Teamwork Truly Makes the Dream Work at ONS
As I reflect on my year as ONS president from 2022–2023, my heart is filled with gratitude for the ONS Board of Directors members, staff, and members at large who contribute to the greater whole of what we know as ONS. Our organization is thriving thanks to teamwork at all levels. Ronald Reagan once quoted (https://www.reaganfoundation.org/ronald-reagan/reagan-quotes-speeches/remarks-at-a-meeting-of-the-white-house-conference-for-a-drug-free-america/) a sign he looked at daily that says, “There is no limit to what we can do or where we can go if we don’t mind who gets the credit.” Likewise, it’s truly a collective team that makes things happen in ONS.
Throughout our lives, we are involved with many types of teams, work groups, and collaborations. By definition (https://sites.psu.edu/leadership/2021/05/04/the-best-way-to-instill-teamwork/), teamwork is a group’s joint effort to achieve a common goal or complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. I’ve always loved being part of a team—exchanging ideas, listening to diverse perspectives, and learning from colleagues who quickly become friends. Teamwork has been a central part of my life as an ONS volunteer, but it’s become even clearer during my past three years on the ONS Board of Directors and as ONS president.
The ONS Board is a team of volunteer members who oversee ONS’s strategic direction. Each volunteer brings a diverse background, skill set, and personality to the team to oversee governance, strategy, and fiduciary matters. Together, we have accomplished many milestones this year, including launching a new strategic plan; conducting diversity, equity, and inclusion training for leadership volunteers; donating $1 million to the Oncology Nursing Foundation; launching the 50th anniversary planning committee; initiating a young leaders pilot program; and developing new position statements, including two forthcoming ones on climate change and fertility in adolescents and young adults.
Those are only a handful of the initiatives that we have tackled, and yet the ONS Board does not function alone in its work. ONS staff is in the background, making the wheels turn at ONS every day, and the Board collaborates regularly with the chief executive officer, chief clinical officer, chief financial officer, executive director, and director of government affairs and advocacy. Together with more than 100 additional staff across ONS, the Oncology Nursing Foundation, and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, we work as one large team to support the ONS Enterprise’s overall mission.
But most importantly, we are a member organization—ONS exists because of all of you out there! Many of you have volunteered nationally with ONS on committees, think tanks, project teams, editorial boards, awards committees, and more. And many of you provide a local ONS presence in communities across the United States as local chapter leaders. But together, we are ONS. I have been so humbled to serve you as ONS president this past year, and I could not be prouder of the work we all do together. Danya Garner, PhD, RN, NPD-BC, OCN®, CCRN-K, congratulations on your selection as the next ONS president! I know that through your leadership, the ONS team will continue to thrive.
2022–2023 ONS Board of Directors, pictured left to right, top to bottom: Patricia Geddie, PhD, APRN, AOCNS®, FCNS, Danya Garner, PhD, RN, NPD-BC, OCN®, CCRN-K, Deborah "Hutch" Allen, PhD, RN, CNS, FNP-BC, AOCNP®, Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®, Jeanene "Gigi" Robison, MSN, APRN, AOCN®, Teresa Knoop, MSN, RN, AOCN®, Jeannine M. Brant, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN®, FAAN, Kris Mathey, MS, APRN-CNP, AOCNP®, and Valerie Burger, MA, MS, RN, OCN®, CPN