Volume 3, Issue 5

Moving ONS Forward

Brian K. Theil, CAE
Director, Membership and Component Relations
Pittsburgh, PA

As you know, ONS recently underwent some internal restructuring to better position the Society to meet our members’ needs as we move into 2011 and beyond.

In late August 2010, ONS Chief Executive Officer Paula Rieger, RN, MSN, CAE, FAAN, announced the creation of three new divisions that better will align similar functions within our operations. The first such division is Professional Practice and Programs, which will be comprised of those things that we do for the profession and our members—education, publications, and research. A search is underway for an executive director of this division. The second division is Shared Services, which encompasses key internal operations such as finance, information technology, meeting services, and customer service. This division is led by Executive Director Kristine Burns, formerly the Society’s chief information officer. The third division is External Relations and Business Development. This division includes ONS communications and public relations, membership, health policy, and external partnerships. Leading this division is Executive Director Michele McCorkle, RN, MSN, formerly executive director of Education and Corporate Support and Partnerships.

The Membership and Leadership Department has been renamed the Membership and Component Relations Department, reflecting the importance of our chapters and SIGs in achieving the Society’s vision and mission. As noted above, the Membership and Component Relations Department is housed within the External Relations and Business Development Division, allowing us to better integrate the membership, communications, and policy functions.

While the term “leadership” has been removed from the department name, that in no way reflects the removal of leadership work from the department. In fact, leadership activities and initiatives are carried out within many departments at ONS as collaborative efforts. As we transition into this new operating model, we will continue to further delineate which division carries out certain types of leadership initiatives. But activities such as Leadership and Mentorship Weekend and the Leadership Update newsletter will remain the responsibilities of the Membership and Component Relations Department.

So what do all of these changes mean to you? Outwardly, you should see no change in the type or level of service you receive from ONS or its affiliates. Internally, this will mean a more efficient use of our financial and staff resources and a more seamless integration of like products and services. In other words, while we expect the impact of these changes to be significant, the transition to this new structure should be imperceptible to the members.

These changes come at a time when the Society is entering into its next round of strategic planning, allowing us to better align our goals and objectives for the next three years within this new framework. We look forward to your participation in this process as we embark on that journey.


Volume 3, Issue 5

Candidate Slate for 2011 ONS Election Announced

The ONS Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the official slate of candidates for the 2011 election. To learn more about candidates and the 2011 election, visit the ONS Meet the Candidates page on the ONS Web site. You also can read the candidates’ personalized introduction letters, found on the ONS Chapter Virtual Office.

2011 ONS Slate

Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN®
Julie Ponto, PhD, RN, AOCN®, ACNS-BC

Director-at-Large (2 positions)
Tanya Brubaker, RN, BSN, MBA, OCN®, CCRP
Vicki Norton, RN, BSN, OCN®
Sharon Steingass, RN, MSN, AOCN®
Lori Williams, PhD, RN, APN, OCN®, AOCN®

Nominating Committee (2 positions)
Laurie Dohnalek, RN, MBA, NE-BC
Carla Jolley, RN, ARNP, MN, AOCN®, CHPN
Jeannie Keith, RN, MSN, AOCN®, NEA-BC
Julie Painter, RN, MSN, OCN®

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Volume 3, Issue 5

2011 SIG Candidates Named

The ONS Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the official 2011 SIG slate of candidates.



Advanced Nursing Research

Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN

Ambulatory/Office Nursing

Denise Gates-Baker, MSN, RN-C, OCN®

Blood & Marrow Stem Cell Transplant

Hollie DeVine, MSN, RN, ANP-BC

Cancer Genetics

Jacqueline M. Hale, RN, APN-C, AOCN®


Myra Davis-Alston, RN, MSN/Ed, OCN®, CRNI

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Colleen O’Leary, RN, MSN, OCN®, AOCNS®

Clinical Trial Nurses

Rose Ermete, RN, BSN, OCN®, CCRP

Complementary & Integrative Therapies             

Cecile Lengacher, RN, PhD

Lymphedema Management

Marcia Beck, ACNS, BC, CLT-LANA

Management & Program Development

Debra Shapert, RN, MSN, OCN®
Dawn Sumner, RN, BSN, OCN®

Nurse Navigator

(Postponed election until 2012)

Nurse Practitioner

Tamika Turner, MSN, FNP

Pain Management

Fabienne Ulysse, RN, MSN, ANP, AOCNP®

Spiritual Care

Lara Gaston, RN, BSN

Surgical Oncology

Meghan Routt, RN, CNP

Survivorship, Quality of Life, & Rehabilitation

Ann Jones, RN, MS, MBA, AOCN®
Frances Zandstra, RN, BSN, OCN®, CNAABC

Transcultural Nursing Issues

Barbara Owens, RN, PhD, OCN®

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Volume 3, Issue 5

The Power of One

The 2011 ONS Elections

Patricia Buchsel, MSN, RN, OCN®, FAAN
ONS Nominating Committee

One of the most common excuses for not voting in elections is the thought that one vote may not count. However, history is full of major incidents when one vote did count. In 1889, by a one-vote margin, Washington and Idaho won statehood (Morgan, n.d.). This is only one of many situations when one vote changed important elections both nationally and locally.

The time is fast approaching when the voices of over 30,000 ONS members could be heard by choosing national leaders who will represent them, the ONS Board, the ONS Nominating Committee, and SIGs. Casting ballots on governance policies and bylaws often can be overlooked but is equally important to ONS membership. Six amended bylaws and one new bylaw are on the 2011 ballot. Most bylaws are aimed at addressing consistency and clarity in nomination and election policies across the four ONS affiliates. Other amendments broaden the criteria for senior members who qualify for active membership. Finally, an amendment elucidates the terms that may jeopardize a member’s good standing in ONS.

Recognizing the power of casting a vote often is underestimated and fraught with myths. Some popular myths for not voting are “I do not know the candidate; I am too busy to vote; I do not know how to use the computer; I only can vote online; and voting for or against ONS bylaws is not important.” These myths, although some truth has at times existed in them, have been debunked.

ONS staff members have created 21st century technology to help with voting in the 2011 election. The ONS election Web page offers important information on candidates running for ONS Board positions and a link to bylaw information. A "Meet the Candidates" section offers a biography, a description of qualifications and requirements for each open position, and short interviews of each candidate that members can listen to.

For those who believe that they are too busy to vote, online voting can streamline the election process. However, paper ballots remain available for those who do not have computer access. Voting for bylaws is available in a concise format that illustrates the proposed bylaw with their rationales and the pros and cons of each bylaw. So, the reasons for saying “I am not going to vote this year” have been debunked.

Voting is a privilege that is underestimated by the membership. In the 2010 national election, only 13% of the membership voted. Never has having a national voice for empowering nursing been so important. The need for national leaders who understand the shifting healthcare system that places oncology nurses, their patients, and their caregivers at risk for receiving less than optimal care is imperative. The candidates presented in the 2011 election have been carefully vetted for their professional integrity, leadership skills, and knowledge of current and future healthcare issues that allow them to successfully represent the ONS membership to lead the transformation of cancer in the next few years. Voting in this election makes a difference. Even one vote makes a difference.


Morgan, M.W. (n.d.). The importance of one vote. Retrieved from http://www.empowermentzone.com/one_vote.txt


Oncology Nursing Society. (2010). Meet the candidates. Retrieved from http://www.ons.org/Membership/Election

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Volume 3, Issue 5

Honorary Membership Nominations Due January 1st

One of the most notable ONS Distinguished Awards is the Honorary Membership designation. The purpose of the Honorary Membership is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to oncology nursing, demonstrated sustained interest and support of ONS at the national level, and exhibited conduct consistent with organizational values. The Honorary Membership recipient, along with the other ONS Distinguished Award recipients, will be honored at the ONS Annual Congress in 2011. Please consider nominating a deserving individual today!

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Volume 3, Issue 5

Leadership Update Reader Survey

Help us make Leadership Update better for you! We’ve developed a quick-and-easy survey that will take only a few minutes of your time. Your input and suggestions will help to improve the quality of Leadership Update. Thanks in advance for taking the survey!

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Volume 3, Issue 5

Exciting Changes With the ONS SIG Council

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CAE, CVA, CMP
Pittsburgh, PA

The ONS Board of Directors recently evaluated the ever-evolving ONS SIG Council and requested a team to review the structure. After many planning meetings and a focus group held at Congress, a new structure was identified, proposed, and approved.

