Volume 4, Issue 1

Oncology Nurse Leaders Must Seize the Opportunities Before Them

Carl Brown, PhD, RN, AOCN®To say these are difficult yet interesting times is certainly an understatement. I never realized when I placed my name in the hat to run for ONS president in the summer of 2008, that happenings in the outside world would have such important effects on my eventual presidency. Of course, I’m speaking mostly of the passing of the healthcare reform legislation (Affordable Care Act) and, to a lesser extent, the elections in the fall of 2010. Even as I write this piece, Congresswoman Giffords from Tucson, AZ, is fighting for her life, and another six people, including a young child and a Federal Judge, are dead.

As president and the primary face for our incredible organization, I work hard to keep my personal viewpoints and political opinions private. Afterall, my primary focus as president is the ONS mission, “Promoting Excellence in Oncology Nursing and Quality Cancer Care.”  For me, defining what the new legislation means to our members and the patients they care for is paramount. Yet, with all that said, I’m utterly amazed at the rancor and tragedy that seem to have become a distinct presence in the work that we all are doing to better the lives of those who we serve.

Yet, the discouragement that I feel over the current political atmosphere will not stop me, and it should not stop you as oncology nurse leaders. No one is more trusted or better understands the difficulties that patients and their families are facing than the cancer nurse—than you!

Our role in the lives of patients with cancer is clear—oncology nurses, especially the leaders of our organization, have a responsibility to inform the public of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Amazingly, one of the major insurance companies in America continues to terminate medical coverage when women are diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2014, this will be an illegal act, but unfortunately, this reportedly is happening today. In an editorial recently published in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Nursing, Diana J. Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, called for nurses to educate patients about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and to “talk with their Federal and State policy makers about why reforming health care is essential” (Mason, 2011, p. 24).

In coming months and years, the Affordable Care Act may be repealed. Until that happens and moving forward, it is through the leadership of our Society that we must inform our patients, other healthcare providers, and the public about why healthcare reform legislation is important to all Americans but especially those diagnosed with cancer. We cannot stick our heads into the sand like ostriches hoping that these difficult times will go away. As nurse leaders, each and every one of us must join together and seize this opportunity to lead America toward what is right and needed for patients with cancer and their families.


Mason, D.J. (2011). Policy and politics: What future for the affordable care act? American Journal of Nursing, 111, 23–24.


Volume 4, Issue 1

It's Time to Vote

Nancy Houlihan, RN, MA, AOCN®
Chair-Elect, ONS Nominating Committee

The 2011 election period began January 4, 2011, and will run through February 15, 2011 (5 pm EST). The positions to be voted on include a president-elect, two directors at large, and two Nominating Committee members. The slate of candidates is posted on the Official 2011 ONS Election Page, which once again includes the candidate biographies and podcasts of their thoughts on actualizing the ONS core values. This format has been used for the past three years and has guided voters in decision making about candidate qualifications and their thoughts about the leadership of ONS. Also posted are proposed bylaw changes and pro and con discussions on articles related to senior membership, membership termination, and board of directors and committee membership. All voting is done anonymously through our election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, Inc.

As ONS leaders, chapter presidents and SIG coordinators can influence their membership to vote. Some past effective strategies have been to include a message about voting in newsletters and e-mails. Some chapters hold election nights during chapter meetings, which encourages members to vote on site. Remember that three cash prizes exist based on chapter size that will be awarded to those chapters with the largest voting percentages. Inspire your members to vote! One of the most important contributions we can make to ONS is to guarantee a strong board of future leaders. Voting is the most effective way to achieve that goal. You still have time!

In addition, if you are interested in future roles in ONS, visit the Web page called the Road to Leadership to find the information you need to continue your involvement in ONS. Thank you for your contribution to ONS, and the Nominating Committee hopes you will choose to continue to serve. We are available to discuss it with you.

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Important Chapter Contact Updates

As a chapter leader, you probably have a lot of questions. ONS provides support for all chapter leaders. For this reason, we have created a new e-mail address to make it easier to reach us. For all chapter-related business, please e-mail ONS at chapters@ons.org.

To make the most of your position within the chapter, we have created a Web site for all chapter leaders. You can find it at http://chapter.vc.ons.org/.

On this site, you will find announcements, information, and important documents that pertain to your position as well as other board positions. Please take advantage of these documents and forms as they will help you to maintain the chapter’s success.

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Attention Chapter Treasurers: It's Tax Season!

Tax season has arrived. Every year, we receive many tax-related questions from chapters. In an effort to make this tax season go smoothly, the following information pertains to the most frequently asked questions. Contact chapters@ons.org with any other tax-related questions or concerns.

Treasurer Reports

  • The treasurer is responsible for submitting a Treasurer’s Report on a quarterly and annual basis.

Exemption Status

  • 501(c) 6 is an exemption provided by the Internal Revenue Service for nonprofit businesses. The chapter is exempt from federal taxes. The chapter is not exempt from state and local taxes. Donations made to the chapter are not tax-deductible.

Federal Filing Requirements

  • For federal tax filing purposes, ONS files a group form 990 for all ONS chapters. The chapters still are responsible for filing IRS Forms 990, 1099, and W-9, which are related to miscellaneous non-employee compensation. The W-9 provides the taxpayer ID number. The 1099 is for services exceeding $600 in a year.

