Mentors Changed My Career at Every Stage, From New Grad to Leader
Oncology nursing is an immensely rewarding calling, but the emotional burdens and stressors can feel overwhelming. Office politics, career changes, and providing end-of-life care are difficult to navigate alone, but partnering with mentors helps nurses work through challenges and grow as leaders. As I look back on my career accomplishments, I can’t deny the influence from several mentors sprinkled throughout that trajectory. Each one gifted me with the insight to develop specific skills that enhanced my practice.
Onboarding and Supporting New Providers Are Your Responsibilities as an APRN Leader
Contributing to the orientation and onboarding of new advanced practice RN (APRN) providers supports optimal patient outcomes, professional satisfaction, and nurse retention. Orientation involves working through the hospital’s training program, policies and procedures, organizational structures, and mission or vision statements, whereas onboarding builds engagement and relationships in the organization over many weeks to months. Some institutions have formalized, detailed processes for orientation and onboarding, but others may offer very little structure and support.
New Guidelines in Cancer Care
Guidelines give oncology nurses an evidence-based, standardized approach to cancer care. But guidelines are most effective used when they’re used as a regular part of practice—a process referred to as implementation.
With several oncology societies releasing new guidelines in 2020 and 2021, including ONS and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the implementation process requires nurse managers and leaders to facilitate staff education, maintain a high quality of care, and answer the all-important question: “Why are we doing this?”
Am I Too Shy to Lead?
Imagine this: You are working toward a leadership position and have all the necessary qualifications and experience, but you are also shy. You’re in a brainstorming meeting with your department and have an idea that would solve the problem, but it’s totally different than what has been proposed so far. Do you speak up or stay quiet? Do you even have a chance at that leadership position if you are too shy to share your idea?
Zoom Through Video Job Interviews With These Tips for Applicants and Hiring Managers
Interviewing for a job is often described as a highly stressful life event. When they’re virtual, job interviews have become even more stressful and challenging. How can you conduct a successful job interview virtually? How can both sides get to know each other without meeting in person? How do virtual job interviews differ from in-person ones?
How to Establish a More Compassionate Workplace
A career of more than 40 years provides experiences and insight that can help nurses prioritize self-care, be more resilient, and stay positive during stressful times. During an on-demand session for the inaugural ONS BridgeTM virtual conference in October 2020, Susan Childress, MN, RN, former director of nursing at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) in Salt Lake City, UT, and recipient of the 2020 Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lectureship, offered advice for oncology nurses in maintaining compassionate care and resiliency in practice.
In a World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind
When I was a new graduate nurse, the first team I was assigned to was dysfunctional. Although we were kind to our patients, that didn’t carry over to our interactions with each other: some nurses made snide remarks and spread unfounded gossip, creating a toxic work environment. The tipping point came when the organization decided to change the oncology unit. The work environment didn’t promote innovation or encourage the staff to collaborate so the unit couldn’t handle the changes and eventually closed.
Nurses Can Access $85.3 Million of HHS Workforce Funding Awards
Up to $85.3 million of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) $107.2 million is earmarked for nurses. The agency bestowed the awards in June 2020 to 310 recipients across 45 states and U.S. territories to increase the healthcare workforce in rural and underserved communities.
Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing Requires a Closer Look at the Profession’s Structure
Does lack of inclusion in areas that are important to us affect how we see ourselves overall? Can someone amplify their voice without being represented in an authority position? Should leadership reflect the population that it’s leading? More and more medical organizations are publishing formal and informal position statements on diversity and inclusion, which is a great start, but the next logical step is bringing those beliefs and concepts to our institutions and communities. Here are some of the issues and the ways that any nurse can take action.
What It Feels Like to Be a Nurse of Color
I was born in India but came to the United States of America when I was 16 years old to be with the rest of my family. Having been an American citizen for 20 years, I have called this country home for most of my life. However, I still feel like an outsider and the workplace is no exception.
Innovative Programs Help Institution Grow Its Own Nursing Workforce
Nursing shortages and high rates of turnover are documented problems that negatively affect patient care and institutional costs. During a session for the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference, Christopher Brooks, MS, RN, CENP, AOCNS®, director of nursing professional development and education at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, outlined philosophies and programs his institution uses to recruit and retain its nursing workforce.
Oncology Nurses Break the Silence on Workplace Bullying and Incivility
Bullying behaviors remain prevalent in nursing, resulting in turnover, poor work performance, and emotional trauma. During a session for the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference, Terri Townsend, MA, RN, CCRN-CMC, CMSRN, of Community Hospital Anderson, and Pamela Anderson, MSN, RN, CCRN, ANP-BC, of St. Vincent Medical Group, shed light on how to eliminate this pervasive issue.
Professional Development Increases Nurse Satisfaction, Reduces Turnover
Retaining a qualified nurse workforce is a constant and costly challenge for healthcare organizations. An on-demand session for the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference reviewed strategies two institutions used to address the issue.
