The World Needs to Hear Our Voices as Oncology Nurses
Whether as a whisper or a roar, a voice is simply a composition of unique sounds that produces a multitude of meanings. However, all voices should be heard. In particular, those who advocate for and provide care to people with cancer should bellow their voices broadly to improve quality of life and outcomes.
When the Nurse Coach Becomes the Client: How I Restored Balance and Set Goals on a Healing Journey
Part of the very nature of our humanity, every one of us will experience some form of misfortune, grief, or sadness throughout our lives. In what may seem like impossible conditions, many of us doubt whether we can find any joy or peace. Although ordinary human beings can rise to such challenges in extraordinary ways, a nurse coach can provide the necessary care and guidance to help nurses achieve that and be better able to care for others.
Recentering Nursing Care to Meet the Needs of Patients and Families Calls for Global Executive Action, ONS Member Activist Says
Burnout knows no borders. The nursing workforce crisis cares little about country lines or continents. Regardless of their time zone, nurses in all settings are leaving the profession. “Healthcare systems are ailing, and they are in urgent need of healing. [We] call to action health system executives and other leaders to support, promote, and enable bold experiments to avert additional personnel losses and improve patient outcomes,” ONS member Christopher Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN®, and colleagues wrote in a July 2023 NAM Perspectives commentary.
Filipino American History Month Shines Light on the Contributions and Challenges of a Committed Community of Nurses
Although Filipino Americans represent about 1% of the U.S. population, the community comprises a comparatively high 4% of the nursing workforce. October is Filipino American History Month, a time to recognize and honor the amazing history and journey of the Filipino American nursing community.
Biden-Harris Administration Invests $100 Million in Awards to Grow the Nursing Workforce
Well before the trauma, stress, and burnout from COVID-19, the nursing profession was facing a national workforce shortage. Decision-makers and the advocacy community—including ONS—have had serious policy discussions on how to blunt the impact on the patient population, including promoting federal investments at the Health Resources and Services Administration for more than a year. In August 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration responded, announcing a $100 million awards program to stem the tide.
This Week's Advocacy News: 'What’s Behind an Alarming Rise in Violent Incidents in Healthcare Facilities'
Healthcare workers are five times as likely to experience workplace violence as other workers, according to government data. In a National Nurses United survey in 2022, 40% of hospital nurses said they’d seen an increase in violent incidents. Karen Coughlin, chair of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s workplace violence and abuse prevention task force, joins John Yang to discuss.
Institutional Service Dogs Help Nurses With Their Practice and Well-Being
Interacting with animals can have positive effects on our well-being, including easing loneliness and reducing stress. To bring those benefits to patients in a healthcare setting, institutions may employ service or therapy dogs. But those pups don’t brighten days for patients alone—they also spread joy to healthcare staff, including nurses. To honor those helpful hounds, September is National Service Dog Month.
Develop the Next Generation of ONS’s Leadership by Applying for the LDC
Leadership Development Committee (LDC) members are responsible for ensuring effective succession planning for the Society through assessing interested members’ readiness for Board service using established criteria and a comprehensive vetting process. The LDC identifies candidates who best align with the Board’s needs and ONS’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
U.S. Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Increase Access to APRN Care
Ensuring that advanced practice RNs (APRNs) can deliver care to the full extent of their training and licensure is one way to remove barriers that limit patients’ access to high quality cancer care. In support of that goal, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) reintroduced the Improving Care and Access to Nurses Act in July 2023. U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jennifer Kiggans (R-VA), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL)—all members of the Congressional Nursing Caucus—introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in April 2023.
Warm Weather Provides a Wave of Ways for Nurses to Practice Well-Being
Summer is a time to get outside, relax, and enjoy the fresh air. Whether it’s the mood boost from daylight exposure or increasing your body’s production of vitamin D, soaking in the sunniest of seasons supports our well-being.
ONS Members Join Campaign Seminar on Need for Nurses to Run for Office
Nurses often cite the fact that the profession is the most trusted, according to Gallup polls—as if that is enough to validate our profession’s status. Although the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness for frontline workers, only recently have we begun to understand the nurse’s value in the health policy environment. Nurses have a real voice at the decision-making table, and Healing Politics’ Campaign School for Nurses and Midwives is helping to make strides.
