U.S. Reps Introduce Legislation to Honor Cadet Nurses
It’s never too late to honor those who served the United States with great valor, especially during times of war and hardship. In April 2019, a group of federal legislators submitted a bipartisan, bicameral bill to honor cadet nurses who served during World War II. At the time, cadet nurses were not recognized with veteran distinctions, despite often serving in active warzones and filling a desperate need for medical care.
ONS Remains a Financially Strong Organization Into 2019
Cancer care is evolving rapidly, and ONS is committed to providing oncology nurses with tools to stay abreast of innovative treatments and technologies used to care for people with cancer. The ONS Board of Directors has both strategic and stewardship responsibilities for the fiscal health of the organization that will help us to meet those goals.
Government-Led Drug Pricing; CMS Reimbursement Updates; Playing Cards Reaction
As Washington attempts to address the soaring costs of prescription medications, some experts are attempting to shed light on the many complicated aspects of the drug pricing issue. The free-market system has countless moving parts, and perhaps so-called big government ownership isn’t the answer to inflating drug costs. As the author aptly states, “From a public-relations standpoint, drug companies are often their own worst enemies. Occasionally, a breathtakingly awful company taints the image of the whole industry.”
ONS Hosts Inaugural International Oncology Nursing Conference in Azerbaijan
Although cancer isn’t one of the very highest causes of death in Azerbaijan, the nation still feels the impact of the global cancer burden: lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers rank number 8 and 10, respectively, on the top 10 causes of death in the country, and their incidence is growing. As part of its commitment to sustainable international programs to support the advancement of cancer care, ONS and its members have a responsibility to disseminate knowledge to international nurses in countries like Azerbaijan.
By Growing Together, We Can Transform Care
The ONS Congress Planning team really nailed it this year. In Just four words, using the theme of Growing Together, Transforming Care, they were able to describe the essence of why we will gather as a professional organization for ONS’s annual meeting.
Future of Nursing; Adults Ration Medication; Drug Parity Act
It’s been almost a decade since the Institute of Medicine—now the National Academies of Medicine (NAM)—released The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. Although many aspects of the nursing profession have been enhanced, still others are woefully lacking in change. Healthcare workplace safety incidents are still too high—up to 12 times higher than in the overall workforce—educational opportunities are still too expensive, and scope-of-practice authority is still too limiting in many states—all of which are ONS policy priorities.
Recognize and Respond to Incivility in Nursing
Five years ago, I was consulted, as a mental health clinical nurse specialist, by a nurse manager seeking assistance in determining an appropriate response to a bullying situation on one of her units. That was the first time I learned that our profession has a longstanding and significant problem with incivility and bullying from within.
Board Forms Framework for the Future of ONS and Oncology Nursing
Setting ONS up for a strong future was the overarching theme of the January 2019 ONS Board of Directors meeting by conference call. The group appointed new members to the Leadership Development Committee—which grows, shapes, and nominates ONS’s future leaders—and devised a strategy for identifying what oncology nursing’s role will be 10 years in the future.
Three ONS Members Selected to Inaugural Class of CNSI Fellows
To recognize outstanding contributions and excellence to the field of clinical nurse specialists, the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute (CNSI) selected 38 nurses to its inaugural class of fellows, including three ONS members Marilyn Chrisman, MS, APRN, GCNS-BC, Patricia Geddie, PhD, CNS, AOCNSA, and Tina Mason, MSN, ARNP, AOCNA, AOCNSA. They will be among the first fellows to use the FCNS credential in practice.
Summer Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program Supports Undergraduate Students
As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase, more oncology-trained nurses are needed to care for this population. Unfortunately, not all schools of nursing have clinical experiences in the oncology setting. However, the University of North Carolina leadership is committed to increasing the pipeline of students interested in caring for patients with cancer and their families through an innovative summer fellowship program.
Nurses Ranked ‘Most Trusted Profession’ in 2019
Public opinion surveys from respected groups such as Gallup serve as a barometer on certain topics and issues. In Gallup’s , nurses were again ranked the most-trusted profession in the United States for the 20th year. In 2019, 84% of respondents said they rated nurses “very high” for honesty and ethical standards, leading the pack by a wide margin. Patients, families, and caregivers know firsthand that nurses are driving patient-centered care. For that very reason, they rank nurses higher than physicians, clergy, police officers, and educators. It’s a position that commands respect.