How to Establish a More Compassionate Workplace
Nurses have a well-documented history of experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout because of the demands of the profession. The problem may be more pronounced in oncology nurses, who may feel moral distress, grief, and loss related to futility of care or death of a long-term patient.
PTSD Is More Common Among Nurses Than You May Realize
Almost 96% of nurses report experiencing at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and nearly 21% meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of PTSD, according to findings from a literature review published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Healthcare Worker Shortage; Trump Clashes With Big Pharma; Surprise Billing
Houston, TX, Miami, FL, and Baton Rouge, LA, are three of the many cities battling repercussions from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Most daunting is the perpetuated shortage of healthcare workers as the pandemic continues to ravage the United States.
Proposed Bill Would Expand Health Workforce in Underserved Communities
The global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced elected officials and political leaders to reevaluate the provision of health care in the United States. To address inequal access to care and representation among health professionals, on April 24, 2020, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Democratic Whip and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Health Heroes 2020 Act, a bicameral piece of legislation.
Prevent a Global Nursing Shortage by Investing in Nursing’s Future, WHO Says
The world needs to invest in nursing education, jobs, and leadership if it intends to prevent the projected global shortage of nurses by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on April 6, 2020, in its State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report, a first-of-its kind look at nurses’ critical role in international health care.
Research Suggests New Nurses Could Help Address the Ambulatory Staffing Issue
As use of ambulatory care settings continues to grow, so too does the demand for expertly trained nurses to staff them. Unfortunately, nurse staffing levels have struggled to meet the burgeoning need in ambulatory clinics throughout the country. Traditionally, undergraduates receive limited ambulatory-specific education in nursing school, leaving them unprepared to enter those settings after graduation. However, the nursing shortage complicates staffing issues, and we must develop programs to direct new graduate nurses into ambulatory oncology careers.
Staffing Levels in Ambulatory Oncology Nursing
Convenience. Flexibility. Normalcy. Ambulatory oncology clinics deliver on those three crucially important aspects of treatment to many patients with cancer, offering expert care without a hospital stay or traveling far from home.
ONS Members Help Drive the Ambulatory Staffing Discussion
With evolving treatments and novel approaches to care, outpatient oncology practice has grown exponentially during the past two decades. As a vital stop on the cancer journey for many patients, ambulatory clinics have seen a boom in acuity, patient needs, and staffing demands. ONS has been actively researching the growing staffing dilemma in ambulatory oncology nursing to help institutions understand and address nurse-patient staffing and which best practices can accommodate the varied challenges.
Medicaid Block Grants; Technology Addresses Nursing Shortage; Surprise Billing Deal
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been trying to find new avenues to implement a conservative approach to Medicaid spending at the state level. At the end of January 2020, the agency introduced a program that enables states to convert funding into block grants and determine how best to allocate health funding in their own jurisdictions.
HRSA Releases National Survey on RNs
To better understand the demands and demographics of the larger RN community, the Health Resources Services Agency (HRSA) compiled data from the National Sample Survey of RNs. Released in January 2020, the report is a compendium of information and questions RNs have answered about different aspects of the life and work. The data collected since 1977 provides insight into the latest trends and future workforce projections, and HRSA uses it to help allocate workforce resources.
AMA Medicare Expansion; Vaping Respiratory Disease; Nursing Shortage
With the 2020 election cycle kicking into high gear, upcoming presidential debates will continue to highlight health care as a major domestic issue. Downstream contests for House and Senate seats are also in play, and health care will serve a huge role in those campaigns, too. Candidates are offering a slew of different options like a new single-payer system, Medicare expansion, Medicare for All, Medicare for All with an additional buy-in program, and many other iterations.
How to Prepare for a Career in Oncology Nursing
Oncology care is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, nursing careers that offers opportunities to care for patients in all stages of life. It’s a chance to help guide and support your patients through one of the most difficult times in their lives and be inspired by their determination, hope, and faith.
Here’s How You Can Confront Workplace Violence in a Healthcare Setting
RNs encounter workplace violence and abuse at a far higher rate than in any other profession in the United States. Although the topic is uncomfortable, it’s a very real aspect of health care for many professionals. Most nurses have likely experienced an abusive, dangerous, or violent encounter in the healthcare setting at some point in their careers.
Different Strategies Needed for Orienting New Graduates and Experienced Nurses to Ambulatory Oncology
Oncology care has shifted from the hospital inpatient setting to outpatient ambulatory care. Indications are that this will be a continuing and expanding trend for the future, increasing the need for ambulatory care nurses. Ambulatory care is complex and requires highly specialized nursing skills gained with education and experience. Most new graduate nurses are employed in acute care settings rather than ambulatory settings because they lack the skill set needed for ambulatory care. How can ambulatory care settings bridge the education and experience gap to fill this expanding need?