Certification Was a Critical Step Along My Oncology Nursing Career Journey
I always wanted to be a nurse, but it was unattainable for me as a single mother until online programs became available in the mid-2000s. I was a nursing assistant for 18 years before I became a nurse in 2015.
U.S. Congress Introduces Resolution to Celebrate National Nurses Week
Honoring the important contributions of nurses, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jen Kiggans (R-VA), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution to recognize National Nurses Week.
Simple Meditation Practices Can Maintain Your Mind and Soothe Your Soul
People have practiced meditation for centuries, possibly thousands of years. Although meditation can take many forms, all are generally backed by the idea of connecting your mind to your body, which can calm you and enhance your personal well-being.
NCPD Podcasts Increase Oncology Nurses’ Confidence and Competence in Managing Toxicities
Listening to educational podcasts improves oncology nurse learners’ knowledge of managing treatment-related adverse events by 11%–27% and safety by 24%, researchers reported during a podium presentation at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.
Celebrate the Difference You Make and Reflect on Your ‘Whys’ in Oncology Nursing
When more than 3,000 oncology nurses gather together for ONS Congress®, the energy is electric. We just concluded our 48th annual conference in San Antonio, TX, and I am honored to now serve as your next president. If you attended, I hope that you were able to rejuvenate, refocus, and revitalize and enjoyed meeting new oncology nurses and connecting with colleagues, as I did, celebrating each other and our profession while taking advantage of important nursing continuing professional development opportunities. If you weren’t able to attend this year, visit ONS Voice’s conference section to watch video news reports of ONS Congress’s key moments.
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 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.
Believe It or Not, You Can Face the Day With Little to No Caffeine
Caffeine is an integral part of daily life for many. Food and beverage manufacturers are capitalizing on our consumption beyond daily cups of coffee, putting the stimulant in everyday foods like donuts and bottled beverages, including water. However, too much caffeine may affect our health, leading the Caffeine Awareness Alliance to designate March as National Caffeine Awareness Month. You’re in good company if you use caffeine as a regular way to start your day, but here are some strategies if you want to cut back.
Female Leaders in Science and Medicine Drive Discoveries at NIH
From supporting the studies that led to the COVID-19 vaccine to championing diversity in the National Institutes of Health itself, women are making a difference in NIH’s halls, divisions, and programs. The agency is highlighting some of its female leaders throughout Women’s History Month in March in the Record, an NIH publication. The first feature includes a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric hematologist/oncologist who shared their experiences and wisdom and offered insight into their careers in science and medicine.
Cancer Care’s Global Connections Turn Places Into People
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths each year. That alarming statistic reminds us that we are part of a global network of oncology nurses caring for those diagnosed with cancer. For many people in low- to middle-income countries, late-stage disease, premature death, and pain and suffering are common. Opioids and supportive care medications are sometimes sparse, and clinicians lack the knowledge and resources to provide palliative care.
How I Practice Mindfulness as an Oncology Nurse
The nursing profession both rewards and challenges me: Like many of you, I give so much of myself, but sometimes I’m running on reserve. Over the years, I have been asked how I keep it together and stay calm. As I reflected on such questions, I realized that I unconsciously practice mindfulness throughout my day.
The Power of Reading on a Nurse’s Well-Being
Reading is ubiquitous in life: Whether it’s to learn or understand something at work, to identify the right item at the grocery store, or to simply unwind at home, we regularly find ourselves reading many times throughout the day. But intentionally escaping to the pages of a great book can help improve our personal and professional well-being.
With Patient and Persistent Advocacy, Nurses Help Pass Critical Healthcare Legislation
In the final days of 2022, as the world turned the calendar to celebrate a new year, the cancer advocacy community also celebrated: One of ONS’s longtime priority bills, the Lymphedema Treatment Act, achieved a landmark legislative win, passing the U.S. Senate as part of the fiscal year 2023 omnibus funding package. President Biden signed it into law on December 29, 2022, securing access to treatment supplies for patients with cancer-related lymphedema.
