Nancy Houlihan Selected as ONS President-Elect
To continue to guide the future path of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and its commitment to innovation, advocacy, and excellence in the nursing profession, the ONS Board of Directors has elected Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Director of Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®, as the Society’s next president. Houlihan will succeed Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, who concludes her two-year tenure as president on April 29, 2020, at ONS’s 45th Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX.
ONS Member Ferrell Elected to National Academy of Medicine
As a trailblazer and pioneer in palliative care and end-of-life research, ONS member Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, director of the division of nursing research and education at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, has improved the quality of life for countless patients with cancer throughout the world. In recognition of her vast contributions to oncology nursing science and patient-centered care, Ferrell was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest medical honors in the United States, on October 21, 2019. She joins the ranks of only 2,200 other medical professionals to be appointed to the Academy.
To Truly Innovate, We Must Move Beyond the Past
While looking for an image for a presentation, I came across this quote on a picture of a woman whose hands were more than full. It captured the message I was going to be giving. The world of health care, specifically cancer care, continues to evolve rapidly from an array of forces outside of our control. However, in that swirl of change, we have the opportunity to evaluate any resulting barriers or challenges to patient care and to design and implement solutions. To do this, to be creative, to innovate, to problem solve, we may have to let go of things with which we are comfortable but are not of benefit in today’s world.
How Is ONS Supporting OCM Nursing Practice?
The preliminary outcomes for performance in the first year of the Oncology Care Model (OCM) have shown modest but interesting results for the value-based payment model. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ year-one evaluation examined the initial impact of the new payment model on practice in terms of outcomes related to total cost of care per practice, unplanned hospital and emergency department visits, hospital visits, and patient-reported satisfaction with care for six-month episodes of chemotherapy for beneficiaries from July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017.
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.
ONS Names Debra Lyon as Incoming Oncology Nursing Forum Editor
Oncology nursing-led research is the engine that drives practice change when caring for patients with cancer. As a standard-bearer of oncology nursing research and a veteran of nursing research publications, Debra Lyon, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF), becoming the research journal’s sixth editor effective January 1, 2020.
HOPA and ONS Collaborate on Safe Handling Guidelines Consistent With National Recommendations
The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) have partnered to develop a joint position statement in advance of an upcoming compliance deadline for U.S. Pharmacopeia Chapter 800 (USP <800>).
ONS Publications Receive High Honors in Awards Competitions
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) periodical publications have been recognized for their commitment to excellence, with recent honors bestowed from Association Media and Publishing, Communication Concepts, and the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors.
Summer’s Dog Days Are Energizing, Not Lazy, for ONS and Its Volunteers
A few weeks in July and August are known as the dog days of summer—the days where the heat makes us feel particularly laid back and lazy. I have always thought that these hottest days of the year, when even dogs languished from the heat, gave us a chance to slow down and offered a break from the intensity of work or school. It was a time for families to enjoy relaxing vacations and children to make memories of new friendships and adventures. I decided to Google the meaning of dog days and lazy days. I found that the term lazy days was similar to my thinking, but dog days has a different meaning.
Ruth McCorkle Leaves Legacy of Innovation, Advancement in Oncology Nursing
ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, had a storied, trailblazing career in oncology nursing, leading the way to advance nursing research, patient-centered care, and educational excellence. McCorkle passed away on August 17, 2019, surrounded by her close family, leaving behind an indelible legacy to the oncology nursing profession.
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.
ONS Holds Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days
On September 22–24, 2019, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) will hold its Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days in Washington, DC. The three-day education and advocacy event will prepare more than 100 oncology nurses to work with elected officials on health policy issues important to their patients and profession. Capitol Hill Days encourages nurses to be advocates and leaders in their communities and in their practice by helping ONS make a real difference in the national healthcare conversation.
To Drive Clinical Excellence and Resources, ONS Launches Center for Innovation
As part of its ongoing work to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) launched the ONS Center for Innovation to guide the development of new resources, projects, programs, and applications for ONS’s existing products as well as the creation of new, innovative ones that meet the needs of oncology nurses—both now and in the future.
