Take Charge of Developing Your Leadership Skills With the LDC

July 02, 2018 by Laura Fennimore DNP, RN, NEA-BC, ONS President
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Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Have you ever found a letter from your past tucked away in a favorite book? That’s what happened to me as I started to write this column. It was from my sister, Deb, the other nurse in our family.

I had been struggling a bit with my job at the time, which was focused on helping an organization to build a culture of positive nursing practice. She reminded me that my leadership was essential so that nurses at the bedside could make a difference. The book I had saved her letter in was Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree.

What ONS Has Taught Me About Leadership

When I reflect on my years as an oncology nurse, I know how much I have learned because I have been an ONS member. I have learned about cancer diagnoses, complex treatments, symptom management, and cancer survivorship plans that include palliative care. I have learned about oncology quality outcomes, novel care delivery systems supported by nurse navigators, and the significant contributions of oncology nurse researchers. And I have learned a good deal about leadership through networking and leadership opportunities with my local ONS chapter, project teams and task forces, and serving as a board member. I have learned that, just as oncology nursing is about the art and science of caring, an understanding of both the art and science of leadership is required for leaders to shine. The ONS Board and membership knows that as well.

Take Charge of Developing Your Leadership Skills With the LDC
Ashley Bryant, PhD, RN-BC, OCN®, LDC Chair

How the LDC Grows Future Leaders

The ONS Board established the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) following the ONS bylaws change in early 2016. The committee charter describes that its purpose is to “foster leadership development in members and to ensure succession planning for ONS leadership positions, including oversight of the election procedures.” Ashley Bryant, PhD, RN-BC, OCN®, serves as the chair of this important committee starting in 2018. In collaboration with the ONS Board, Bryant and the six additional LDC members will identify leadership opportunities for ONS members and cultivate candidates who are willing and qualified to serve at the Board level and in other leadership positions. The ONS Board and LDC will build on existing leadership development resources such as the ONS Leadership Competencies and the free ONS online course Board Leadership: Nurses in Governance that address both the art and science of leadership.

The LDC will join with other leaders from the ONS, ONS Foundation, and Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation boards and more than 200 ONS chapters later this month in Pittsburgh for the annual ONS Leadership Weekend. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about volunteer leadership and how to engage busy oncology nurses in this amazing organization.

Like oncology nursing, leadership is hard work, as is the ONS vision to transform cancer care. Preparing our leaders to serve in every setting where cancer care is delivered will take hard work, too. Remember that our success depends on your leadership. Take advantage of available leadership development opportunities as an important benefit of your ONS membership. We welcome your input on this important work by contacting onsboard@ons.org.


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