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.
Nurses Are the Key to Achieving Health Equity
In May 2021, the National Academy of Medicine released its next iteration of the Future of Nursing report: 2020–2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. In it, the academy calls for nurses to lead a stronger, more diversified workforce to promote health and well-being to their colleagues, patients, and communities and to address the structural racism and systemic inequities that have fueled widespread health disparities.
ONS Leader Recognized as 2021 Congressional Woman of the Year
ONS Director-at-Large Anne Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, and executive director of City of Hope’s Clinical Network and Outreach Nursing Department in Duarte, CA, was among the 12 San Gabriel Valley, CA, women on the frontlines of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to whom U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) dedicated the 2021 Congressional Woman of the Year award. The recipients were nominated for their extraordinary community service and leadership during the pandemic.
When Grief Goes Beyond Burnout, Organizations Must Intervene
“The Grief Crisis Is Coming.” So warned the headline of a New York Times editorial in which the author described the toll of losses from the pandemic on the individual level. She said that for each person who dies from COVID-19, nine loved ones have been left behind to grieve, according to the COVID-19 Bereavement Multiplier introduced by a professor at Pennsylvania State University. That number is conservative and does not consider the healthcare team that cared for those patients.
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.
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.
We Have So Much to Celebrate in Nursing and Cancer Science This Year
May is the month we celebrate nursing across the world. May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, is International Nurses Day, designated as such since 1974 by the International Council of Nurses. This year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead, A Vision for Future Health Care in recognition of nursing's role on the front lines of the pandemic.
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.
In Case You Missed It: Here Are the Big ONS Changes in Recent Years
Keeping up with what ONS is doing can be a challenge, given the communication overload we all experience. With so much information in our lives, personally and professionally, announcements can slip by without our noting them. Periodically I hear comments or feedback from members about something that has not changed or that did change—several years ago. To help you stay on top of all that’s happening, here are some details that you may have missed.
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.
Invest in Hope for Nursing’s Future During Oncology Nursing Foundation’s 40th Anniversary
As we pass the one-year mark of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and reflect on all that has ensued since last March, human nature is to focus on our losses. By all accounts, 2020 has been a difficult period in our personal, professional, and civic lives. All of us grieve for our loved ones, patients, and the freedoms of life we have sacrificed.
ONS’s First African American President Shares Insights and Advice in Honor of Black History Month
When ONS Past President Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, LSSYB, FAAN, was elected by her peers in 2012, she said it was the “absolute pinnacle of my oncology nursing career”: Gullatte made the ONS history books as the Society’s first African American president. But the achievement has been just one part of an illustrious, 40-year career in oncology nursing and administration, holding roles like vice president of patient services, chief nursing officer, and director of oncology nursing services throughout the Emory University healthcare system in Atlanta, GA, where she currently serves as the corporate director of nursing evidence-based practice and research.
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.
Celebrate Oncology Nurse Leaders During Black History Month
Each year, February marks Black History Month: a time of celebration, recognition, and awareness of the countless accomplishments and achievements of black leaders and trailblazers throughout history. In the oncology nursing community, it’s no different. ONS’s African American leaders have made a lasting difference to patients with cancer and the professional community, paving the way for future generations and championing excellence in oncology nursing.
Leadership Is the Foundational Competency for Oncology Nursing in 2029
In 2019, an ONS project team worked with Bridgeable, a service design consultant group, to prepare a 10-year view to guide our strategic priorities. As reported to ONS members, the project identified several possible futures of oncology nursing in 2029 and how ONS could ensure oncology nursing excellence and quality cancer care in all of those futures.
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.
'Happy New Year’ Takes On New Meaning for 2021
A new year is generally a time for hope, evaluating the previous year’s achievements, and setting new goals. Last year changed that somewhat when we put many of our goals on hold to immediately respond to the pandemic and the needs of our patients, each other, and ourselves. This year, we hope that things will be better.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Barbara Holmes Gobel
Get to know Barbara Holmes Gobel, MS, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2020–2023. Barb is the associate chief nurse executive, director of professional practice and development, and Magnet program director for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.
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.
A New Year Offers Promise of Improvement
I don’t know how many times this year I’ve thought to myself or heard someone say, “When will 2020 be over?” The pandemic, social unrest, political polarization, and natural disasters have made 2020 a year in which many of us have wondered, “What else?”