Educational Integrity Is an ONS and ONCC Priority, Evident in Revised Policy
Leadership, integrity, inclusion, and diversity were common threads in several discussions during the ONS Board of Directors’ conference call on May 21, 2019. In addition to finalizing plans for their participation in the Leadership Think Tank, which will be held on July 22–23, 2019, the Board made the following decisions and approvals.
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.
How ONS Is Supporting ONNs’ Professional Development
Professional development needs of oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) have not been clearly identified, both for novice and more experienced navigators. Although some work has begun to define training for novice ONNs, most information about education for experienced ONNs comes from evaluation data and anecdotal reports.
Here’s How ONS Is Transitioning Symptom Management Resources Into Guidelines
Using the best evidence to inform care leads to better patient outcomes and can prevent over- or underuse of healthcare resources. Clinical practice guidelines are an important tool for healthcare providers to ensure they are using informed care in their practice. On Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Pamela Ginex, EdD, RN, discussed ONS’s symptom management guidelines and a new initiative to develop and implement guidelines into clinical care.
ONCC Welcomes New Executive Director
The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)—an independent affiliate of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)—has been providing oncology nurses with certification to demonstrate their expertise and excellence in oncology nursing care for more than 30 years. On April 8, 2019, ONCC will welcome Tony Ellis, CAE, as its new executive director. Following the retirement of long-time director Cynthia Miller Murphy, MSN, RN, CAE, FAAN, Ellis will be only the second person in ONCC history to serve executive director.
Miller Murphy Retires After Storied Career in Oncology
As a vanguard for oncology nursing certification and practice excellence, Cynthia Miller Murphy, MSN, RN, CAE, FAAN, executive director for the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC), is a nationally recognized expert in credentialing. Her tenure as ONCC executive director helped nurses achieve more than 100,000 different certifications to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in nursing and patient-centered care. After almost 30 years at ONCC, Miller Murphy is retiring as executive director effective April 8, 2019.
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.
44th Annual ONS Congress Celebrates Oncology Nursing Innovation, Research, and Patient Care
Annually, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) brings together more than 3,700 oncology nurses from across the country and around the globe to celebrate and advance the oncology nursing profession. The 44th Annual ONS Congress in Anaheim, CA, from April 11–15, 2019, showcases educational sessions, networking opportunities, and groundbreaking nursing research.
Three New CMS-Approved Quality Measures Added to ONS’s Oncology QCDR
To further support patient-centered care and the value-based care proposition enacted through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, ONS announces the availability of three innovative, high priority, outcome-based electronic clinical quality measures.
2019 Will Be a Strategic Bridge Year as ONS Looks Ahead to a New Decade
Oncology nurses have seen many changes in the past decade with significant improvements in cancer treatment, better symptom management and palliative care, and enhanced care coordination. But much work needs to be done as we look toward the future.
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.
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.
ONS Launches New Website to Better Support Oncology Nursing Needs
As the field of oncology continues to evolve, so too do the needs of oncology nurses throughout the country. To provide a deeper, cleaner, and more efficient user experience for its members, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has launched its newly redesigned website at ONS.org. The new ONS.org experience easily connects oncology nurses with key practice resources, the latest-breaking literature, cutting-edge courses, and innovative ways to improve the quality of cancer care for patients around the world.
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.
Brazil’s Inaugural Oncology Nursing Conference Reminiscent of ONS’s Own Beginnings
What comes to mind when someone mentions Brazil? Do you think soccer? The 2016 Rio Olympics? Carnival? The Amazon rainforest? Although all of those are true, even more impressive is what’s happening in oncology nursing throughout Brazil. In August 2018, a small group of dedicated Brazilian oncology nurses—many of whom are ONS members—hosted the Inaugural Oncology Nursing Brazil 2018 conference in Sao Paulo.
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.
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.
