment methodologies, and technology’s impact on every aspect of cancer care. We look forward to sharing more details about that process during a power session at the 45th Annual ONS Congress in San Antonio next month.  

Recognizing that getting to our future state requires incremental steps, the ONS Board approved the following 2020–2022 strategic priorities aligned with the organization’s mission, vision, and values. 

Being Ready for Change 

ONS’s first priority is to prepare for changes in nursing practice and the delivery of cancer care. ONS is recognized across the globe as a leading authority for excellence in oncology nursing, defined by our standards of care and practice. For the next three years, we will focus on developing tools, standards, and resources that will assist nurses to provide quality nursing care in the dynamic environment of cancer care. Oncology nurses will generate new science and lead the integration of new knowledge into practice and policy changes.  

Creating and Innovating 

Next, ONS will stimulate a culture of innovation by helping nurses to create, implement, and measure practice change across the cancer care delivery system and continuum of care. For example, ONS has worked with Johnson and Johnson on its Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology, encouraging oncology nurses to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and leverage their hands-on patient experience and daily resourcefulness.  

Giving Oncology Nurses a Voice 

ONS will strengthen the voice of oncology nursing throughout the cancer care environment, particularly by influencing cancer care in policy development in healthcare delivery systems and payment reform at the state and federal level. As the most trusted profession (, nurses must be active participants at every table where cancer care is designed, implemented, and evaluated. ONS will provide resources for leadership development that prepare oncology nurses to demonstrate how their impact is essential to the delivery of quality cancer care.  

Working Effectively and Efficiently 

Finally, ONS will collect and monitor data and trends in oncology nursing and professional associations so it can work as effectively and efficiently as possible to meet member needs. 

What This Means for ONS Members 

It is an exciting time to be a part of ONS as we prioritize and carry out our core values of excellence, innovation, and advocacy. We look forward to sharing additional details about how ONS members can be involved as individuals and through their chapters in these strategic priorities.  

We would love to hear from you if you have questions about ONS’s plans for 2020–2022. Please email us at (

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