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.
Find Your Balance Between Work, Life, and School
When mapping out our career journey, many oncology nurses have found ourselves asking: Should I go back to school and get my master’s degree? How do I juggle it all? I am raising a family and trying to work full-time, but I would also love to grow in my nursing career. How can I be successful at it all?
This Week's Advocacy News: 'Sanders, Cassidy Clash as Senate Panel Advances Health Center Funding'
The Senate Health Committee advanced legislation Thursday that would fund community health centers and increase the number of primary care physicians and nurses, despite a clash between the panel’s top members. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee advanced the bill in a bipartisan 14-7 vote; however, it’s unclear if the bill has the support necessary to pass the full Senate, especially before funding expires September 30.
Congress Introduces Legislation to Train Graduate Nursing Students and Get Them Practicing in Diverse Communities
Recognizing the critical need to expand advanced practices RNs’ education and training and geographically diverse work opportunities, especially in rural and underserved communities, Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Steven Horsford (D-NV) introduced the Educating Future Nurses Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2023. At the same time, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the legislation in the U.S. Senate.
ONS Joins Sponsoring Organizations to Support 118th Congressional Nursing Caucus
To strengthen and advance policies for nurses, U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce (D-OH), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), and Jen Kiggans (R-VA) launched the 118th Congressional Nursing Caucus in April 2023. Joyce and Bonamici are the caucus co-chairs, and Underwood, an RN, and Kiggans, a geriatric nurse practitioner, serve as vice chairs. ONS is a sponsoring organization in support of the caucus’s congressional efforts.
ONCC's Breakfast Celebrates Certified Nurses at ONS Congress®
Coming to you from Congress, we're taking a look at the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation's (ONCC's) recognition breakfast for oncology-certified nurses. As attendees enjoyed their breakfast with their colleagues, they also recognized the 2023 Certified Nurse of the Year Award recipients; learned from keynote speaker, humorist, and author Jess Pettitt; and even earned NCPD contact hours.
Advanced Practice Highlights From the 2023 Tandem Meetings
In February 2023, the Tandem Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR brought the latest cutting-edge science and technologies in hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy to nurses around the globe. Here are some of the highlights I experienced as an advanced practice provider (APP) in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation.
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.
Nurses Share Career Advice, Growth Opportunities at BEACON Career Forum
A successful nursing career requires resiliency in the face of uncertainty, Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, director of the Commissioned Corps Headquarters, said during a career forum hosted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s (NINDS’s) Building Engagement and Community for Nurses (BEACON) program in February 2022. She joined a plethora of nurse pioneers at the forum to share ways that nurses can collaborate and make significant contributions to and grow professionally in the nursing field.
American Rescue Plan Funds Will Reduce Burnout, Promote Mental Wellness Among Healthcare Workforce
The United States is investing $103 million to improve healthcare worker retention and respond to the ongoing nursing workforce shortage by reducing burnout and promoting mental health and wellness for healthcare professionals, particularly those in underserved and rural communities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in January 2022.
Diversity in Nursing Begins at the Student Level
We must make a dedicated effort to increase diversity among nursing students at the college and university levels and support the inclusion of underrepresented minority, sexual minority, gender minority, and male student populations. Because of the country’s expanding immigration, increasing globalization, and minority population growth, we must have a diverse nursing workforce to meet the needs of patients and families from all backgrounds and communities.
Train and Retain: From Orientation to Leadership, Here Are the Strategies That Experienced Staff Developers Use
The oncology nursing specialty is in dire need of a solid foundation of eligible staff. As of 2020, more than 51% of the nursing workforce was aged 40 years or older, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated underlying factors such as stress, physical and mental health, and inequities present in the profession for decades.
Maryland Governor Announces Steps to Increase Nursing Workforce Statewide
Out-of-state RNs can now practice in Maryland and certain qualified nursing students are fast tracking graduation, according to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s (R-MD) September 2021 announcements. The Old Line State’s steps will help increase the workforce and curtail the nursing shortage.
Cultural Humility Is a Nursing Clinical Competency
To confront the disparities that minority populations face in health care, organizations across the United States are recognizing that cultural humility is a clinical competency. Implicit and explicit bias are part of human nature, but prioritizing cultural humility as a foundation, diversifying the workforce, and engaging in education and training can help providers overcome those tendencies and achieve patient-centered care.
Nursing Representation Is Critical in All Industries—Even Those Outside of Health Care
Nurses’ skills, experiences, leadership, and voices are more relevant than ever before, and more and more ONS members are sharing their knowledge and expertise beyond the bedside to improve health throughout the community.