Meet Your ONS Leader: Michele E. Gaguski
Get to know Michele E. Gaguski, MSN, RN, AOCN®, NE-BC, APN-C, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2019–2022. Michele is the clinical director of medical oncology at Atlanticare Cancer Care Institute in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
Kansas ONS Chapters Advocate for Health Policy With Federal and State Leaders
Over the summer, I coordinated a now all-too-familiar exercise: a Zoom call with multiple ONS Kansas-area chapter members, nurse experts, patient advocates, and elected officials. Spearheaded by the ONS National Office, we hosted an incredibly personal and informative conversation to discuss the COVID-19 coronavirus, how it affects patients with cancer, and the legislative and regulatory environment throughout our state. Our bipartisan, multitiered event brought together oncology nurses from across the state, and, although some political views were different, we united in our commitment to nurses and public health.
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.
Nursing Is Science First; It Just Appears Heroic
Science, our reliance on the foundations of epidemiology, and management of a public health crisis have been unprecedented discussion topics this year. We have never had a greater need to rely on data, science, and the evolving understanding of experts about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how to contend with it.
Position Statements and Response Team Support Therapies and Research During Pandemic
Supporting oncology nurses in administering cancer treatments and nurse scientists in conducting research during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic were priority topics for the ONS Board of Directors’ August 25, 2020, meeting by conference call. After approving its board goals for 2020–2021, the ONS Board made the following decisions that you should be aware of as an ONS member and practicing oncology nurse.
Nurses Have the Purpose, Power, and Passion to Make a Difference
As we enter the final few months of 2020, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, I find myself thinking about the theme that we had for our 45th Annual ONS CongressTM: Purpose, Power, Passion. WHO’s intent in designating the year was to elevate nursing globally and showcase the many roles that nurses have in health care. In the United States, Gallop surveys consistently rank nurses as the most trusted profession, but our colleagues in other countries do not have a similar means of recognition.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN
Get to know Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2020–2023. Marlon is an oncology clinical nurse specialist at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
ONS Awards Celebrate Excellence in Cancer Care
Exemplary oncology nurses stand behind all of cancer’s treatments, supporting patients through side effects, shouldering their burdens and concerns, and advocating for quality care. Each year with its series of awards, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes just a few of the outstanding oncology professionals who have dedicated their lives to patient care.
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.
We Can’t Touch Each Other, But We Can Still Touch Lives
Since the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home orders were issued in March 2020, the future has been difficult to imagine. National professional meetings, including ONS Congress, graduations, weddings, funerals, and other events that mark the transition from present to future were canceled. Creative, alternative ways to mark a transition to the future are highlighted on social media and the nightly news. Virtual, Zoom, and the new normal are standard verbiage in our conversations.
ONS Director Named Finalist for Pittsburgh’s CIO of the Year
Ryan Conover, the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) director of information services, was a finalistfor the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year. He and 17 other professionals, across five industry categories, were recognized at a virtual awards gala on July 15. Conover was also a finalist in 2016.
ONS Offers Companies the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ to promote Oncology Nurse and Patient Support Materials
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has updated its Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ program, which provides additional benefits to companies interested in promoting nurse and patient support materials. Companies that submit materials and are approved can prominently display the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval logo on marketing collateral for distribution to nurses and patients.
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.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®
Get to know Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®, treasurer on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2019–2022. Kristin is the clinical operations manager/nurse manager III at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.
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.
Oncology Nursing Society Announces Awardees of Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology
In honor of Oncology Nursing Month, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) announced today the two awardees selected in the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology. The Challenge was designed with the goal of accelerating innovation in improving oncology care, including prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for cancer survivors.
ONS Congress, Chapter Leadership, and Business Meetings Go Virtual
To address travel restrictions from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic while delivering important learning and resources ONS members rely on, during its March conference call the ONS Board of Directors made several decisions to host its meetings and content virtually throughout 2020.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marty Polovich, PhD, RN
Get to know Martha (Marty) Polovich, PhD, RN, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2022. Marty is a part-time instructor in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Nursing Innovation, Leadership, and Dedication Shine During Pandemic
It now seems providential that the World Health Organization named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to honor Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Who could have predicted how the world would rely on nurses to change the course of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by upholding Nightingale’s leadership and principles of infection control from the 19th century?
Meet Your ONS Leader: Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®
Get to know Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, secretary on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2018–2021. Heather is the clinical editor in oncology for Elsevier and a nurse practitioner for Novant Health Cancer Prevention and Wellness in Winston-Salem, NC.
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.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP
Get to know Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2018–2021. Anne is the executive director for community nursing practice at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA.