Volume 2, Issue 3

Re-Energizing the Leader Within

Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAANCongress, always both an energizing and tiring time, is over, and the longer days of summer are here. Once upon a time, the pace of summer was slower than the rest of the year, and hospitals and clinics saw fewer patients. This is no longer true; health care is busy 365 days a year and so are you. In fact, many healthcare organizations limit how much vacation staff may take in the summer. Additionally, you are giving time to ONS as a volunteer leader. I would guess that many of you also are volunteering for a least one other organization and may be in school. You have families and friends. Then, there is you.

"You" being listed last probably comes as no surprise because that is often what we do—put ourselves last. We have all heard the instruction, "Put on your oxygen mask first." We know the physiological importance of oxygen and what happens when we don’t have it. However, using that advice outside a plane is a bit more difficult. I believe it is essential for keeping you, especially as a leader, energized and able to engage your colleagues. Once you put on your oxygen mask, you are able to lead others.

Each of us has an oxygen mask. Identifying your oxygen mask is the first step to developing your approaches to staying energized. I once heard a speaker describe creating a sacred space wherever you do your work, including at home. She talked about saving a small space in which to put reminders of what energizes you. Whether they are reminders of the beach or the mountains, a lake or the woods, or your family, looking at them and letting your thoughts drift can refresh you. Other approaches which we all know for staying energized include eating well, getting exercise, having enough sleep, and learning how to power relax by using simple deep breathing or imagery.

You may be wondering why this is my message in this issue of the Leadership Update. It’s because you are a valuable asset to ONS and as the president, I want our assets protected. I can’t give you energy, but I can encourage you to take care of yourself so you continue to contribute to oncology nursing and ONS. And, I thank you again for being the leader you are, for all you do for our members and the people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Thank you.


Volume 2, Issue 3

Why You Should Consider Running for Office

Nancy Houlihan, RN, MA, AOCN®
Clinical Program Manager, Survivorship Initiative, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Member, Nominating Committee
New York, NY

Last year at this time, I made the important decision to run for an ONS office. Why did I do it? Surely, I didn’t need more work. If you have volunteered at any level of this organization, whether in your local chapter, SIG, or on a project team, you know that we share a very strong bond in what unites us as oncology nurses. When we work together, we not only produce a valuable product but experience a mutually enjoyable personal and professional growth. That is the reward from getting involved in ONS. Having served for many years on the board of my local chapter and in various educational endeavors at the national level, I benefited from the relationships, mentoring, and developmental opportunities offered by ONS and its membership. Now, I am able to participate in the leadership of the Society that has done so much to formulate the field of oncology nursing as we know it.

Another reason I decided to run is that someone asked me to. So, the Nominating Committee is asking you to think about a leadership position at ONS. I am certain that those who voted this year will agree that the election process has become quite easy. The candidate application process is equally efficient and accomplished completely electronically. The available positions for the 2010 election are secretary, director-at-large (2 positions), and nominating committee (2 positions) as well as various SIG coordinator positions. The deadline for submitting an application is August 24th. Please visit the election information page on the ONS Web site to view the candidate materials, or contact a member of the Nominating Committee listed on the Web page.

President Obama has called on Americans to volunteer to move communities forward. No better community exists than that of oncology nurses. You make a difference every day in your practice. Become involved, and make a difference for ONS. You will receive much more than you give.
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Volume 2, Issue 3

ONS Joins U.S.—Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research

ONS is pleased to have recently become an official partner of the U.S.—Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research. Thanks to the initiative of the Transcultural Nursing Issues SIG Coordinator, Hanan Saca-Hazboun, RN, MSN, as well as other nurses in the West Bank, ONS has been brought on board to further enhance the Partnership’s ongoing curricula and training for nurses throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

An ONS project team is working to convert the "Site Specific Cancer Series: Breast Cancer" online course into a live, modular presentation. The team is collaborating with an advisory committee composed of nursing representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian Authority, and the United States to create a Breast Cancer Care Training of Trainers workshop. The workshop will enable experienced nurses and nurse educators in the region to provide training in local languages to nurses within their institutions and communities. The advisory committee will provide local, cultural, and situational context to enhance this learning initiative, which is to be held for nurses in partner countries this fall.