White House Proposes Policies to Enhance STEMM Ecosystem
From the workforce to the populations that the discoveries support, America’s science and technology ecosystem is in dire need of diversity and equity, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said. In December 2022, it launched an action plan to create avenues in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine for previously excluded communities.
What Do You Value as an ONS Member?
To uncover what you value and whether your ONS membership is currently meeting your needs, ONS surveys its members every January. Your responses help us understand how you experience ONS and what is important to you as well as the challenges you face and the skills you need for the future. This year, 1,068 of you returned your surveys, and I am grateful that you took the time to provide your feedback.
Mentorships Open Opportunities for Oncology Nurses’ Career Growth and Wellness
Oncology nurses recognize the value of mentorship in their practice, crediting it to bridging knowledge gaps, identifying best practices, building confidence, and providing a rock and safe person to go to. January is National Mentoring Month, and we’ve asked ONS members to share their own experiences that have helped them grow professionally and personally.
Demonstrate Your Scope of Practice by Becoming an Oncology Certified Nurse
In the years following their initial licensure, nurses will often pursue certification. Obtaining certification shows a nurse’s commitment to their profession, specialty, and patients. Along with showing their commitment, certifications validate a nurse’s qualification and knowledge of a specific area.
Nurses’ Voices Have Particular Power in Health Policy
Midterm elections occurring halfway through a U.S. president’s first cycle are a referendum on that administration’s policies. Unable to take out their frustrations directly with the country’s chief executive, voters historically punish the president’s party at the ballot box. Still, politics is about people, and political scientists discourage attempts to quantify reactions and unexpected results. November 2022’s realignment of the federal power structure was an expected outcome.
HHS Invests $13 Million to Grow and Strengthen the Nursing Workforce
Making a commitment to equip today’s and future nurses with the knowledge they need to deliver safe, high-quality care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded $13 million in October 2022 to programs to improve access to. The awarded funds are part of a series of investments the Biden-Harris Administration earmarked to support pathways to nursing jobs.
Wrap Up the Year With Reflection and Gratitude
Self-reflection is natural as we transition between years, and sometimes doing so can be difficult. Brains seem to really like to hold onto the lows, but give yourself equal time to celebrate the highs you experienced this year and reflect on all you’re grateful for as you get ready for another trip around the sun.
Join Us in Celebrating All That ONS Members Helped Us Achieve in 2022
When a year winds down, we often find ourselves reflecting on our key moments, events, and accomplishments. Although our challenges from COVID-19—and now the flu and RSV—remain, ONS, the Oncology Nursing Foundation, and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation are proud of serving and supporting you this year. We celebrate your commitment to the profession, to your continued career development, and to our organizations.
Give Thanks for Your Well-Being With Healthy Recipes for Your Holiday Gatherings
The holiday season is an opportunity to unwind, practice well-being, give thanks, and—this month in particular—acknowledge your gratitude for people, circumstances, items, and other things you value and appreciate in your life. Whether you’re celebrating in person or virtually, coming together and spending time with your loved ones is both exciting and overwhelming. Indulge a little, but support and prioritize well-being for both yourself and your loved ones with healthy renditions of your favorite or traditional holiday side dishes.
NOBC Partnerships Advance Nurses’ Placements on Local and National Boards
Nurses’ valuable insight can bring a new perspective to every industry. Extreme dedication, unique experiences, and essential problem-solving skills help nurses to create an impact locally and nationally, and decision-makers have learned that these healthcare professionals have a plethora of valuable insight that must be heard in boardrooms across the country.
Let Your Voice Be Heard as an Oncology Nurse Advocate
Advocacy can mean many things to nurses, and the meaning may even change depending on your position and perspective. The dictionary definition is “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal,” but being an oncology nursing advocate goes far beyond that. It’s about having a vision for something and not settling for the status quo. It’s about striving for the best in whatever that cause may be—our patients, the profession, or health care in general.
Color Out Your Stress and Anxiety
More than an activity for children, many people find that the cathartic art of coloring, particularly intricate patterns and swirling mandalas, may help them destress. The first adult coloring book was published in the 1960s, but adults began embracing the idea en mass in April 2015 when illustrator Johanna Basford was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. By the end of that year, 12 million adult coloring books were sold in the United States.
