Volume 2, Issue 1

Message From the ONS Board of Directors President

Brenda NevidjonHappy New Year! With the start of 2009, we begin our next three-year Strategic Plan. The Board will be focusing on the pillars of advocacy, partnership, and knowledge across the cancer care continuum and the nursing profession continuum. We believe this approach captures our mission effectively and will guide us in our decision-making process and in setting organizational priorities.

We are experimenting with a new approach to address our priorities. The approach will be to develop a roadmap of actions related to a priority. A group composed of a member from the Board, a member of the Steering Council, a member of a SIG, other member experts, and staff will meet using a think tank format. In an intensive work meeting, the group will outline a plan to answer what unique contributions ONS can and must make related to the priority. Keeping both the needs of members and ONS as an organization in balance, specific products will be identified and then developed by future teams. Our first two experiences with this approach were Gero-oncology and Survivorship. You’ll hear more about these results in the near future.

Our goal is to have a process that is responsive and flexible to the environment around us yet keeps the momentum of achieving our mission and vision. Thus, we are experimenting and will evaluate this approach. Experimentation is integral to leadership, and the Board will look at other new approaches and processes to align work within the organization and to exert influence externally. The Steering Council remains a key group in our organization for carrying out the Strategic Plan, and the Board and Steering Council have identified ways to enhance the integration of both groups’ work. Likewise, the still new SIG Council structure is important to our future, and work is underway in that group to develop resources that will benefit the whole organization.

The Board is committed to engaging members and staff in work groups that will create innovative solutions to the challenges members face in both providing quality cancer care and developing themselves professionally. We also recognize that many more nurses than those in ONS provide cancer care along with cardiac and diabetes care. We think we have a responsibility to assist these non-oncology nurses also and look to our members to assist as well. I think 2009 promises to be a busy year for all of us, and I am pleased to know that leaders like you, along with the Board, are assuring the continued success of ONS.

 

Volume 2, Issue 1

Help ONS Members Make Their Voices Heard

As leaders of the many varied groups within the ONS structure, the Nominating Committee would like to remind you of the integral role you can play in determining the direction our organization will take in the future. All of us would like to increase the number of ONS members who take advantage of the opportunity to vote and to make their voices heard.

Inform the members of your particular groups of ways they can increase their knowledge about the various positions on the election slate as well as learn more about the candidates who are running for those positions. Members have indicated they lack information on how to make informed decisions when it is time to vote. This may lead to procrastination in placing their votes and even to not exercising their right to vote at all.

Here are a few of the items that you might inform members about.

  1. In November, all chapter presidents received a CD of the candidates’ podcasts and letters from the candidates to the chapter members. Perhaps you’ve already taken advantage of these at chapter meetings or special events to help chapter members be more aware of the candidates. If not, please consider spending a few minutes at a chapter meeting or event to help your members make informed decisions when placing their vote.
  2. In an effort to make the voting process less cumbersome and time consuming for members, the SIG elections are now integrated into the national elections (both paper and online). The ballots are personalized so everyone votes for their SIG coordinator-elect and national candidates at the same time.
  3. Again this year, gifts will be rewarded to those members who vote by January 31st, 2009. In fact, four $250 ONS gift certificates will be awarded to randomly selected members who vote by the deadline.
  4. Three $1,000 monetary awards will be given to the chapter with the highest voting percentage in the each of the chapter categories: small, medium, and large.
  5. And finally, voting online is quick and easy!

So, please encourage your members to vote, and let us know of any innovative ideas you have used that increased your groups’ voting so we can share those with the ONS membership. Please check out a tutorial on voting in the ONS National and SIG Elections.

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Volume 2, Issue 1

ONS Connect Launches New Blog to Continue the Conversation

Join the online conversation as ONS Connect’s new blog, RE:Connect, brings together a diverse group of oncology nurses talking about life at work and at home.

When ONS’s monthly news magazine, ONS Connect, was redesigned in 2007, some of the intent was to address the interests of those new to the field and provide quick news and information to busy professionals. RE:Connect offers an extension of these goals by establishing an online community for readers to talk about issues and share experiences that they deal with on a daily basis. The RE:Connect blog was launched in November in conjunction with ONS’s annual Institutes of Learning and Advanced Practice Nursing Conferences.