The U.S.—Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research was created in direct response to calls from women in the Middle East who are leading the fight against breast cancer. Through the Partnership, launched in June 2006, participants have increased clinical research collaboration efforts, public awareness about the importance of early detection, implementation of outreach strategies, and distribution of treatment information. In addition to ONS, key U.S.-based partners include Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. This project is funded through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

Check out more information on the Partnership.

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Volume 2, Issue 3

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 Conference.

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
  • 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 3

Honor Someone Special Recognizes Dedicated Oncology Nurses

In April, ONS proudly introduced the Honor Someone Special program at the 34th Annual ONS Congress in San Antonio, TX, and since then, hundreds of oncology nurses have been recognized. This exciting new campaign honors registered nurses who have demonstrated excellence in oncology nursing and a commitment to quality cancer care. Honor Someone Special is a unique program designed to celebrate individual accomplishments of oncology nurses who make a difference in the lives of people with cancer and their families.

Honor Someone Special will build community awareness as well as help develop a stronger professional recognition program. The Honor Someone Special program is not an awards program, but instead, it’s a campaign to recognize "moments in time" that allows patients, families, colleagues, and peers to nominate a well-deserving oncology RN for this special honor.

Honor Someone Special is a simple yet meaningful way to say thank you to a cancer nurse who promotes excellence in oncology nursing. Nominations are accepted year-round with no limitations on the number of nominations. The only requirement is that nominees must be RNs. Learn more about the Honor Someone Special program. Also, if you’d like to place Honor Someone Special posters and nomination forms at your facility, please contact Brian Taylor at ONS. We thank all ONS leaders for promoting the new Honor Someone Special program!

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Volume 2, Issue 3

Chapter Groups on Facebook Are a Growing Trend

Facebook is fast becoming a growing trend on the Internet. Over 200 million people have accounts, with the largest demographic comprising people aged 35 and older.

Facebook is a social network of users who share interests and activities with each other. It also provides the ability for chapters to create group pages. These group pages allow nurses to communicate with each other for networking. Read how two chapters have been successfully using Facebook.

ONS Houston Chapter
Tippy Spratt, BS, RN, MA
Houston Chapter ONS Board Member and Chairperson for Virtual Community

A few months ago, a former colleague invited me to join Facebook. Once I logged in and became an established member, I discovered that ONS had a group page of their own. "Wow," I thought "Why not our Houston Chapter?" Although we have our own Web page on the Chapter Virtual Community (VC), we could reach many more nurses with this fun virtual tool.

Members and potential members can check out our group Facebook page to view coming events and see posted pictures of past meetings. Links also are provided to access our VC as well as the ONS Foundation among others. Local oncology nurses who are members of the Houston Chapter and Facebook can add the chapter group to their Facebook page to keep up-to-date. A discussion board is located on the group page for questions and general networking. The Houston Chapter is excited to offer this platform to its members and the oncology nursing community.

Visit the Houston Chapter’s Facebook group page.


ONS Metro Minnesota
Elizabeth Schwerm, RN, BSN, OCN®
One of the Founding Members of Metro Minnesota Chapter

My Experience Starting a Chapter Facebook Group

Facebook isn’t just for my college-aged daughter anymore. Groups of all kinds can be established on Facebook. I learned this after I joined Facebook earlier this year in an attempt to track down friends from the past. I soon discovered ONS had a group page and quickly joined. It was there that I got the idea for a Metro Minnesota Chapter page. Metro Minnesota is my local ONS chapter, which serves the oncology nurses of the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. We have over 200 members and have been a chapter since 1981.

I began by sending a private message to Sean Pieszak, one of the administrators of the ONS Facebook page, to make sure this was possible. He gave me just a few guidelines, and with the blessings of our board and our VC administrator, I began to create the page.

Along with our chapter’s logo, I added information about our chapter, with a direct link to our VC and opened up the group to any nurses or student nurses who were interested in oncology nursing. Membership in the Metro Minnesota Chapter is not a requirement.

I privately invited any oncology nurse "friends" and encouraged them to invite their "friends." Currently, we have 50 members. We have a "Wall" where we can make announcements and give out information. A "Discussion Board" allows all members to interact. Off to the side, our VC coordinator can list information about upcoming events. She also has posted information about our Facebook page on our Chapter VC.

Right now, the goal of our Facebook group is networking, both social and professional. I also would like to help get student nurses excited about oncology nursing. I keep posting new topics and am confident that, with time, our Facebook chapter page will become more interactive. I’m excited to be on the edge of something new. As an added benefit, I have become friends with the administrators of the Houston and Tennessee Chapter Facebook groups. I’m networking across the country!

Visit the Metro Minnesota Chapter’s Facebook group page.


If your chapter or SIG is interested in creating a Facebook group or already has one, check out the Recommendations for Facebook Groups. For more information, contact Sean Pieszak.


Facebook. (2009). Press Room. Retrieved May 13, 2009, from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

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Volume 2, Issue 3

CJON Seeks Reviewer

The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) is looking for reviewers. Do you enjoy reading about recent advances in oncology nursing? Do you like to evaluate new symptom management approaches? Do you want to help select the articles published in CJON? If so, consider applying your knowledge by becoming a CJON reviewer.

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Volume 2, Issue 3

Catch the Latest ONS Continuing Nursing Education Webcourses

Find the latest webcourses available at ONS Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) Central. ONS webcourses provide great information and offer diverse learning tools and subjects. Topics include Cancer Basics; OCN, AOCNP®, or AOCNS® review courses; Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Update; Lung Cancer Online Course; and many more to choose from. Enroll now, and enjoy these courses from the comfort of your home. Easily catch up on the latest treatments and interventions, or simply increase your knowledge base in your field of practice—plus, gain valuable CNE contact hours! These webcourses are extremely informative, reasonably priced, and provide the quality learning experience you’d expect from ONS. Learn more today!

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Volume 2, Issue 3

How Congress Topics Are Developed in Collaboration With SIGs

The Congress team is a dynamic and diverse group of ONS nurses from across the country. Committing to at least two years of service, they build the theme of this annual educational meeting from the ground up. The team starts with the ONS strategic plan, annual report, past congress evaluations, and their own knowledge and experience to develop objectives, themes, and educational sessions to meet the needs of the attendees. Although education is the main focus, networking and rejuvenation are also important pieces of Congress.

When coordinating sessions and speakers, the team relies heavily on the SIGs to identify "hot topics" and appropriate speakers from throughout the membership. Members have come to rely on the credibility of a "SIG sponsored" session, knowing that these sessions bring cutting-edge information and exceptional speakers. This year is no exception; your 2010 Congress team will be looking to the SIG leadership for sponsorship of as many sessions as possible.

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Volume 2, Issue 3

Help Your ONS Copy Editor Help You:
A Resource for SIG Leaders

Emily Nalevanko, BA, MFA
Pittsburgh, PA

Usually, thank yous are saved for the end, but I would like to begin by thanking you for volunteering! ONS could not serve its members as well without all of the work you do. So, I’d like to make your work a little easier. When I begin editing newsletters, I must first prepare the copy. Sometimes this involves undoing many things that you have spent time doing. This is inefficient for all involved. So, by communicating what would help me most, I hope that it ultimately will help you and your SIG. Everyone could use a little extra time, so please try to use the following formatting styles when submitting newsletter copy to ONS. Please forward this information to your editor as much of it pertains to him or her. If you ever have any questions about submitting copy for SIG newsletters, please feel free to contact me

Occasionally, I find it difficult to decipher where one article ends and another begins. This ends up taking more time than it should. To try to eliminate this problem, several options exist.

  • Please underline all titles of articles and only titles. Sometimes when I receive copy, titles can be found in a variety of formats (i.e., bolded, italicized, centered, in all caps), but all of this is unnecessary because I have to remove the current formatting and simply underline it so that Webposting can recognize each article for coding in HTML.
  • Article titles also should be numbered. For example, 1 Coordinator’s Message. This helps to differentiate between articles even further and assures that the articles are in the order that you would prefer. (Many SIGs already do this, so thanks!)
  • Finally, some SIG editors fill out #10 on the SIG transmittal sheet with each article title. This is helpful when the previous two tips are not followed, but this could be avoided altogether (which would save time) by simply following the first two tips.

Also, #10 on the transmittal sheet asks for all author names, credentials, city and state addresses, and e-mail addresses. This is very important to include, and I would prefer this information to come right after each article title in the actually copy so that I already have the information where it needs to be. I find that most editor queries I have ask for this missing information. So, please be sure to include the following for each article so that I don’t have to take up more of your time with questions. Here’s an example.

# Title of Article
Author’s Name, CREDENTIALS
City, State abbreviation
E-mail address

Please only include APA style references and APA style in-text citations. Sometimes, I receive articles that have small roman numerals that correspond to footnotes or endnotes. Converting these to APA takes quite a lot of time. If you are writing the article or having a guest writer contribute, please cite references according to APA style. If you receive an article that is already in another format, I will of course still convert them for you, but I would hate for you or another writer to spend time doing something that I will only undo. Also, please make sure that every source cited within the text is listed in the reference list and that each reference is as complete as it can be. I’ve included links to APA style guidelines above, but here is an example APA reference to use as a guide. Please note all punctuation, capitalization (or lack thereof), italics, and the en dash between the page numbers.  

Horvath, B., Norville, R., Lee, D., Hyde, A., Gregurich, M., & Hockenberry, M. (2009). Reducing central venous catheter-related bloodstream infections in children with cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 36(2), 232–238.

Here is another way to look at it.

Journal article:
Author, A.B., Author, C.D., Author, E.F., Author, G.H., Author, I.J., Author, K.L., et al. (Year). Title of article. Title of journal, volume number (issue number), page range.

Author, A.B., & Author, C.D. (Year). Title of book. City and state of publisher: Publisher’s name.

Book chapter:
Author, A.B. (Year). Title of chapter. In A.B. Editor and C.D. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (edition number, chapter page range). City and state of publisher: Publisher’s name.

Web site:
Author, A.B. (Year). Title of Web site. Retrieved month, day, and year, from Web site address.

If you are including acronyms, no matter how common among nurses, please write them out on first mention. For example, "The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) is dedicated to developing the profession’s next generation of experts and authors through the CJON Writing Mentorship Program." Acronyms that should be written out on first mention include ER, APHON, s/p, ASCO, NIH, NCI, FDA, WHO, ALT, CT, MRI, and many more. Often, I can recognize what acronyms stand for, but sometimes they are unfamiliar to me because I am not a nurse. So, again to save time and queries from me asking what something stands for, please try to write out as many acronyms as possible. Only a few acronyms should be abbreviated at all times, these include IV, RN, PRN, PO, BID, TID, DNA, RNA, SF-36®, PDA, AIDS, HIV, HER2-neu, HER2, DVD, CD, CD-ROM, TV, URL, SIG, and ONS. All others should be written out on first mention.

Please also pay attention to when the newsletter is scheduled to be posted. If it is scheduled for after a conference, please write the articles as if you were writing after the conference has taken place. If you have something that is of a very time-sensitive nature, please send a communiqué to members instead of through the newsletter. Consider the newsletter more of a place for news about advancements in science, technology, and care treatments; governmental changes; honoring members; hot topic articles; advertising for more long-term projects; linking members to valuable resources; etc. Consider the newsletter more like a journal and communiqués more like mass e-mails, advertisements, alerts, or reminders.

If an article, image, figure, or table has been printed or posted elsewhere, please make sure we have written permission to reuse the information. The permission can be a letter, a form, or even via e-mail (as long as the entire chain of requesting permission up to receiving permission is included). Or, you simply can write a short blurb for the SIG newsletter about the article and then link to the online publication.

Speaking of linking to Web sites, try to incorporate the link into the text. For example, instead of writing "You can visit the American Cancer Society’s Web site by going to http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp." Please write "Visit the American Cancer Society’s Web site." If you don’t know how to create a hyperlink in text like I just did, you also can write "Visit the American Cancer Society’s Web site [Please link to http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp]."

And, finally, a few more tips to make your newsletter the best it can be.

  • Accuracy is always vital.
  • Know your audience. Understand why nurses read your newsletter. Just ask them.
  • Keep the 4,000-word limit in mind for SIG newsletters.
  • People read online text more slowly and tend to scan more.
    • Always use shorter, more concise articles, shorter, more concise paragraphs, shorter, more concise sentences (You get the idea.)
    • Use visual points of entry including subheads, bulleted lists, figures and tables, and bolded key phrases.
  • You still can run in-depth articles!
    • Use links when possible. Links keep your newsletter shorter and more manageable, plus they help to avoid sticky permission issues.
    • Break long articles into parts. Adopt this old trick from print publications, and keep readers hungry for more.
  • Avoid writing with clichés, including articles that rely on seasonal or holiday themes.
  • Put your best foot forward: Run your best article first. Don’t begin with the editor’s message just because you always have.
  • It’s important to thank people and to review SIG business, but don’t make that the bulk of your content.
  • Aim to make your SIG newsletter one of the first places nurses go to get news and information on your special topic. This will take time and effort, but it is a worthwhile goal.
  • Any time you see something new, that’s news.
    • A new drug—Perform a literature search and write a summary of what you’ve found.
    • A new device or tool—Try it in your practice and write about your experiences.
    • A new trial—Write a short summary of the trial’s goals.
    • A new journal article, book, CD-ROM, etc.—Write a review or summary.

You also can write about the following.

  • Feature and welcome new members of your SIG.
  • Highlight innovative programs at workplaces.
  • Write about other organizations related to your SIG.
    • Publish tools they provide.
    • Review their Web sites.
    • Highlight their guidelines.
  • Incorporate "Feature" articles into your newsletter.
    • Complementary Care Corner
    • Self-Care Corner
    • Do-It-Yourself: How to search the literature, establish evidence-based practice, meditate, hold a journal club, etc.
    • ______ Awareness Month: www.whathealth.com/awareness/may.html
  • Conferences
    • Announce upcoming events of interest.
    • Review one or more sessions relevant to your audience.
  • ONS values and how they relate to your SIG (a six-part series)
  • Your experience using one of the ONS Putting Evidence Into Practice cards
  • Grass-roots efforts by nurses in your field
  • Google it! Type your special interest into Google and see what comes up.
  • Sign up to receive exclusive e-mail alerts on late-breaking news, reports, and special offers.
    • FDA: http://xsuite.thompson.com/SF_Module/webforms/subscribe_emailnews.cfm
    • National Cancer Institute: www.nlm.nih.gov/databases/alerts/
    • American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/NWS_0.asp
  • Search clinical trials
  • Find articles and ideas in the ONS Leadership Update, ONS Connect, the Oncology Nursing Forum, and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
  • One of your best resources is each other!
    • Reach out to other SIG leaders.
    • For example, the Ethics SIG requested articles from other SIGs on ethical issues in their subspecialties.
    • Teaming up to produce articles relevant to more than one SIG can be very beneficial to all SIGs involved.
  • Think about why you volunteer, and then, tell others what you gain from it.
    • Networking
    • Professional development
    • Building your resume
    • Extra oomph in your annual evaluation
    • Points toward certification renewal
  • Don’t just ask for help. Instead, list a few specific story ideas in every issue and ask for volunteers. Tell people how many words you need (remember, short and concise) and how long it likely will take to write an article. They may be surprised at how easy it can be.
  • As a SIG coordinator, supporting the SIG editor is crucial. You can help them by
    • Sticking to deadlines
    • Providing articles and content.
  • You also can appoint "associate editors" to be responsible for one article per issue, perhaps a regular feature (e.g., Self-Care Corner, Member Spotlight).

Finally, should you want any more information, check out the SIGs Virtual Community where you will find the following resources.

  • Step-by-Step Guide for Publishing a SIG Newsletter
  • Oncology Publishing Division Style Guide
  • Best Article Award nomination form
  • SIG Leadership Benefits

Thank you for taking the time to help your ONS copy editor. How can I help you?

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