Having a Mentor Helps You Achieve Oncology Nursing Certification
Oncology nurses have a responsibility to continually enhance their career and practice—for their patients, for their profession, and even for themselves. Two strategies for doing that are certification and mentorship. Combining the two is an even more powerful approach.
ONS Virtual Conference Offers Live and On-Demand Content for Oncology Nurses
This September, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) will host the second annual ONS Bridge™, the premier virtual conference that connects oncology nurses to resources and education covering two themes: care coordination and updates in therapy.
New Evidence-Based Practice Learning Library Now Available
Nurses and other healthcare providers at the point of care use evidence-based practice techniques to ask and answer clinically relevant questions to promote quality, safety, and improved patient outcomes. Evidence-based practice is the process of shared decision-making that incorporates the best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences and values.
Career Changes Are Challenging, but Hold On to Hope
In nursing, we talk about progressing from novice to expert. I remember my feelings as a new nurse, of being overwhelmed by the many things that I didn’t know. Over time, I became comfortable in my growing knowledge. I developed skills, learned about diseases and treatments, and adapted to the politics of my particular unit and the people in it.
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.
ONS Center for Innovation Launches New Tool to Improve Nurses' Professional Development
ONS released ONS On-Demand™, a new distribution platform that provides an efficient solution to deliver ONS evidence-based education to institutions and healthcare networks. The tool gives administrators the ability to assign courses to staff and offers reporting on course completion activity. The product supports nursing continuing professional development reporting requirements for accreditation programs and staff continuous professional development.
Find Your Voice With ONS’s Leadership Development Committee
Dedication to their patients and each other and an innate passion unrivaled by most other professions are two of the reasons why oncology nurses make great leaders—I know that from my daily work with colleagues both near and far as well as my experience as part of ONS’s Leadership Development Committee.
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Receives $200 Million Funding Increase
With the aging population of clinicians and patients, nursing is in desperate need of a stronger workforce. To advance nurses at all levels of practice, on February 9, 2021, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced its plan to increase funding for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program by $200 million through its section of the American Rescue Plan.
Nursing Leadership Has Space for You and Your Goals
When you picture a nurse leader, what do you see? The thought of being a leader or taking on a formal leadership role can seem intimidating for so many nurses. But age, citizenship status, ethnicity, or gender are strengths, not obstacles. Every nurse enters the profession with the foundation to be a successful leader.
10 Tools to Build Engagement and Learning in Your Professional Development Program
Even before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic’s push to virtual in almost every aspect of society, the trend away from traditional lecture-style learning and toward more interactive learning was well underway. The approach helps busy learners better understand, retain, and apply concepts in fast-paced and ever-changing environments, such as the field of oncology, Renee Davis, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, from ProDevo Design and Consulting, said on April 27, 2021, during a session for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™.
Nursing Students Connect Beyond the Classroom With ONS Resources
How does a new graduate nurse develop connections and community in the nursing world? We asked ourselves that exact question before graduating from Boise State University’s School of Nursing, where we served as copresidents of the school’s student nurses’ association. We wanted to bridge the gap between students and professional nurses, and the answer came soon after, when our local ONS chapter invited us to join and serve as student liaisons to its board of directors.
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 Can Innovation and Opportunity Guide a Career in Nursing Research?
“Nursing is at the forefront of symptom management, and nurse-designed interventions lead the way,” Gwen Wyatt, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAPOS, recipient of the 2020 ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award, said in a session at the inaugural ONS BridgeTM virtual conference in September 2020. She shared lessons from her career journey and told nurses that ONS can help them get their ideas “off the drawing board.”
Lifelong Learning and Professional Development Are Crucial to Patient Outcomes
Cancer care is always changing, new science is constantly developing, and oncology nurses must work to keep up. ONS’s philosophy is that every nurse has room to develop knowledge, practice, and research. As an organization, we embody a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development because we understand that both are crucial to oncology nursing and patient outcomes.
How Does Nursing Certification Foster Lifelong Professional Development?
When I sat for the very first Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON®) examination through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation in 1993, I had no idea how obtaining my certification would positively affect my career. I was one of four nurses from the University of North Carolina Hospitals who felt strongly as a group that we could and should pursue our CPON® certification, and we all passed the exam together.
How Enhancing Your Career Benefits Both Your Patients and Yourself
Caring for patients with cancer is a complex subspecialty of nursing. In most of their day-to-day work, oncology nurses function independently and require time management, communication, and prioritization skills in addition to extensive clinical knowledge and expertise.