Five ONS members have been tapped to initiate the dialogue by posting to the blog on a regular basis.

  • Erin Elphee, RN, MN, CON(C), primary clinic nurse for Lymphoma and Malignant Hematology Disease Site Groups at CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada
  • Kimberly George, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, OCN®, adult health CNS in Wichita Falls, TX
  • Jeanine Gordon, RN, MSN, OCN®, clinical nurse specialist/nurse manager from Brooklyn, NY
  • Jennifer K. Mitchell, MSN, APN-BC, GNP-BC, nurse practitioner with the Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN
  • Kari Wujcik, nursing student at Belmont University and a nurse extern in the pediatric intensive care and cardiology units at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University

These bloggers will share their thoughts about day-to-day challenges at work, juggling busy lives at home, and keeping up to date with the magnitude of information available for practicing nurses. Readers are encouraged to join in on the conversation and connect with other oncology nurse readers by posting their own stories, tips, ideas, and suggestions in the comments section at the end of each blog post.
Check out RE:Connect today, and share this link with your friends and colleagues!

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Volume 2, Issue 1

Funding for Chapter Programs

A recent informal poll was conducted with the chapters of ONS to determine the number of chapter meetings planned each year and how many of those meetings are funded by groups outside of ONS or the local chapter. On average, local ONS chapters are planning about nine programs a year, and many of the chapters hold regular monthly chapter meetings. Of these meetings, on average, 91% are funded outside of ONS or the local chapter. With the current pharmaceutical guidelines changing, the need for chapter programming is going to increase dramatically over the next few years.

ONS has programs that your chapter can use. These programs are free to your chapter, and ONS coordinates the logistics and meal. Available titles include the following.

  • Targeted Therapy for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: New Options, New Decisions
  • Exploring MDS Management: Case Study Reviews
  • Late Effects In Cancer Survivorship
  • Control of CINV: Sparking Change in Your Practice

Details for each of these programs can be found on the ONS Web site. For more information on scheduling a program for your chapter, please contact us toll free at 866-257-4667, extension 6296, or e-mail us at onsmeetings@ons.org. Please include the title of the program in the subject line.

Thank you to the 119 chapters who responded to the informal poll. It was great to hear from so many of you!
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Volume 2, Issue 1

Resources for Chapter and SIG Leaders

ONS has provided many resources for chapter and SIG leaders to assist in their positions. This information can be found on the Chapter and SIG Virtual Communities. The documents and resources can be downloaded easily for use at any time. Please visit the sites to obtain the information you may need.

Chapter Virtual Community
This site provides the following resources and documents.

  • Leadership resources
    • President
    • President-Elect
    • Membership Chair
    • Program Chair
    • Editor
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Nominating Chair
    • Virtual Community Administrator
  • Free continuing nursing education programs for chapter meetings
  • Fundraising resources such as a silent auction toolkit
  • Webcasts and audio conferences for chapter leaders
  • ONS Leadership Update
  • ONS logos for chapter materials

SIG Virtual Community
This site provides the following resources and documents.

  • Leadership resources
    • SIG Coordinator
    • Newsletter Editor
    • Virtual Community Administrator
  • SIG election materials
  • Archive management
  • Record keeping
  • Strategic plan template
  • Webcasts for SIG leaders
  • Discussions
  • SIG policy and procedure manual
  • ONS Leadership Update
  • ONS logo for SIG materials

ONS Upgrades to Office 2007 Products
In the past year, The ONS National Office has updated to Office 2007 products that include Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. As a recipient of ONS communication on the Virtual Community, we want to ensure that you are able to open all correspondence sent by ONS. If you do not have Office 2007, you will need to install the free Office Compatibility Pack. This pack will allow you to open, edit, and save Office 2007 documents using older versions of Microsoft Office. A full explanation of the pack along with installation instructions is available from Microsoft. You may need to work with your organization's Information Technology department if you have difficulty with the installation. Please contact membership@ons.org with any questions.

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