Quality Cancer Care Includes Recognizing Underrepresented Patients
For oncology nurses, quality cancer care isn’t just about individualizing care for your patients, following local and national guidelines to the letter, or educating patients and family members to get them through their cancer diagnosis. Those are critical components to great cancer care, but tangible and intangible elements impact oncology as well.
Fennimore Selected as 2018–2020 ONS President-Elect Through New Governance Process
Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA, has been selected as the next ONS president for the 2018–2020 term. She will be president-elect effective January 1, 2018. Fennimore’s appointment is the first under the ONS bylaw changes that were voted into practice by members in 2016. These governance changes provide the ONS Board of Directors the authority to select candidates from among the member-elected directors-at-large to fill officer roles on the ONS Board.
Advocacy Can Make a Difference
As part of its mission, ONS honors and maintains nursing’s historical and essential commitment to advocacy for the public good. Working collaboratively with policymakers, cancer and nursing community advocates, and other stakeholders at the local, state, federal, and international levels, ONS seeks to integrate the nursing perspective throughout the policymaking process and urges that oncology nurses be appointed to all relevant federal panels, committees, commissions, and boards. During its September conference call, the ONS Board of Directors focused on two key areas of ONS advocacy.
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.
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.
Oncology Nurses Need to Advocate for Access to Quality Care
Specialized Knowledge: Quality Care. This is my ONS presidential platform. In several columns, I have discussed how ONS resources can provide you with the specialized knowledge and expertise to provide quality care. This issue, I’d like to focus on quality care.
Becoming a Healthy You Contributes to a Healthy Nation
The American Nurses Association (ANA) launched a grand challenge this year: Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation. The premise is that we are the largest health professionals group but also rate poorly on health indicators. If we improve our health, we can be role models for our family, friends, patients, and community. ONS is supporting the ANA challenge, and I hope you have seen the weekly ONS tips that will help in this challenge.
Board of Directors Sets Goals for 2017–2018
Each June, the ONS Board finalizes its goals for the remainder of the year through the middle of following year. The process is collaborative, and ideas are gathered from each board member. Our hope is that the goals we work toward during the upcoming year will make us an effective, strategic, and nimble board for our members.
Through Early Detection, We Can Impact Cancer Mortality
Earlier in 2017, a group of 12 nurses traveled to Cuba to learn about cancer care and the healthcare system there. Cubans are very proud of their healthcare and educational systems, which are offered without charge to their citizens. We learned so much on this trip, but my take-home message from this experience was the importance of prevention and early detection.
ONS Chief Executive Officer Provides Nursing Tips for the Future of Cancer Care
During the keynote address at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer at ONS, addressed the future of oncology care by opening with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.”
Members Meet to Lead ONS Into the Future
As Oncology Nursing Month, May saw celebrations at the ONS 42nd Annual Congress and in our workplaces. Nurses on ONS staff enjoyed recognition and celebration of their commitment to our mission and you. They partner closely with members who volunteer their time and expertise in developing initiatives and priorities for ONS. I would like to describe a few of those initiatives and work groups that have met at the national office in the first six months of 2017.
Renew Your Mind, Body, and Spirit This May While Celebrating Nurses
This year the American Nurses Association’s National Nurses Week theme was Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit. Take time this month to establish new ways to find balance. As nurses we are taught to view the individuals we care for holistically, yet we don’t always care for ourselves with the same focus. Spring is a symbolic time to renew. Take time to learn something new, take actions to renew your spirit, and be mindful of ways to nourish your body. These actions are important for your health and for the health or those you care for.
ONS Cultivates New and Sustaining Member Programs Throughout the Seasons
As much of the Northeast received a spring snowstorm, the ONS Board of Directors met face to face in Pittsburgh the second week of March. For this Texas girl, it was a beautiful sight to watch the falling snow as the Board discussed important organizational issues, and I couldn’t help but draw associations between our board governance work and the seasonal work of sowing into programs and reaping the reward of those programs to achieve our organizational vision.
Serving on Boards Allows Nurses to Improve the Nation’s Health
As the largest healthcare profession and the one most trusted by the public in the annual Gallup survey, nurses have the power to improve the health of communities throughout the country by bringing their expertise into the boardroom. However, we are an absent voice in so many of those boardrooms.
ONS’s 2017 Financial Priorities Are Based on Member Feedback
The ONS budgeting cycle is not unlike what occurs annually at each of our healthcare settings. ONS staff and senior leadership work to develop a budget each year. In March 2017, the ONS Board of Directors met with staff to review the year-end financials for 2016. This review helps us prepare for the treasurer’s presentation during the Business Meeting at the 42nd Annual ONS Congress in Denver in May. We will meet again in September and October to review and approve the proposed budget for 2018.