Building Collaboration, Education With Oncology Nurses in Malawi
Nestled between Tanzania and Mozambique in eastern Africa, Malawi is a country of more than 18 million citizens. It faces a unique cancer burden that’s proven challenging for practitioners and patients alike. With a high prevalence of HIV-infected individuals, Malawi sees a proportionate rate of AIDS-related cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Currently, healthcare professionals in the country face a lack of standardized oncology education and resources. Roughly 84% of the country’s citizens live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare institutions.
Cancer Prevention: Oncology Nurses Save Lives by Raising Awareness
Despite flashy television campaigns, countless pamphlets and brochures, and seemingly constant reminders, people are still unaware of important cancer prevention information. The World Health Organization estimated that 30%–50% of all cancer cases are preventable. But between modifiable behaviors, hereditary and genetic risks, infectious agents, and more, the general public finds itself mostly unprepared to tackle the cancer prevention conversation.
ONS Past President Sandra Schafer Leaves a Legacy of Compassionate Leadership
From her patients to her colleagues to the entire cancer care community, ONS Past President Sandra Lee Schafer, RN, MN, AOCN®, made everyone she touched feel special, inspiring and motivating a generation of oncology nurses in advancing care for patients with cancer. Schafer passed away on December 7, 2018, but her legacy of compassion and care lives on.
ONS Members Share Education, Resources in Peru
“If you know other countries and their people, there will be no wars or hatred.” That was the motto I understood when I was younger and I remember participating in international oncology and nursing conferences, exchanging knowledge, resources, and education with other countries. Cancer connects us all, and that maxim has stuck with me and marked my interest in travelling and meeting new people.
Oncology Nursing Foundation Refocuses Commitment to All Oncology Nurses
Support for oncology nursing is critical to the advancement of the profession and the future of care for patients with cancer. The Oncology Nursing Foundation—formerly known as the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation—is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable organization dedicated solely to supporting oncology nurses both nationally and internationally. Today, the Foundation announced its name change to wholly encapsulate the organization’s longstanding focus and goals. Through continuing education scholarships, research grants, and career development funding, the Oncology Nursing Foundation supports oncology nurses in their pursuits to provide safer and more effective cancer care for their patients.
This Week, Recognize and Thank Your Oncology Nurse Practitioner Colleagues
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.
ONS Is Proud to Be Part of a City Stronger Than Hate
On an unseasonably warm Saturday in October, Pittsburgh, PA, was struck by one of the United States’ greatest tragedies in recent history. The shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill—a quiet, unassuming neighborhood in the heart of the city—sent shockwaves through the community, the country, and the world. On October 24, 2018, one man’s attack violently stole 11 lives from the Jewish community.
How I Celebrated NCC and Advocated for the Nursing Workforce
On September 12, 2018, I had the honor of attending the Nursing Community Coalition’s (NCC’s) 10th Anniversary Celebration as an ONS representative, joining members of ONS’s health policy staff. NCC is a 61-member coalition, working to further nursing education, training, and support through united advocacy efforts.
Meneses Left Legacy of Contributions to Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life
Long-time ONS member and oncology nurse scientist Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) passed away unexpectedly on August 1, 2018.
Oncology Nursing’s Future—Preparing the Next ONS Strategic Plan
Each spring brings a flurry of annual meetings held by oncology organizations: Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and ONS’s. This year I attended all and was part of panel presentations at ACCC and AACR to bring the nursing perspective to the topics.
What Happens if Patients With Cancer Have Bedbugs?
Lurking in the dark corners of bedrooms across the country, unseen figures wait to feast of the blood of humans and animals alike. When the lights go dark, they come out for dinner. No, they’re not vampires or mystical beasts—they’re bedbugs. These parasitic insects feed exclusively on the blood of humans and animals and are a prevalent parasite in the United States.