Under the new structure, Barbara A. Biedrzycki, PhD, CRNP, AOCNP®, will continue as the council chair. The SIG Council will also no longer be represented by each individual SIG coordinator. A group of six volunteers, who are currently in the SIG ex-officio role, have been chosen to represent groupings of SIGs to foster better collaboration and communication. The following volunteers will serve as members of the SIG Council.

Grouping 1—Mei R. Fu Qiu, RN, PhD

Grouping 2—Judith K. Payne, PhD, RN, AOCN®

  1. Breast Care
  2. Cancer Genetics
  3. Nurse Navigator
  4. Prevention/Early Detection
  5. Lymphedema Management
  1. Advanced Nursing Research
  2. Clinical Trial Nurses
  3. Neuro-Oncology
  4. Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant
  5. Acute & Critical Care

Grouping 3—Linda K. Person, RN, MSN, AOCN®

Grouping 4—Gail W. Davidson, RN, BSN, OCN®

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Clinical Nurse Specialist
  3. Pharmaceutical/Industry Nursing
  4. Ambulatory/Office Nursing
  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Complementary & Integrative Therapies
  3. Targeted and Biological Therapies
  4. Neutropenia
  5. Surgical Oncology

Grouping 5—Margaret Grue, RN, BSN BC, CRNI, OCN®

Grouping 6—Nadine V. Wampler RN, MSN, OCN®

  1. Staff Education
  2. Management & Program Development
  3. Radiation
  4. Transcultural Nursing Issues
  1. Home Care & Palliative Care
  2. Spiritual Care
  3. Ethics
  4. Pain Management
  5. Survivorship, Quality of Life & Rehabilitation

The initial focus of the SIG Council will be to develop a strategic plan for the next three years, identify benchmarks for evaluations, and discuss global SIG leadership topics.

Information from these meetings will be shared with each of the SIGs through their individual leadership teams, the Leadership Update, and articles in each of the SIG newsletters.

With a new focus and structure, we are looking forward to continued success in the overall management and support of the ONS SIGs.

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Volume 3, Issue 5

Super SIG Challenge!

The Super SIG Challenge is still underway! The Pharmaceutical/Industry Nursing SIG is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and issued a challenge to the other SIGs. Its challenge was for each SIG to support the ONS Foundation by having the highest percentage of donors. To those who already have donated—a huge thank you from all the many nurses and patients that benefit from ONS and the ONS Foundation.

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Volume 3, Issue 5

The Holidays Are a Great Time to Honor Someone Special!

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to recognize a truly deserving cancer nurse–and it’s easy to do! Simply complete our online nomination form, and we’ll mail your nominated nurse one of our nice thank you cards. It’s the perfect way of saying thanks for all you do!

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Volume 3, Issue 5

Proposed ONS Bylaw Changes Announced

Eligible ONS members will vote on seven proposed bylaw amendments in this year’s election. The 2011 election ballot will feature the following proposed amendments. To view the complete language of the proposed bylaw amendments visit the Official 2011 ONS Election Page.

Article III § 2, Addressing senior member definition

  • Removes the reference to age 62 as the requirement for senior member status, as that is addressed within the policies; now states that senior members shall be individuals who qualify for active membership and have reached an age specified in policies by the Board of Directors to merit senior status

Article III § 4, Addressing member termination

  • Clarifies that members must abide by the ONS bylaws and applicable ONS policies to remain members in good standing, as recent changes to the membership and volunteer conduct policies specify circumstances under which membership may be terminated; also removes the reference to a 30-day grace period for paying member dues, as that is addressed within the policies

Article V § 9, Addressing vacancies that arise on the Board

  • Clarifies which vacancies the Board may fill and further defines the term to be filled by the appointed position

Article VI § 2, Addressing composition of the Nominating Committee

  • Changes the requirement of the immediate past president to serve on the Nominating Committee and provides for a second Board-appointed member

Article VI § 3, Addressing nominations and elections

  • Clarifies the policy and procedure for dealing with the event of a tie election

Article VIII, Addressing nominations and elections

  • Creates a new article that specifically addresses the rules for nominations and elections, pulling together pieces from other articles and also establishes consistent policies for eligibility for office and fulfillment of terms across all corporations

Articles IX–XI, Renumbering of existing articles

  • If the newly proposed Article VIII is approved, the current Articles VIII–X will need to be renumbered accordingly.
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ONS Leadership Update is an e-newsletter published by the
Oncology Nursing Society