(August 30, 2018)—For exceptional accomplishments in nursing and health care through the course of her oncology career, ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, has been named an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Living Legend. The Living Legend designation is AAN’s highest honor and was awarded to seven nursing professionals for 2018. The Academy will honor its Living Legend designees at its annual policy conference in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018.
“To receive the American Academy of Nursing’s highest honor, Living Legend, is a tremendous recognition of my research and contributions,” McCorkle said. “I’ve been successful in my career because I have been given so many opportunities and worked with so many wonderful colleagues. No one achieves success alone—only with the help of many. I love being a nurse, especially an oncology nurse, and oncology nursing has been so meaningful and rewarding to me. I am very grateful to have contributed to developing our specialty.”
As a forerunner for nursing research in symptom management, palliative care, and hospice care for patients with cancer, McCorkle has paved the way for great change in institutions throughout the country during her 45-year career. Her contributions to evidence-based practice and advanced oncology nursing have been vast. In January 2018, McCorkle was the first nurse to receive the Yale Cancer Center Lifetime Achievement.
A long-standing ONS member, McCorkle has been an integral part of the Society. She was the first chair of the ONS Research Committee in 1979, had previously served on the ONS Board of Directors, and played a central role in the formation of the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. She’s also worked with the Advanced Practice Nursing Special Interest Group, has contributed to grant reviews for the ONS Foundation, and published articles in both ONS journals—the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON)and the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF), serving on the latter’s editorial board. McCorkle was also key in helping develop ONS chapters, transforming the former Regional Oncology Nursing Society into what became known as the Puget Sound Chapter—preceding many regional chapters that followed. In 2013, ONS awarded McCorkle the Lifetime Achievement Award for her accomplishment in oncology nursing. She was also named a Friend of the Foundation as a distinguished nurse researcher through the ONS Foundation in 2012.
McCorkle’s contributions to oncology nursing literature as a prolific researcher and author are substantial. She’s published extensively in peer-reviewed journals: in addition to her CJON and ONF publications, her articles have appeared in Psycho-Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, and Journal of Cancer Survivorship, among many others. She is also the author of several books in the field of nursing and end-of-life care.
ONS is a professional association of more than 39,000 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 www.ons.org.