Future of Nursing Issues Top ONS Board’s Discussion in May
As the ONS Board of Directors held its first meeting with some of its newest members after the 43rd Annual ONS Congress in May, transitions were top of mind. The Board successfully transitioned its leadership as new president, Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, and three new directors-at-large (Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, Anne Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, and Susan Bruce, MSN, RN, OCN®, AOCNS®) came on board.
Writing for Wellness
No reliable method exists for determining how many conscious or unconscious thoughts a person has in a day; estimates range from 12,000–70,000 daily thoughts for an average of 52 thoughts per minute. Journaling your thoughts and feelings is a way of becoming an interested observer of your thoughts.
Oncology Nurse Develops Monitoring Document for Monoclonal Antibodies
It’s a rote but important phrase: Necessity is the mother of invention. When a need presents itself, developing novel, inventive solutions can lead to important change. But inventive change doesn’t have to come on a massive scale: small inventions can still have a big impact.
Verbal Abuse Is Still Violence, Joint Commission Says
Healthcare workers, especially nurses, are less likely to report incidents of workplace violence, including verbal abuse from patients, families, and coworkers, according to a sentinel event alert the Joint Commission released in April.
What’s the Rate of Depression and Anxiety in Oncology Nurses?
The oncology nursing profession is a difficult career, fraught with long hours and stressful situations. With those factors, anxiety and depression could become more prevalent. In study findings published in conjunction with the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers reported the rates of depression and anxiety among nurses working in oncology units and how certain situations related to these rates.
The Importance of Passion, Experience, and Resilience in Oncology Nursing
What makes a great oncology nurse? Is it opportunity and experience? Is it passion? I’ve worked with managers who’ve held wildly different opinions on these hiring characteristics, but I would argue they’re all critically important.
Nursing Student Embraces New Opportunities in Oncology to Grow Professionally
As a student graduating from a traditional four-year bachelor of science in nursing program, career opportunities in nursing are seemingly endless. It’s exciting to enter a field that involves helping and caring for people and provides an opportunity to work with patients of all different cultures, ethnicities, ages, and personalities. I initially chose a nursing career because I’ve always been interested in the science of the body. I love making connections and communicating with people, and I have a passion for helping people get through their worst times. As a student, the only goal I had as an aspiring nurse was to work in pediatrics.
Find, Be, and Thank an Oncology Nursing Mentor This May
The month of May is a perfect time to think about new beginnings. Among its seasonal events such as Mother’s Day, weddings, baby showers, and graduations, we also celebrate Oncology Nursing Month and ONS Congress in Washington, DC, this year.
How Does Mentorship Help New Oncology Nurse Authors Get Published?
Writing and publishing for the first time can be a daunting experience, but the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) Writing Mentorship Program is a great opportunity for oncology nurses looking to publish their own work. The program pairs published nurses who share their experiences and expertise with ONS members who are new to the publishing process.
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.
The Future Is Full of Opportunities for Advancing Oncology Nursing and Cancer Care
As I reflect on my time as ONS president, I realize that I am concluding my term as I began: grateful for the oncology nurses who have inspired and supported me. We are all guided by the common goal to provide the best possible care to individuals with cancer.
ONS Shares Chemotherapy Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
For sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, cancer incidence is on the rise. The increase in cancer rates can be attributed to several factors, including economic and social development and infectious disease rates. In that part of the world, many healthcare professionals don’t have access to up-to-date information regarding safe chemotherapy handling and administration. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) developed the ChemoSafe program to share critical information and resource acquisition focused on safe chemotherapy administration and cancer treatments with healthcare providers in SSA. ONS provided specific nursing content to support the ChemoSafe initiative, including educational materials and courses.
How One ONS Chapter Is Providing Education on New Drug Approvals
With more than 50 new U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for cancer therapy in 2017 alone, oncology nurses are challenged about how to keep up with all of the latest practice updates. However, the Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society (PACONS) leadership has taken an active role in helping to ensure their chapter members are given the evidence-based cancer treatment information they need to improve their practice.
How ONS Is Advocating for Our Patients and Our Profession
A responsibility of the ONS president, Board members, and senior staff is to advocate for our patients and our profession. To say that 2017 was a busy year is an understatement. This column, whether written by the president or by me, often describes where ONS has been, who has represented the organization and you, and what our advocacy or education has been.