NINR and NIDDK Directors Praise Nurses for Their Role on Care Teams
Patients have long lauded nurses’ essential role on their care team—and in an August 2022 podcast episode, healthcare agency leaders did too. Shannon Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, National Institute of Nursing Research director, described nurses as important members of care teams during a short conversation with Griffin Rodgers, MD, MACP, National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease director.
Listening to Nurses Is a Start, but Hearing Them Leads to Solutions
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Nurses Foundation has monitored its effect on the nursing profession through a series of surveys, the most recent of which collected specific information on staffing, scheduling, organizational support, and solutions. More than 11,000 nurses contributed to the survey, but those who identified as retired were not included in the data analysis. As I read the findings, the report’s subhead—Nurses Not Feeling Heard, Ongoing Staffing and Workplace Issues Contributing to Unhealthy Work Environment—caught my attention. How does one confirm feeling heard?
Tea Soothes Your Soul and Supports Your Well-Being
Throughout history, many generations have used a hot cup of tea to promote mental and physical wellness. The discovery of tea dates to 2732 B.C., when leaves from a wild tree blew into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s pot of boiling water and the pleasant scent compelled him to take a sip. The legend says that the emperor described how the liquid gave him a warm feeling that invigorated his body and soul.
Workforce Violence Requires Legislative Support
Health care is a hazardous professional industry. As a calling more than a career, providers understand the risks associated with patient interactions. Florence Nightingale’s environmental theory of nursing calls for nurses to tailor a patient’s surroundings to their treatment plan, and that includes creating a safe space for patients and providers alike.
Vision Boards Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
Vision boards are a collage of images and phrases that represent your goals, dreams, and attitudes; they help you manifest your aspirations by physically placing your thoughts into the world. Although few studies have measured their effectiveness, experts suggest that creating a vision board can help you reach your goals.
Nurses Are Pivotal to Advancing Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative
As the most trusted professionals for 20 years in a row, nurses witness the needs of those in our care and are suited to translate them to legislatures, regulatory agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and insurers. We do that by speaking plainly about the impact that cancer has on patients and their families. As experts, our ideas and language can translate into practice changes to transform cancer care.
Your ONS Membership Offers You Benefits in Other Organizations, Too
ONS reaps value and benefits from its many collaborations and teamwork—whether between members and staff the Society’s own partnerships with and memberships in other organizations. You may see the outcomes that ONS achieves from those organizational relationships, but you may not yet realize the direct benefit they have for you as well.
Use This Checklist to Take a Stress-Free Vacation
Summer is synonymous with vacations, and vacations require logistical preparation. (What will I pack? What should I plan to do?) But it’s also important to ready yourself mentally for a period of wellness and rejuvenation to reap the full benefits of a well-deserved getaway. Making a checklist can help eliminate the stress of both, before and during your travel.
Health Worker Burnout and Resignation on the Rise, U.S. Surgeon General Warns
Although healthcare providers have long faced challenges in the healthcare system, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated circumstances and ushered a rising healthcare worker burnout crisis in the United States, according to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s, MD, MBA, warning in May 2022.
Critical Care Nurse Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s Highest Civilian Honor
Reinforcing the public perception of nursing as the most trusted profession, President Joe Biden awarded Sandra Lindsay, DHSc, MS, MBA, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC, a critical care nurse, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2022 for her work in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without My Fellowship Program and ONS, I Would Not Be the Nurse I Am Today
Cancer has affected my family, and I believe that experience made me more empathetic toward my patients. As an undergraduate nursing student, I had the privilege of participating in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Fellowship program, which truly enabled me to appreciate just how special oncology nursing is before I entered the workforce. I have and always will continue to carry the lessons I learned from the experience throughout my professional career, and the opportunity it opened for me to get involved in ONS gave me an incredible resource and community as I advance in my practice.
Oncology Care Model Created New Opportunities for APRNs to Transform Cancer Care
Launched in 2016 as a pilot program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center to develop new payment and delivery system models, the Oncology Care Model had a lofty goal: drive improvements in providing high-quality and cost-effective care.