Technology in Cancer Care
Technology is synonymous with modern-day health care, and the experiences of 2020 have shown that telehealth allows clinicians to provide care along every inch of the cancer continuum. Although we’ve seen it used most recently to provide continuity of care from the safety of patients’ homes, one of telehealth's bigger purposes is overcoming geographic and practical disparities to enable more patients to access quality cancer care.
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.
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.
Awards, Grants, and Scholarships Are Available Through the ONS Foundation
Oncology nurses can use various types of awards, grants, and scholarships to advance their careers. Through the ONS Foundation, ONS’s charitable arm, nurses have many options. Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, executive director of the ONS Foundation, presented an overview of the awards, grants, and scholarships that the Foundation has available for oncology nurses.
CNL Versus CNS: What’s Best for You?
Nurses can attain several levels of practice leadership to grow their professional development, including the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and the clinical nurse leader (CNL). However, both roles are very different in their daily duties and responsibilities. Nancy Froggatt, MN, RN, CNL, of the Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, and Lenise Taylor, MN, RN, AOCNS®, BMTCN®, of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA, provided advice on the CNS and CNL roles and how to assess which might be best for your career.
Develop the Skills to Improve Your Presentation Prowess
Presenting in front of a crowd is not an easy task but might be an important step in your nursing career. By using general guidelines and honing your presentation skills, oncology nurses can become stronger speakers, opening the door to new opportunities for advancement.
Get That Job: Effective Interviewing Skills for Nurses
You have one hour, right now, to make a good impression on a possible future employer. Can you do it? Interviewing for a new job can be a scary situation but is a necessity in the world of career advancement. Effective interviewing skills can turn a mediocre meeting into an impressive interview— and a better chance to land the job you want.
Learn to Write Effective Resumes and CVs
Writing resumes and curriculum vitae (CVs) can seem like an easy task at first but can quickly become overwhelming and cumbersome; even small mistakes on your resume or CV can hurt your chances at getting hired. Heather Costa, SHRM-CP, a recruiter for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center-the James, in Columbus, presented tips and tricks that oncology nurses can use to make their resumes and CVs effective, clean, and concise.
Understand Your Personal Learning Needs (and Get the Resources to Meet Them) to Attain Certification
Oncology nurses can benefit from various types of certifications for professional development. Angie Caton, BSN, RN, OCN®, CHPN, and Melody Ann Watral, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, CPON®, presented tools on how to better prepare for certifications, how to choose test preparation resources, and ways to assess your personal learning needs.
Leadership in Nursing: Is It Your Calling?
What really makes a great leader? In order to be an effective leader, one needs to be able to motivate and influence others to contribute toward organizational success. As companies, employees, and policies change, so do leaders and ways they motivate their team.
Get Published! How Oncology Nurses Can Impact Their Profession Through Publishing
Getting published is an important part of an oncology nurse’s professional growth, but it can be intimidating to get started. Who do you contact? Where do you submit your manuscript? How does the process work? It may seem daunting, but getting published is achievable—and it can do wonders for your career in the long run.
Oncology Nursing Certification Is a Valuable Step on the Road to Leadership
I still remember what it felt like to sign my name in the chart for the first time after passing the OCN®—and later the AOCN®—examination: excitement, accomplishment, relief, and pride. I knew that the credential didn’t automatically make me a smarter or better clinician, but it did validate the knowledge and skills that I had been working so hard to achieve over my years of practice as an oncology nurse.
Oncology Nurses Enhance Cancer Care Through Mentorship Opportunities
Whether it’s with your smiling patient who always brings sweets to her appointments, the colleague Who started when you did, an inquisitive family member, or your supervisor, relationships are an ever-evolving component of successful oncology nursing careers. Fostering professional relationships among colleagues can often lead to mentoring opportunities that are mutually beneficial for mentors and mentees.
CJON Offers Opportunities for Oncology Nurses to Start Writing and Get Published
Young authors have so much to share, and they shouldn’t think that what they have to say isn’t worthy of publication just because they’re young. I’ve had the privilege of mentoring young authors on many occasions. Recently, I had the joy of watching a novice author actually open a journal and see her article in print. It was made even more special because it was my daughter, Elaine, who is a senior nursing student at Saint Louis University School of Nursing. She shared her personal story about her decision to become a nurse in the Clinical Moment feature in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing’s (CJON’s) October 2017 issue.
Why Oncology Nurses Need to Embrace Genetics
Genetics in clinical oncology nursing practice permeates all aspects of care from prevention and detection to treatment decisions to long-term survivorship care. Each of these areas often overlap, and oncology nurses need a solid genetics understanding to provide optimal care.