Volume 6, Issue 3

ONS Embraces Change to Improve the Future Health of the Society

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

"Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm."

Peter Drucker
Management Challenges for the 21st Century

All leaders know that change is both inevitable and necessary for an organization to continue to thrive. Knowing that fact does not always mean that embracing change will happen easily or quickly, but in the end, as leaders, you know that for organizations like ONS and its affiliate corporations, embracing change is what has consistently resulted in innovation, growth, and sustainability.

2013 is proving to be a year of many changes within the Society, both large and small. These changes range from the beta launch of a redesigned website, the implementation of a new universal chapter membership structure and new member category for early career professionals, and the adoption of a new business model for the Chemotherapy and Biotherapy course, to name just a few.  All such changes have been implemented with the future in mind—what type of organization does ONS need to be 5 to 10 years from now? What decisions must be made by today’s leaders to secure a sustainable future for the Society? What do our members want and need from us to continually improve their knowledge base and skill sets?

ONS and its affiliate corporations have been at the forefront of leading in a changing world during the previous five years. Like all such organizations, dealing with the economic challenges of the recession has been at the top of the list. But other key challenges have included responding to significant changes in the pharmaceutical industry and the subsequent funding ramifications from those, changes in the nursing workforce and its demographic composition, and keeping up with technological advances that affect our work on a daily basis.

Change, indeed, must be our norm.

Leading in a changing world will be a topic much discussed during this month’s Leadership Weekend in Pittsburgh. As you know, this annual event brings together the various leadership groups across the organization, including the boards of ONS, ONCC, the Foundation, and ONS:Edge; the ONS Nominating Committee; the coordinators and coordinator-elects of the special interest groups; and leaders of ONS’s local chapters. Although each group has its own educational track, all leaders will be discussing some key overlapping activities and themes. Although specific discussion items will likely include some of the aforementioned changes currently underway (as well as others on the horizon), a focus also will be on the concept of change itself and how different leaders respond to and process change. The goal of such a conversation will be to demonstrate that we are all individuals with unique perspectives and assumptions. Blending those various points-of-view with the experience each person brings to the table is what ultimately results not just in consensus but in the change that proves to be best for the long-term health of the organization.

As we continue forward through 2013 and beyond, change will always be a part of our lives. How we individually and collectively respond to that change—not just in accepting it but embracing it—will ultimately determine our long-term success in serving our members and constituent groups.


Volume 6, Issue 3

Donít Wait to Become a Better Leader: Explore ONSís Leadership Resources and Opportunities This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to work on your leadership skills. Take some me time to expand your knowledge in this very important area. Consider registering for the ONS Leadership Development Course by July 9. Select a mentor and work through the next couple of months at your own pace to explore new areas in your abilities.

Will you be attending the Chapter Leadership Workshop or the SIG Leadership Workshop in July? Attend the session on leadership to assess your personal leadership competencies and begin to develop your personal leadership development plan. If you won’t be at the workshop in Pittsburgh, stay tuned for the program that will be offered to chapters later this year.

Take some time to visit the Leadership Virtual Community. On this site, you can explore the ONS Leadership Competencies, review many archived webcasts, and access leadership resources.

Keep up with the latest issues in health policy through the ONS Legislative Action Center, where you’ll learn about healthcare reform and ONS activities on the Hill as well as close to home.

And don’t forget to honor nursing colleagues who exemplify leadership through grant opportunities and awards. The ONS Foundation offers two leadership grants, the Connie Henke Yarbro Excellence in Cancer Nursing Mentorship Award (recognizing and supporting excellence in the mentorship of oncology nurses) and the Sandy Purl Mentorship Scholarship (supporting an additional ONS Chapter member to attend the ONS Chapter Leadership Workshop). Did you know that ONS offers an Emerging Leader Award? If you are at an early stage on the path of your leadership career, why not apply and find yourself traveling to Congress next year? Additionally, ONS offers a wide variety of awards that recognize nursing excellence. A wonderful leadership attribute is recognizing the achievements that you and others have made toward advancing oncology nursing practice and quality patient care. It can’t hurt to apply.

Finally, are you on the road to a formal leadership position on the ONS Board of Directors or Nominating Committee? Have you considered this for the future and wonder what qualifications are entailed? Check out the reasons to run for office and how this may potentially be part of your leadership roadmap.

A variety of ways exist to build your leadership skills and abilities during the lazy days of summer. We hope you’ll enjoy the many resources and opportunities available to you.

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Volume 6, Issue 3

ONS/Lilly Oncology Project Funds Nursing Leadership and Patient Care Initiatives

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a registered nurse (RN) and a member of ONS.
  • Have a minimum of one yearís experience in oncology nursing.
  • Focus your primary duties and responsibilities on full-time patient care.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the ONS core values (Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, Advocacy, Excellence, and Inclusiveness).

Through the ONS/Lilly Oncology Advancing Patient Care Project, stipends of up to $2,500 are available for nurses who have a professional development, patient care, or leadership project they’d like to fund. You might be

  • A chapter leader who would like to run a special educational event for your members.
  • A nurse or administrator who has a workplace activity that will be valuable to your colleagues.
  • A nurse with an interest in conducting a professional development project in a specific area of oncology
  • Someone with dozens of other unique ideas . . . no matter what they are, you’re encouraged to apply!

You can submit your application at any time through an easy-to-use online system. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis.

A group of ONS staff will initially review each application for compliance with eligibility guidelines. Qualifying applications will then be forwarded to a panel of nurse leaders for final review and approval. Evaluation will be based on each applicant’s description of how the activity is expected to improve quality patient care and/or oncology nursing leadership, including anticipated outcomes. 

Applicants are expected to provide comprehensive details of their proposed project, including an itemized budget of the project.  All applicants qualifying for cash awards will be notified within 30 days.

Project funds will be awarded to qualifying applicants based on the following selection criteria.

  • Professional development/continuing nursing education activities that relate to oncology nursing leadership
  • Projects/activities that promote quality patient care
  • Training activities that teach oncology nursing leadership and/or quality patient care topics to other nurses
  • ONS chapter-sponsored educational programs that provide learning opportunities addressing the topics of oncology nursing leadership and/or improving patient care

It’s time to start the project you’ve always wanted to set in motion. For more information, visit www.ons.org/LillyProject or email awards@ons.org.

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