ONS Members Tell Us About the Inspirational Nurses Who’ve Shaped Their Careers
Professional role models and mentors are vital to nurses’ personal and career development. Their influence goes beyond the classroom or workplace, extending into the very fabric of a nurse’s career and life. Celebrated in November, National Inspirational Role Models Month recognizes individuals who inspire and guide others through their actions, passion, and dedication to their work and community.
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.
Oncology Nursing Society Appoints Joni L. Watson, DNP, MBA, RN, OCN®, as Editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
PITTSBURGH, PA—September 22, 2023—The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has appointed Joni L. Watson, DNP, MBA, RN, OCN®, as editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON), effective January 1, 2024. Watson began serving as editor-elect in September to facilitate the transition.
Workplace Issues and Lack of Joy Drive Nurse Burnout and Lead to High Nurse and Physician Turnover
Nearly half of nurses surveyed at Magnet-recognized hospitals reported experiencing burnout, attributing it to staffing, management, work environment, and safety struggles. Researchers reported the survey results in JAMA Health Forum.
American Academy of Nursing Inducts 11 ONS Members as 2023 Fellows
WASHINGTON, DC—August 31, 2023—Eleven ONS members were honored among the highly distinguished nurse leaders inducted into the American Academy of Nursing’s 2023 Class of Fellows. In total, the Academy will recognize 253 inductees—its largest cohort to date—at its annual conference on October 5–7, 2023, in Washington, DC.
How Our Personal Biases Affect Our Well-Being and Patient-Centered Care
As oncology nurses, our personal biases can affect not only our own brains and cognitive functioning but also the mental health of those we interact with. We all have biases, or preconceived notions or ideas about particular people, groups, or circumstances. They frequently result from prior experiences, cultural and societal influences, and societal conditioning.
Clinicians Travel More Than 9,000 Miles for Radiation Oncology Training and ONS Resources
ONS donated a library of oncology nursing publications to healthcare providers from Ethiopia who traveled to City of Hope in Duarte, CA, in February 2023 for a three-week radiation training program.
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.
Co-Creation Modernizes ONS Chapters to Meet Member Needs
In 1980 when Chicago and Cleveland became the Society’s first charted chapters, ONS established a new way of connecting and supporting oncology nurses directly in their local communities. Today, more than 200 local ONS chapters are thriving throughout the United States.
Nurse Practitioner's QI Project Standardizes Transplant and Cellular Therapy Nurse Coordinator Visit Scheduling
As an oncology advanced practice provider, I saw a need to enhance the scheduling process for transplant and cellular therapy nurse coordinator visits at my institution. In response, I developed and implemented the following quality improvement project and successfully reduced scheduling error rates by 95%.
Oncology Nurses Lead Interprofessional Team to Drastically Increase Cancer Screenings in Rural Patients
Remote educational outreach involving oncology nurse–developed videos and follow-up navigator phone calls increased breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening adherence compared to usual care in females obtaining community care in rural Ohio and Indiana locations, according to study findings published in JAMA Network Open.
Young Leaders Carry Lifetime Connections Forward as 2022–2023 Pilot Program Concludes
During an inspirational panel discussion at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® that moved many to tears, ONS wrapped up its Leadership Development Committee 2022–2023 Young Leaders pilot program in late April 2023.
Two Oncology Nurses Implement Process to Allow Patients to Disconnect Pumps From the Comfort of Their Own Homes
The explosion of telehealth transitioned many aspects of cancer care to patients and caregivers as home-based options. However, as with any shift in procedure, disconnecting their own pumps requires additional preparation and processes. Two oncology nurses share how they set up systems to support safe home care for pump disconnection.
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.
Foundation Doubled Its Fundraising Totals at 48th Annual ONS Congress®
Coming to you from Congress, where attendees, ONS chapters, and Fun Run participants poured out overwhelming support for the Oncology Nursing Foundation. In total, the Foundation raised nearly $60,000 to reinvest in the future of oncology nursing through its awards, grants, and scholarships.
Around the Globe, Oncology Nurses Are Doing What They Can to Make a Difference
Cancer knows no boundaries, geographic borders included. Although the United States has made incredible progress in reducing both incidence and mortality rates, the truth remains that cancer’s global burden is much greater. More than 70% of the world’s total new annual cases of cancer will occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, and many patients in those countries lack access to quality cancer care.
