Adversity Fuels Greatness
Governing ONS—including fiduciary oversight for all investments and budgets and strategic decision-making that secures the future of the organization—is the ONS Board of Directors’ primary role. In even the best of times, it is a serious commitment to govern our complex association, but the unpredictable environment we have experienced since early 2020 has increased that challenge.
New Selection Process Supports Diversity on the ONS Board of Directors
This month begins the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our world is still facing new variants and recommendations. We press forward to honor the memories of those we’ve lost. We adapt our personal and professional lives to the constantly changing guidelines and make every effort to cope with the encroaching burnout.
Joint Strategic Planning Allows ONS Enterprise to Achieve Shared Goals
The ONS, Oncology Nursing Foundation, and Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation Boards of Directors all held their in-person meetings concurrently in early November. One day was committed to joint strategic alignment work with executive leadership staff. Consultants led the group through a strategic alignment session to identify the top themes across the Enterprise to build overarching goals for the three organizations by early 2022. All of the boards are developing individual strategic plans that will begin in 2023.
ONS Board Holds First In-Person Meeting Since 2019
During a crisp fall week on September 22–24, 2021, the ONS Board of Directors met in person for the first time since 2019. Dynamics are different when everyone is in the same room, and the Board embraced the energy it infused into its work. Here are some of the important topics they discussed, and ONS members can read the complete minutes from the three-day meeting at ons.org/board-minutes.
Subcommittees Help ONS Board Manage Its Work
During its August 24, 2021, monthly meeting, the ONS Board of Directors focused on reports from two of its subcommittees that support certain aspects of the Board’s work: one that develops and communicates ONS’s position on important topics, and the other that helps the Board grow as a group and individual leaders.
ONS Evaluates Educational Funding Landscape
During its June 10–11, 2021, meeting, the ONS Board of Directors held a joint session with the Oncology Nursing Foundation. In small group breakouts, both boards evaluated whether the Foundation’s current academic scholarship opportunities are adequate and responsive to the educational needs of the oncology nursing field. Findings from the sessions were compiled to inform additional discussion during future meetings.
Leadership, Goals, and Missions Drive ONS’s Work
May annually marks a celebration of oncology nurses, and during its May 25, 2021, meeting, the ONS Board of Directors did just that: it welcomed and celebrated new members Valerie Burger, RN, MA, MS, OCN®, CPN, Danya Garner, MSN, RN, OCN®, CCRN-K, NPD-BC, and Patricia Geddie, PhD, APRN, AOCNS®, FCNS, and conducted an ice breaker to learn more about each other. Highlights from the decisions, updates, and other Board actions from that meeting follow.
Board Appoints Officers, Doubles Chapter Visits, Updates Navigator Position, and More
Congratulations to ONS Director-at-Large Valerie Burger, RN, MA, MS, OCN®, CPN, whom the ONS Board of Directors selected as treasurer, and ONS Director-at-Large Darcy Burbage, DNP, RN, AOCN®, CBCN®, whom it selected as secretary, during its April 13, 2021, meeting.
Betty Ferrell Receives 2021 ONS Lifetime Achievement Award
With nearly half a century of outstanding contributions to the field of oncology nursing, ONS member Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, CHPN, FAAN, FPCN, was selected by the ONS Board of Directors to receive the Society’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ferrell is the director of the division of nursing research and education at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, principal investigator of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project, and a world-renowned author and lecturer.
Protecting Nurses and Patients and Advancing Practice Drive ONS Advocacy
The ONS Board of Directors had a full agenda for its longer quarterly meeting on February 18–19, 2021. Among other work, it evaluated the results of the annual member satisfaction survey, discussed the fiscal health of the organization based on year-end financials, and continued the conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion in nursing and cancer care. Details on the Board’s decisions in key areas follow, and ONS members can review the full meeting minutes at ons.org/board-minutes.
Leadership Survey Identifies Areas for Chapter Support
Chapters are the heart of ONS at your local level, and during its January 19, 2021, meeting, the ONS Board of Directors discussed chapter-specific feedback from the leadership survey. Chapters have relied on virtual connection recently because of the pandemic, and they are still adapting to ONS’s new chapter standards. The Board identified opportunities to connect and communicate with chapters to support them in those goals. Highlights from that discussion and other actions taken during the January meeting follow, and ONS members can view the full minutes at ons.org/board-minutes.
ONS Board Wraps Up 2020 With Leadership Planning
In its year-end wrap-up meeting on December 8, 2020, the ONS Board of Directors focused on oncology nursing leadership development, both within the general nursing profession as well as within the Society itself. It also finalized the topics for the annual ONS membership survey for January 2021. Highlights from those conversations follow, and ONS members can read a full report in the meeting minutes.
ONS Enterprise Plans for the Future of Cancer Care
During its quarterly two-day meeting on November 5–6, 2020, the ONS Board of Directors held a joint session with the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and Oncology Nursing Foundation boards of directors. The ONS Board also completed budget approvals and ongoing assessment of the membership, among other work. Highlights from those actions follow, and ONS members can review the full meeting minutes at ons.org/board-minutes.
Generative Meetings Create a Foundation for Future Work
To ensure that the ONS Board of Directors is functioning efficiently and to the best of its ability to serve the ONS membership, some meetings must be generative rather than decisional. The Board held one such meeting on October 20, 2020, where it focused on developing processes, structures, and measurement plans in preparation for the future. Some key highlights of that work follow.
ONS Board Closely Monitors Financials to Support Member Programs
At the ONS Board of Directors meeting on September 24–25, 2020, Board members reviewed both the organization’s year-to-date financial and investment performance as part of their stewardship responsibility. They also made plans for a data dashboard to drive decisions and discussed training options for expanding oncology nurses’ voices in the media. Highlights from those discussions follow, and the full minutes from the meeting are available at ons.org/board-minutes.