Leadership in Nursing Takes Many Forms
Do you promote optimal patient outcomes, advocate for patients’ voices, and implement change? Then you’re a nurse leader. It is easy to think of nurse leaders as those in administrative positions or conducting bedside research, but the reality is that nursing leadership can take on many roles through a variety of different nursing positions, from generalist to certified to advanced practice. Leadership is about influencing change and improvement, inspiring those around you.
McCorkle Is the First Nurse to Receive Yale Cancer Center Lifetime Achievement Award
ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAAN, was awarded the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her national and international contributions to oncology, specifically in the areas of palliative care, psychosocial care, and quality of life research. McCorkle is the first nurse to receive this honor from the Yale Cancer Center.
Remembering Margo McCaffery’s Contributions to Pain Management
Former ONS member Margo McCaffery, RN, MS, FAAN, was a leader and pioneer in pain management for nursing. Through her work, she helped to identify and treat patients with acute and chronic pain in a number of healthcare settings. McCaffery’s 1968 definition of pain was simple—“It’s whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever and wherever the person says it does.” Her words have become a touchstone for clinicians addressing and treating patients in pain.
ONS Board Looks Ahead to Exciting Plans in 2018
At the October Board meeting, we looked back at 2017 as a year that included great meeting times for ONS members at Congress in Denver, CO; regional chapter officer meetings; Leadership Weekend in Pittsburgh, PA; and Capitol Hill Days in Washington, DC. The ONS Board also looked ahead to 2018 and the third year of the strategic plan.
Find Moments of Inspiration in Your Work
I just finished writing a sympathy card to the family of “Beth.” For the past five years, Beth was in a support group that I facilitate for individuals with advanced cancer. Beth is an example of why I am an oncology nurse. She was an amazing woman. A deliberate thinker, she collected information and made decisions about her health that fit her goals. She once asked me, “How can you continue to care for folks with cancer year after year? It must be hard.”
Follow the Path to Oncology Nursing
Every oncology nurse has a story about how he or she was drawn into cancer care. For some it’s through professional mentors or a personal experience with cancer. ONS member Kimberley Munn, RN, BSN, OCN®, was raised in a family of healthcare professionals.
Foster Great Leaders by Leading by Example
In 2017, the ONS Board is implementing the new process where the Board of Directors appoints the next president who will be responsible for the ongoing shaping and molding of our society. During our virtual meeting on August 29, this was one of the most important topics that we discussed. The Board is committed to ensuring that our next leader has the vested interest of our organization and possesses the core competencies and values necessary to continue to move our organization forward.
ONS Members Recognized for Achievements in Oncology Nursing
Through contributions in the field, oncology nurses are driving the quality of cancer care forward, improving patient outcomes and enhancing quality of life and access to care. Whether they’re changing practice through innovation, research, excellence, or leadership, ONS members are making a big difference in practices across the country—and several have recently been recognized for their achievements in oncology nursing.
National and Local Leaders All Play a Role in the ONS Enterprise
The annual ONS Leadership Weekend brings together the boards of ONS, ONS Foundation (ONSF), and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC); the ONS Leadership Development Committee; the ONCC committee chairs; and leadership representatives from all of our chapters. Many national office staff join in the planning and activities too. The weekend is a valued, traditional investment in volunteer leaders at the local and national levels. In one session during this year’s meeting in July 2017, the questions that were asked indicated to me that understanding ONS and the roles and responsibilities of the various groups in the ONS enterprise could be helpful.
Cancer Prevention Through Community-Based Programs
Preventing a cancer diagnosis is the most surefire way to survive it. However, the public and news media communicate more about emerging treatments and newly approved oncology drugs and less about ways people can take steps to prevent cancer before it starts. Oncology nurses have a role and obligation to spread public health education and an attention to disease prevention, so many Americans change risky habits that would otherwise lead to future cancer diagnoses.
Supporting Cancer Prevention Through Resources and Education
Estimates suggest that 30% of all cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes and vaccinations. We know that tobacco accounts for 90% of all lung cancers and contributes to increased risk for head and neck cancers. It’s also well known that sun exposure is associated with increased incidence of basal and squamous cell skin cancers, as well as the most dangerous skin cancer, melanoma.