State Filing Requirements

  • Each chapter is responsible for determining and complying with its state filing requirements. Each chapter should contact its state taxing authority if information is needed in making the determination and for obtaining the appropriate forms. A copy of any returns filed should be submitted to ONS for record keeping.

Sales and Use Tax Purchases

  • The chapter is responsible for collecting sales tax on items sold (e.g., t-shirts, mugs). Chapters should contact the sales tax division of their state to obtain a registration form. By completing the registration form, you will be given a sales tax number for the chapter and a certificate of resale. When you purchase items, such as t-shirts that will be sold as fund-raisers, you do not pay sales tax on the purchase of the t-shirts. (You will have to provide a copy of your certificate of resale to the t-shirt vendor to avoid paying sales tax.) However, when you sell the t-shirts, you need to charge sales and use tax on the t-shirt. The sales and use tax you collect must be remitted to your state sales tax division.
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Volume 4, Issue 1

ONS Leadership Development in the New Year

As you know, leadership is a key focus for ONS. Our popular Leadership Development Institute (LDI), through funding from the ONS Foundation, has provided hundreds of oncology nursing professionals with skills and expertise to become strong leaders in their institutions and communities as well as ONS. The staff and volunteers who have been involved in the development and successful execution of the initiative are to be commended for their outstanding work.

After 12 years, the Board has decided that it is time to reevaluate the program’s design and format for the future. Therefore, in 2011, a volunteer group will work to re-envision an even more exciting and progressive package of leadership offerings for 2012.

Leadership remains paramount to ONS’s priorities in 2011, and we look forward to a continued tradition of excellence in leadership programming that will address the needs of the 21st century while still retaining the reputation that LDI has established for ONS as a source of excellence in leadership development.

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Not Receiving Your SIG Newsletter or Communiqué?

There could be two reasons for this issue.

The first could be that you have chosen “Unsubscribe to Bulk E-mails” in your ONS Profile (under Preferences) or you opted out of receiving ONS e-mails. You can log into your ONS Profile (if you do not already have a profile, select “Create One Now”). Once you are logged in, go to your profile and select “My Personal Info.” Here, you can add or change your e-mail address in our database.

If you wish to receive SIG correspondence but not other e-mails from ONS, select “My Preferences” on the left, and then select “Manage Subscriptions” under “E-mail Preferences.” From this page, you can select any kinds of e-mails that you DO NOT want to receive. You will still receive your SIG information as part of your membership as long as we have a valid e-mail address on file for you.

The second could that be your institution has been restricting you from receiving the ONS e-mails. The increased use of spam and security filters and junk mail folders may be blocking these e-mails. You can ask your information technology team or department to white list ONS wherever there are filters in place.

If you aren’t receiving ONS e-mails at all, e-mail marketing@ons.org to check on the status of your ONS e-mail account. If you do not provide an e-mail address, you will not be notified when a new SIG newsletter or communiqué is posted. You always can access newsletters and communiqués by going to your SIG’s Virtual Community.

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Help Your Chapter Win $1,000!

It’s that time of year! All ONS chapters can compete for top voting honors in the 2011 Chapter Voting Awards and win a nice check for $1,000! Each year, the ONS Nominating Committee rewards the top three chapters with the highest member voting percentage within their category (one winner per category: large=140 members or more; medium=70–139 members; or small=15–69 members). The three winning chapters each receive a cash award of $1,000. Winning chapters will be notified soon after the completion of the 2011 election (late February). Encourage your members to vote before February 15, 2011 (5 pm EST). Good luck!

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Union for International Cancer Control's World Cancer Declaration

ONS is committed to supporting the Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC’s) World Cancer Declaration in an effort to take 1 million signatures to the United Nations in October 2011 calling for a cancer-free world.

The World Cancer Declaration is a tool to help bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020. It represents a consensus among government officials, public health experts, and cancer advocates from around the world who are committed to eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.

We have made many extraordinary strides in research, advocacy, and treatment for cancer, and more people than ever are living with cancer. Incidence rates in the United States are on the decline in some areas such as prostate, lung, oral cavity, brain and nervous system, stomach, colorectal, and breast cancer. However, myeloma, leukemia, melanoma, and cancer of the liver, kidney, and esophagus have shown an increase in incidence recently. So much more work must be done.

The Declaration is a list of 11 priority actions to reduce the global cancer burden and pledge support for the achievement of this actions. Government, healthcare, donors, development agencies, professional organizations, and private and civil groups are being asked to take steps to slow and ultimately reverse cancer death rates.

ONS has pledged to gather 1,500 signatures by the first UN Summit for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in September 2011. Show your support for ONS and this important global initiative by signing the World Cancer Declaration as an ONS member! After entering your e-mail address, click “Organization: click here” directly under this, type “ONS” as well as “www.ons.org” at the bottom where it asks for the organization’s Web site.

Check out the UICC’s You Tube video, or visit the UICC’s Web site for more information.

To read more about ONS’s international initiatives and partnerships, visit the International Affairs page of the ONS Web site.

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ONS Leadership Update is an e-newsletter published by the
Oncology Nursing Society