Nurse-Led Education Program Leads to Threefold Increase in ACP Documentation
A multimodal nursing education intervention using ONS resources, didactic teaching, and small group discussions grew one institution’s advance care planning (ACP) documentation rates from 0% to 63%, according to a report published in the February 2023 issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Nurse participants also reported increases in ACP discussions and a clinically significant improvement in their overall comfort level with ACP conversations.
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.
Nurse-Led Bone Marrow Biopsy Clinics Truncate Time for Testing, Treatment
Patients with suspected hematologic cancers complete the bone marrow biopsy processes and begin treatment more than one month sooner when the procedures are shifted from interventional radiology to a dedicated, nurse-led bone marrow biopsy clinic, researchers reported in a poster presentation at the Association of VA Hematology/Oncology meeting.
Oncology Providers Can Transform the Trajectory of Financial Toxicity
The complexity of cancer care may affect patients’ financial toxicity more than we’ve realized. Many patients struggle with the economic burden of out-of-pocket spending for cancer care, including insurance copayments, transportation, and reduced income, as well as their psychological burden of worry and coping with less funds for food and medications. Multimodality treatments, maintenance and ongoing therapies for metastatic disease, and geographic factors such as travel for clinical trials and specialized services or paying for out-of-network care can put patients’ finances in a deeper hole. The adverse implications are significant: decreased quality of life, increased anxiety and depression, lower adherence to prescribed medications and oncology care, and reduced survival.
Violence in Nursing
Across all nursing specialties and settings, 60% of nurses reported experiencing an incident of workplace bullying and incivility and 29% confronted at least one incident of violence in 2022, according to the American Nurses Foundation 2022 Workplace Survey report. And it’s escalating—violence against hospital employees and healthcare professionals has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, with 44% of nurses reporting having experienced physical violence and 67% verbal abuse between February and June 2020 alone.
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.
The Case of the Resistance Relevance
Maria is a Black nurse who has worked at her institution’s cancer center for several years. She enjoys educating her colleagues about burnout and well-being to create a happier and healthier work environment and actively supports the institution’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) committee priorities and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) nurses in practice.
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.
NINR Promotes Nursing Research to Achieve Health Equity
To address and achieve equity in health care, in fall 2022 the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) began offering new funding opportunities for research studies aligned with the scientific framework outlined in the institute’s 2022–2026 strategic plan. The grants are available cyclically with three application periods per year.
Redefining the Bell Makes the Ritual Inclusive for All Patients With Cancer
Patients often report mixed feelings about “ringing the bell” to signify completion of their cancer treatment: It’s a joyous moment, but they may have underlying apprehension, too. And other patients may never have a chance to ring the bell if their cancer progresses despite receiving the best possible care.
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.
Oncology Nurse Uses Retirement to Help Patients and Healthcare Professionals Understand Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Testing Results
In June 2021, I was at a crossroads in my career. I had been an oncology nurse practitioner for the past 14 years, and it was time to decide if I should retire as a provider. Yet I felt like I still had more to do and more patients to help. I was determined to make a difference for patients with cancer.
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.
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.
AHRQ Recognizes Nurses’ Unique Contributions to Diagnostic Processes
Nurses bring unique but critical input to diagnostic processes in the emergency department, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported in August 2022. “Nurses have unique, valuable knowledge based not only on principles of science but also on holism and intuition,” the agency said.
U.S. Senator Speaks About Prescription Medication Prices, Joined by ONS Chapter President
Pending legislation would help residents save on prescription drug costs by empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, capping out-of-pocket costs, and limiting pharmaceutical price increases to the rate of inflation, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said during a discussion with a plethora of healthcare professionals, including ONS member Heather Murphy, MSN, FNP, OCN®, president of the ONS Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter, about rising prescription drug prices at a Rhode Island conference in July 2022.
Oncology Nurse Educates the Public on the Evolution of Cancer Care and Survivorship
With care shifting to outpatient delivery and the increased availability of evidence-based support services, cancer care and survivor support has greatly evolved during the past 25 years, according to ONS member Carlin Callaway, DNP, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, ACNS-BC, AOCNP®, assistant professor and lead medical oncology advanced practice provider at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and member of the ONS Metro Denver Chapter, in a June 2022 public-facing blog post for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer.Net website.