HRSA Awards $293 Million to Clinicians, Students to Enhance Workforce
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $293 million in new funding through programs at the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps for the healthcare community to expand the clinician workforce. Strengthening care and support can help address gaps in care and limit growing socioeconomic disparities.
U.S. House Passes Two ONS Priority Bills to Advance Palliative Care and Strengthen Nursing Workforce
On July 23, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote two ONS priority bills that would provide palliative care training, awareness, and research and funding to build the nursing workforce.
What Would You Say if Your Patient on a Clinical Trial Needs to Visit the Dentist?
One of your patients is enrolled in a clinical trial and is scheduled to receive an investigational drug today. She reports a cracked tooth and asks if it’s okay to get dental work. What should you tell her?
A. To Set up an appointment with her dentist between treatment cycles.
B. To check with her research team before setting up a dental appointment.
C. Not to have any dental work done since she’s on a clinical trial.
D. Have her tooth fixed right away and let the research team know if you have any problems.
Consider a Role in Clinical Trials Research as an Evolution of Your Nursing Career
Nurses can do it all. After all, the often-unsung heroes of health care use their unique skills to positively impact patients and their families in more ways than most people can ever imagine. Unfortunately, role confusion and a lack of awareness of a vital specialty have led to a dire need of nurses in clinical trials.
A Career in Nursing Offers Plethora of Challenging, Satisfying Opportunities
It’s the season for graduations. My husband and I recently celebrated our youngest daughter’s graduation from Saint Louis University School of Nursing—just as we did for our two older daughters. As I reflected on this time of celebration, I was reminded of when I was asked to write for Continuing the Legacy: More Voices of Oncology Nurses, an ONS book that shares the narrative history of oncology nursing through individual nurse stories. I wrote about a patient who taught me a lot during our time together. At the end of each story, the authors were asked to reflect on their contributions and their experiences. With all of the celebrations lately, I had to look back on what I wrote.
How Nurse Practitioners Are Enhancing the Oncology Workforce
With improved early detection guidelines and techniques as well as advancing cancer treatments, cancer is now a chronic disease in an already aging population. In addition, the Affordable Care Act expanded healthcare coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans, increasing the need for medical services. With these trends in health care, nurse practitioners (NPs) are needed at the forefront to positively impact and enhance oncology care.
Nursing Is One of America’s Most Dangerous Professions; Uninsured Rates Fall to 8.8%; Senate Authorizes Five-Year CHIP Deal
Nursing isn’t always just about treating illness. At times, patients are unruly, combative, and even downright dangerous to staff. Nurses are the ones standing front and center when an upset patient erupts, and it happens more often than the uninitiated public may think. A recent article in the Washington Post, catalogs some of the harrowing violence nurses have seen in the line of duty, dubbing it one of the most dangerous professions in the United States. Patients aren’t always the sole source of danger either—as illustrated by the recent assault of a Utah nurse, Alex Wubbels, by a Salt Lake City police detective.
Acing Your Job Interview: Make Your Minutes Count
The job interview process boils down to 60 precious minutes. That’s right. You basically have 1 hour to convince your potential future employer that you can perform the required job duties and that you are the right person for the job. This article provides tips for ensuring you make the most of your time in the spotlight.
What Is ONS’s Perspective on the Ambulatory Staffing Dilemma?
Appropriate nurse staffing is only one of the critical factors that contribute to optimal patient outcomes and is as important as the systems, technology, and quality standards in any care setting. The relationship between poor staffing, daily variation in quality, and increased workload to increased care errors, missed care, and patient and nurse dissatisfaction is well described.
Lay Patient Navigators May Provide a Solution for an Overworked Nursing Climate
With the growing demand for cancer services and a shrinking workforce, new ideas and innovative approaches are needed. During a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, ONS member Jean B. Sellers, RN, MSN, administrative clinical director at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, discussed the current landscape and future of navigation services.
How Do I Apply My ILNA Points to My Learning Plan?
One of the questions that the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) commonly receives from nurses who’ve completed a continuing nursing education (CNE) program is, “How do these points count for ILNA and where can I put them on my learning plan?”
From a Recruiter: Creating a Winning Resume
Our Work to Define the Elusive Optimal Staffing Levels
Nurses Don't Take Snow Days
People will discuss the enormous amount of snow that fell on the East Coast during January 2016 for some time to come. It was predicted, and the snowfall lived up to the hype. My daughters have lived with healthcare professionals their entire lives, and they know that healthcare providers do not get a day off just because the weather is bad. There are no snow days. Patients are still sick. Many people do not stop to think about the sacrifices and extra time it takes healthcare providers to get to work during inclement weather. Just prior to the big snow, there had been a smaller one in St.
Rhythms of the Night Shift
The humming of the florescent lights in the quiet of the night shift on the bone marrow transplant unit at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, CO, doesn’t bother ONS member Pam Richardson, BSN, RN, OCN®, at all; in fact, she hardly notices it.