Nurse practitioners (NPs) play an undeniably valuable role in producing quality outcomes in cancer patients. For National NP Week from November 11–17, 2018, pause with ONS to recognize, thank, and support the oncology NPs who relentlessly pursue excellence, striving for the best for their patients from diagnosis through survivorship.
Role of NPs in Oncology
As critical components of the healthcare team, NPs help patients and their caregivers navigate the confusion and questions associated with diagnostic tests and a resulting diagnosis. They help them understand treatment options, ensure a patient’s voice is integrated into treatment plans, vigilantly assess for complications and manage side effects, and ensure a seamless transition to survivorship or end-of-life care. Outcomes of NPs’ involvement in care are well documented, specifically regarding increased patient satisfaction and reduced hospital readmission rates.
How ONS Supports Oncology NPs
ONS endorses and advocates for access to quality care for all patients with cancer, including care from NPs permitted to practice to the fullest extent of their licensure. Just as oncology NPs advocate for their patients, ONS advocates for NPs, speaking to federal organizations and other key stakeholders to ensure the voice of the oncology NP is heard and understood as cancer care policies are reviewed.
What remains consistent in today’s ever-changing cancer care environment is ONS’s commitment to providing NPs with the resources and tools they need to carry out their demanding role. Through courses, articles, publications, podcasts, virtual communities, and national conferences, ONS curates content specifically for NPs, from new legislature like Right to Try and medical cannabis to assessing for and managing adverse events associated with fast-tracked agents. ONS is continually assessing the landscape of advanced practice, listening to our NP members, and providing the content and resources that help you provide the level of care patients have always been able to expect from NPs.
NP Work in ONS
And it’s not just ONS supporting NPs, but a reciprocal relationship where NPs give back by undertaking important work in the Society. Here are just a few of the many NPs involved in ONS initiatives.
- Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, is one of several ONS directors-at-large representing the voice of the NP on the ONS Board of Directors. She’s also been involved in the ONS core competencies program and the ONS NP Summit.
- Krista Rubin, MS, RN, FNP-BC, has done extensive work in educating the ONS community about care for patients with melanoma, particularly regarding the new immunotherapy treatments for the disease. She will present an advanced practice session on immunotherapy at the 44th Annual ONS Congress in Anaheim, CA, in April 2019.
- Mary Peterson, MS, APRN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®, has been involved in synthesizing and evaluating the evidence for ONS’s Putting Evidence Into Practice Prevention of Infection resources.
- Kimberly Noonan, RN, NP, AOCN®, was involved in the NP Summit with Mackey. She’s also undertaking other work to inform NP priorities in ONS, including updating the NP competencies.
Join ONS in thanking and honoring oncology NPs this week, as well as all oncology nurses throughout the year. Every nurse who cares for patients with cancer makes a difference, at every level of practice.