Let Your Voice Be Heard as an Oncology Nurse Advocate
Advocacy can mean many things to nurses, and the meaning may even change depending on your position and perspective. The dictionary definition is “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal,” but being an oncology nursing advocate goes far beyond that. It’s about having a vision for something and not settling for the status quo. It’s about striving for the best in whatever that cause may be—our patients, the profession, or health care in general.
Listening to Nurses Is a Start, but Hearing Them Leads to Solutions
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Nurses Foundation has monitored its effect on the nursing profession through a series of surveys, the most recent of which collected specific information on staffing, scheduling, organizational support, and solutions. More than 11,000 nurses contributed to the survey, but those who identified as retired were not included in the data analysis. As I read the findings, the report’s subhead—Nurses Not Feeling Heard, Ongoing Staffing and Workplace Issues Contributing to Unhealthy Work Environment—caught my attention. How does one confirm feeling heard?
Biden Announces Progress on Cancer Moonshot Initiative, Meets With ONS President
Recognizing the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic moonshot speech, on September 12, 2022, President Joe Biden delivered an update on his relaunched Cancer Moonshot Initiative and progress made on its moonshot goal of “ending cancer as we know it.”
Inspiring, Diverse Nurses Join ONS's Young Leaders Pilot Program
PITTSBURGH, PA—August 25, 2022—Seven emerging Oncology Nursing Society member leaders under age 40, representing diverse oncology nursing backgrounds around the world, joined the ONS Leadership Development Committee’s 2022 Young Leaders pilot program.
ONS Board Releases Statement About Dobbs v. Jackson
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, reversing the decision from the 1973 case, Roe v. Wade. Many nursing, medical, and health organizations issued statements in reaction, and opinions among ONS stakeholders and constituents will differ on the decision. As it leads an organization that represents oncology nurses and advocates for patient-centered care, the ONS Board of Directors reviews social and political issues through the lens of the Society’s mission. With that perspective, the ONS Board believes that two statements from other organizations are important for members to know.
Margaret Hansen Frogge Receives 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award at 47th Annual ONS Congress
ONS honored a long-time member, Margaret Hansen Frogge, MS, RN, for a career of contributions to cancer care with its 2022 ONS Lifetime Achievement Award during the 47th Annual ONS Congress® in Anaheim, CA. The award commemorates Frogge’s passion for the profession through decades of oncology nursing practice and leadership.
Catherine Lyons Posthumously Receives 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award at 47th Annual ONS Congress
In a fitting tribute to a life that touched so many others, ONS honored member Catherine Lyons, RN, MS, NEA-BC, FNAP, posthumously with a 2022 ONS Lifetime Achievement Award during its 47th Annual ONS Congress® in Anaheim, CA. Before her retirement and death in November 2021, Lyons was an executive consultant for oncology services.
Remember Your Passion, Your Purpose, and the Heart of Oncology Nursing
As I begin my ONS presidency, I want to acknowledge the challenges and stress we have endured the past two years, which were most likely the hardest years in our careers. We need time to grieve for loss of patients; changes in the nursing profession, including equipment and personnel shortages; and the personal things we have lost that give meaning to who we are—graduations, weddings, memorial services, vacations. It all matters.
ONS Announces 2022 Award Recipients at 47th Annual ONS Congress® in Anaheim
Every year, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes oncology nurses, employers, and researchers through its awards program. Today, the Society announced the recipients of the 2022 ONS Awards at the 47th Annual ONS Congress in Anaheim, CA.
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.
We Are Four Million Nurses, Hear Us Roar
In December 2015, I titled my ONS Connect column, “I Am Nurse, Hear Me Roar,” and addressed the outcry after a talk show host diminished Ms. Colorado, a nurse who was competing in the Ms. America competition that year. Nursing united its voice to educate the talk show host, the media, and the public.
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.
Two Years Later, We Are Older and Wiser
As we turn the calendar to the new year, it feels a bit like the film Groundhog Day. Information about the COVID-19 pandemic—and related topics like masks, vaccination, and protecting ourselves and our patients from infection—still dominates the news and the literature. Many areas are struggling with surges in winter cases, and we all feel the personal loss of friends and family, colleagues, and patients and the toll it has taken on our profession. It is, without doubt, a constant presence in our lives.
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 Member Naomi Cazeau Joins Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board
In addition to her daily practice as a nurse practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, ONS member Naomi Cazeau, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®, is using her leadership skills to make a difference in advocating for patients on a broader level. In October 2021, the Sepsis Alliance appointed her to its advisory board to help guide the organization’s mission of improving awareness and care.
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.
Volunteer Leaders Uphold ONS’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values
Leadership is a group activity, and the ONS vision, mission, and core values can be achieved only through full participation of ONS's Board of Directors and other groups. The volunteer members serving as directors-at-large meet at least monthly to achieve the annual objectives, and the Board’s subcommittees—as well as other standing committees of volunteer members outside of the Board—accomplish specific goals. ONS uses two key committees to achieve excellence, quality, and sustainability through leadership: the Board’s Positions Subcommittee and the Leadership Development Committee (LDC).
Biden Appoints ONS Member and Oncology Nurse to National Cancer Advisory Board
ONS member Christopher R. Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, oncology nurse researcher and professor at the School of Nursing in the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was named one of seven researchers and clinicians that President Joe Biden appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board on September 15, 2021.
AAN Designates ONS Member Betty Ferrell as Living Legend
Longtime ONS member Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, CHPN, FAAN, FPCN, director and professor of nursing research and education at City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center in Duarte, CA, will be recognized by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) as a living legend at the Academy’s Living Legends Ceremony held during the Academy’s annual health policy conference on October 8, 2021. She is one of four nurse leaders being honored as a living legend this year.
American Academy of Nursing Inducts 10 ONS Members as 2021 Fellows
Nine Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) members were included among the highly distinguished nurse leaders inducted into the American Academy of Nursing’s (AAN’s) 2021 Class of Fellows. In total, 225 inductees will be recognized at the Academy’s annual conference, taking place on October 7–9, 2021, virtually and in-person in Washington, DC.
Coaching Roles Give Nurses New Avenues to Provide Patient-Centered Care
Nurses don’t always have to venture beyond the bedside for unique career change opportunities. Always innovating and evolving, the profession identifies new roles for clinical practice nurses to meet patients’ needs.
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.
NCI Recognizes Three ONS Members as Champions and Changemakers
Where there’s cancer, there are oncology nurses. It’s been that way even before 1971, when President Richard Nixon the National Cancer Act to fight the “war on cancer,” which had just become the second leading cause of death in the United States. Born from the act, the (NCI) its 50th anniversary in 2021. As part of the celebration, it named three oncology nurses and ONS members on its champions and changemakers list—, PhD, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, , RN, PhD, FAAN, and , RN, PhD, FAAN—in recognition of their contributions to cancer prevention, early detection, and symptom science.
We Don’t Have a Crystal Ball, but ONS Is Prepared for Nursing’s Future
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was a wake-up call for preparedness: it caught society unaware and highlighted gaps in virtually every modern-day system. With those lessons learned, when the United States started removing pandemic-related public health restrictions and we began a return to “normal,” experts from all corners of society started looking to what the future will bring.
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.