ONS Invited to White House for Cancer Moonshot Event
In collaboration with the former President Obama’s health policy team and the Cancer Moonshot, myself and several other members of ONS were invited to attend a community oncology event as part of the White House’s Making Health Care Better series. The event, “Addressing the Cancer Challenge: Progress in Research, Prevention, Coverage, and Quality,” took place at the White House complex on January 11, 2017. It was by invitation only from the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.
National Roundtable Allows ONS and Nurses to Influence Quality Cancer Care
As 2016 came to a close, I participated in a two-day meeting in Washington, DC. ONS is one of more than 40 sponsors of the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People With Serious Illness.
Make Sure You’re Getting a Return on Your Investment
Twice a month, I lead a support group for folks with advanced cancer. Our discussions focus on living with cancer despite an uncertain future. Recently the conversation shifted toward what purchases should and shouldn’t be made.
Member Survey Responses Help Guide ONS’s Future Work
In September, ONS conducted a member survey with 14,728 randomly selected members. Thanks to the 1,842 (12.7%) who responded, the ONS Board of Directors and staff have learned much about the pressing challenges you face in your practice. Most frequently cited were appropriate staffing levels or mix (64%), staff training and education (50%), sufficient patient care resources (38%), and compassion fatigue (36%). You also added many other challenges to the list. This information will guide ONS in developing resources and services for you. It facilitates our identifying gaps in what we offer and what may be needed.
No System Shall Endure Which Does Not March
Two years ago, I became ONS’s third chief executive officer and the staff partner to a Board of Directors that had a clear vision for a system that marches. If, as a member, you feel that ONS has undergone many changes in the past two years, you are correct.
Every Nurse Is a Leader
At the end of July, Pittsburgh was full of energy and excitement as more than 400 oncology nurses attended Leadership Weekend. The experience is designed for ONS Chapter and Community leaders, as well as Board members of all three corporations and our Leadership Development Committee, to share ideas and learn leadership skills.
Nursing Is the Skeleton of the Healthcare System
As a faculty member, I always enjoyed graduation celebrations. Watching the future workforce receive their diplomas, from novice nurses to our next generation of nurse scientists, is an affirmation of the commitment and investment that faculty make to their students and the future of nursing.
The More You Know, the Better Your Care
On May 1 during the 2016 Congress, I introduced my ONS presidential platform, “Specialized Knowledge: Quality Care.” Cancer nursing requires dedication, skill, and KNOWLEDGE. Oncology nursing, as we all know, is constantly changing. New treatments. New standards. New regulations. New processes. The list goes on. Staying informed and prepared for the future of oncology is daunting for any oncology nurse.
Our Work to Define the Elusive Optimal Staffing Levels
A question often posed to the ONS clinical inquiries inbox is what ONS recommends for staffing in inpatient cancer units or chemotherapy treatment centers. This question is asked by members, nonmembers, and non-nurse practice administrators. Our colleagues at the Association of Community Cancer Centers also see their members raise this topic, and it’s not unique to oncology nursing.
Why We Need to Look Back to Move Forward
As I start this amazing adventure as your new ONS president, I can’t help but pause and reflect on how I got here.
Those of you who know me say that I am an organized, motivated, dedicated oncology nurse who is proud to be involved in ONS. What I’ve never had was a specific five-year plan. Instead, I’ve had role models: individuals who inspired me, recognized my potential, and often channeled my energy in the right direction.
ONS President-Elect Presents to Senate Members on Nursing Workforce
Be the Change You Want to See in Cancer Care
CHANGE has been a theme throughout my presidency. Think about it. The ONS staff leadership changed, bringing on the third chief executive officer in 40 years. The ONS Board of Directors changed the ONS mission, vision, and core values; developed a strategic plan that aligns with the revisions; and created bylaw changes for members’ vote.
Maximize Your ONS Experience by Making Your Membership Work for You
Do you know that more than 1,000 of your colleagues and more than 100 ONS staff work for you year-round? You probably know about the volunteer boards who govern ONS, ONS Foundation, and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. Add to them the members who volunteer to oversee the content planning for the annual Congress, review award and grant submissions, develop test questions for certification exams, and serve as advisors to various departments. And you also probably know your chapter leadership, and you may know a special interest group (SIG) coordinator or two.
Change Is the Name of the Game
Webster’s online dictionary defines change as “making something different,” but Webster’s online thesaurus presents a different perspective, which fits with the changes that are currently happening within the ONS governance structure.