ONS Gathers Healthcare Experts, Government Agencies for Policy Summit
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are key to improving the quality of care for their patients with cancer through advocacy—both in institutions across the country and in legislative offices on Capitol Hill. With the intent to remove barriers so NPs can help move the needle for healthcare policy, ONS’s Center for Advocacy and Health Policy held the summit, “Policy Barriers and Opportunities to NPs in Oncology,” on April 10, 2018, in Washington, DC.
ONS Scholar-in-Residence Will Drive Nursing Research, Highlight Scientists
Whether being called on to inform the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, develop novel resources for patients with prostate cancer, or create programs for smoking cessation, nurse scientists are continually advancing patient-centered oncology care. Nurse researcher contributions have led to improved patient outcomes, better symptom management interventions, and overall quality of care. As part of its commitment to future nursing research, ONS created a new scholar-in-residence position to drive and inform the Society’s research agenda and highlight the integral work of ONS member nurse scientists who are moving the needle for patients with cancer.
ONS Members Help Define Checkpoint Inhibitor Adverse Event Guidelines
Because the treatment of symptoms, side effects, and adverse events associated with immunotherapies can differ greatly from the standard of care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)—along with experts from ONS staff and membership—collaborated to develop guidelines to inform clinicians about managing immune-related adverse events associated with checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
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.
Oncology Nurse and ONS Member Named President of Johns Hopkins Health System
ONS member and oncology nurse, Kevin Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN, former president of Duke University Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC, was appointed president of the John Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, both in Baltimore, MD, on December 8, 2017, and begins his tenure on February 1, 2018. He is only the second person in Johns Hopkins history to hold these dual roles.
Oncology Nurse and ONS Member Selected to Attend Global Entrepreneur Summit in India
In clinics across the country, oncology nurses are moving the needle when it comes to patient-centered care. They innovate, create practice change, and are the lifelines for many of their patients. One oncology nurse and ONS member has combined her unique background in software development and health care to form a new business that aims to provide real-time practice resources to oncology nurses. In recognition of her achievements, ONS member and chief executive officer of Helpsy Health, Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, has been selected to attend the 8th annual Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India.
ONS Opposes CMS Adjustment Payments for Part B Drugs
On August 21, 2017, ONS submitted comments to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, opposing the agency’s proposed policy to include Medicare Part B drugs in the calculation of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) payment adjustments.
What Is ONS’s Perspective on the Ambulatory Staffing Dilemma?
Appropriate nurse staffing is only one of the critical factors that contribute to optimal patient outcomes and is as important as the systems, technology, and quality standards in any care setting. The relationship between poor staffing, daily variation in quality, and increased workload to increased care errors, missed care, and patient and nurse dissatisfaction is well described.
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.
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.
What Is ONS’s Process for Creating Oncology Nursing Competencies?
The ONS Oncology Nurse Generalist competencies define the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities that nurses new to oncology practice should develop or acquire within the first one to two years of oncology practice. The target audience includes both beginning nurses new to practice as well as seasoned nurses who enter the oncology specialty after working in another area.
ONS, HVO Partnership Offers International Opportunities for Nurses
In a new international partnership, ONS is teaming up with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) to provide opportunities for ONS members to work with healthcare providers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Volunteers are given the opportunity to make an impact by sharing their expertise through educating, training, and developing healthcare professionals in LMICs.
Developing Oncology Partnerships Around the World
By 2035, it’s expected that 22 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed annually around the world. The global burden of cancer care and treatment is something that affects all nations and cultures. Through collaboration, understanding, and a dedication to forging new relationships, oncology professionals from around the world are coming together to fight for their patients and colleagues on February 4, 2017, for World Cancer Day.
ONS Member Meneses Named UAB’s 2016 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer
After more than 40 years as an oncology educator, researcher, and nurse, ONS member Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB’s) 2016 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. This is the highest honor given at the university, and Meneses is only the second nurse from UAB’s school of nursing to ever receive the honor.