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.
COVID-19’s Impact on Nurses Jeopardizes Quality Care
Creating a pathway for policymakers, providers, and the public to understand and recommend a new professional nursing dynamic, the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Future of Nursing report investigated the current and future state and challenges of the nursing profession.
As Oncology Nurses, We Are the Fish
One day, years ago now, my son and my daughter were listening to a bedtime story. My husband was reading them the Cat in the Hat, one of their favorite stories. And at the end, my son gave one of those happy little hops that kids give and said to my husband, "Dad you're so cool, you're like the Cat in the Hat." And I was walking by, putting laundry away or something, and I sort of turned and said, "If Dad is the Cat in the Hat, then who am I?" I was thinking I was the absent, completely irresponsible mother or Thing One or Thing Two.
After Two Decades of Trust, It’s Time for Action
“It takes 20 years to be an overnight success,” classical Hollywood era star Eddie Cantor once said. For many, “instant” recognition comes after a long preparation of methodical strategy and hard work. It is the story of nurses.
Empower Your Nurses With Appreciation in Celebration of Oncology Nursing Month
With ONS celebrating Oncology Nursing Month throughout May and recognizing National Nurses Week from May 6–12, it’s a season for nurses everywhere. Celebrate yourself, your colleagues, and the profession by empowering the incredible nurses caring for patients across the globe.
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.
Nursing Diversity Is Critical to Address Health Disparities
Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, I found myself surrounded by oncology nurses who recognized the need for immediate action to understand and deconstruct racism, and I began collecting resources to offer continuing education about the effects of racism on cancer outcomes and actions nurses can take to support health equity and diversity in the workforce. Under the mentorship of ONS Past President Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, FAAN, I was charged by ONS to co-lead, with ONS member Randy Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN, a national team of ONS cancer disparities and health equity researchers to update the ONS Research Agenda.
Boards and Committees Need Oncology APRN Voices. Will You Step Up to the Challenge?
In response to the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Nurses on Boards Coalition launched an initiative to increase the number of nurses in decision-making leadership capacities with a goal to place 10,000 nurses on corporate, health-related, and other panels, boards, and commissions. Yet today, we still have more work to do to advance nurses into those positions and to educate the public about nurses’ role in providing high-quality, safe patient care.
I’m a Match: My Journey From Advanced Practice BMT Nurse to Stem Cell Transplant Donor
Six years ago, I signed up for the marrow registry through the German Bone Marrow Donor Center, also known as DKMS, which is an international organization that hosts stem cell registry drives. In late 2021, I received the call that I was a fully matched donor for a patient with chronic myeloid leukemia. As a hematology and oncology clinical nurse specialist, I have seen how valuable the gift of stem cells can be for a patient with hematologic disease. I didn’t think twice about completing the donation process.
ONS Members’ Patient and Nurse Wellness Programs Embody 2022 Black History Month Theme
African American nurse leaders in ONS have paved the way in eliminating cancer disparities, identifying and tackling social determinants of health, and providing Black communities with educational and clinical resources. Their initiatives embody the importance of well-being for Black healthcare professionals, patients, and members of the community—as well as the 2022 Black History Month theme, “Black Health and Wellness.” This year’s theme brings a national emphasis not only on the important discoveries made in science and medicine by Black researchers and healthcare professionals, but also the health and wellness of Black communities across the United States.
Winning Team Develops Solution to Increase Preceptor Development in Third ONS Hackathon in Collaboration With ONCC
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) launched its third ONS–ONCC Hackathon™ in November, designed to create innovative solutions for current and future nurses in the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based cancer care in all possible settings.
Traits That Make You a Great Nurse Also Lead to Success as a Clinical Trials PI
Clinical trials are led by a principal investigator (PI) with a research team that may include physicians, nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals. PIs can represent a variety of disciplines, and nurse scientists often hold that role.
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.
What It’s Like to Compete in the ONS Hackathon™
When ONS reached out and asked me to participate in the inaugural ONS Hackathon, I wasted no time in confirming my interest. I had heard of hackathons before but never a nursing-specific one. It was an exciting experience full of growth for me and the other oncology nurses who participated.