How Can ONS Support Members in Today’s Practice Changes?
In response to public health concerns from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government, healthcare institutions, and payors rapidly developed new policies and procedures to address the changing landscape.
ONS Board Addresses Members About Racism and Disparities in Cancer Care
At our June 4–5, 2020, meeting, the ONS Board discussed our personal heartbreak and anger over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans by aggressive police activity driven by racism. We also discussed ONS’s role and responsibilities as a member organization.
For 2021, ONS Election Recruitment Goes Virtual, Congress Fees Remain Level
During its April 28, 2020, conference call, the ONS Board of Directors collaborated with the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) to create a virtual recruitment process for candidates in the 2021 election.
Leaders Shape You, and as a Leader, You Influence Others, Too
Because of print production schedules, I prepared this article before the COVID-19 coronavirus arrived in the United States. The message would be different today: As you support your patients during the pandemic, know that ONS cares for you and has resources for you on our website and communities. We appreciate your leadership in providing quality cancer care every day. Thank you for all you do.
ONS Sets Health Policy Agenda for 116th U.S. Congress
During its February 19–22, 2020, quarterly in-person meeting, the ONS Board of Directors established its 2020 health policy agenda, evaluated the Society’s member satisfaction, and collaborated with the Leadership Development Committee for a joint education session, among many other discussions and work.
Celebrate Pioneers Across Oncology This Women’s History Month
From Florence Nightingale to Clara Barton, Mary Eliza Mahoney, Dorthea Dix, and even Mary Todd Lincoln, women throughout history have served as trailblazers who shaped the nursing profession we know today.
Strategic Plan Outlines the What, Why, and How for ONS in 2020–2022
A key responsibility of any board of directors is to set the strategic direction for the organization. Volunteer board leaders determine the what and why of initiatives that will move the organization forward. Staff leaders develop the how statements: goal descriptors, implementation tactics, and measurable outcomes.
Oncology Nursing Specialty Position Defines the Role of the Cancer Nurse
As ONS enters 2020 celebrating both its 45th anniversary and the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse, the ONS Board of Directors is positioning the Society for a tremendous year. For its first meeting on January 28, 2020, the Board discussed a number of items critical to its mission and the future of oncology nursing.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®
Get to know Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Julie is a clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner at the Community Hospital of Indianapolis in Indiana.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®
Get to know Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Maggie is an oncology nurse navigator at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois.
ONS Trailblazes in Cancer Care With New Position Statements and Guidelines
Just before ONS kicked off its Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days, the ONS Board of Directors met face-to-face in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2019. On the agenda were several discussion topics that support and advance ONS as a leader and trailblazer in cancer care, including position statements that convey the Society’s viewpoint on key issues and guidelines that will set the standard of care for symptom management.
Membership Dues Will Not Increase for 2020
Using a predetermined formula, the ONS Board of Directors annually evaluates membership dues to ensure the levels will enable the Society to continue to provide ONS members with the high-quality products, services, and resources they need to transform care for patients with cancer. Based on the formula, the Board decided to maintain dues at the 2019 level for 2020.
Healthy Finances Allow ONS to Advance Oncology Nursing and Science
ONS wrapped up the first four months of 2019 as a financially strong organization, according to the finance reports the ONS Board of Directors received during its June 13–15 meeting. The Society’s investments are up almost 9%. It also saw an increase in ONS Congress revenue from 2018 to 2019 and will not raise Congress registration fees for 2020. A solid financial outlook allows ONS to continue to serve its members by representing and growing the profession.
Think Tank Will Explore Nurse Leadership Development Initiatives
On Sunday, April 14, 2019, the ONS Board of Directors held a face-to-face meeting at the end of a highly successful ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA. New directors took office and new plans unfolded for fostering nurse leaders and supporting ONS chapters.
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.
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.
Board Looks at Ways to Involve More Members in Chapters
During the October 2018 board meeting held at the national office, the ONS Board of Directors heard reports from leadership and status reports on research and evidence-based practice work, discussed key initiatives, received an update from the Oncology Nursing Foundation, and reviewed and approved the Society’s operating budget for 2019. Additionally, two key generative discussions focused on the ongoing implementation of ONS chapter model changes and a review and strategy session around ONS position statements.
Chapters and Practice-Specific Topics Were on Board Agenda for August
ONS chapters, endorsed recommendations and guidelines, and the role of nurses caring for patients with cancer topped the ONS Board of Directors’ discussion topics during its August 2018 conference call meeting.
Member Dues Will Remain Level in 2019
Discussion of ONS’s financial health was a key item on the agenda for the July 2018 Board of Directors meeting. As one of the quarterly face-to-face meetings the Board holds in conjunction with ONS Leadership Weekend, the meeting also provided the opportunity for in-depth discussion around several additional topics.
Congress, Board Goals, and More Are Key Discussions During June Board Meeting
Look for some new changes related to ONS Board of Directors activities during the 44th Annual ONS Congress in Anaheim, CA, in April 2019. During its June 2018 meeting, the Board discussed and made decisions about two Congress-related topics: the annual business meeting and the inclusion of leadership awareness.
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.
Board Continues to Align ONS to Meet Changing Member and Healthcare Needs
To meet the ONS mission as well as 501(c)(6) organization requirements, ONS’s key categories of revenue and expenses continue to focus on providing member and educational services, such as website resources, online and journal-related continuing nursing education, and publications that support oncology nurses and quality patient care.
ONS Board Looks In the Rearview Mirror as We Cruise Ahead
To save costs and reduce the number of meetings, the ONS Board combined the traditional January and March meetings into a late-February meeting. It served as my final in-person board meeting, a bittersweet moment filled with reflection on ONS’s past, present, and future.