Volume 4, Issue 3

Taking the Pulse of the ONS Membership

As you know, ONS recently conducted an annual member satisfaction and engagement survey, in which I hope many of you had an opportunity to participate. This year’s survey yielded feedback from more than 2,500 members, a significant increase from last year’s survey response of just over 1,500.

The objective of the survey was to assess members’ overall level of satisfaction with their membership and to gauge their views of ONS. This new survey incorporated many of the questions that had been part of what was a quarterly satisfaction survey, which, in the past, had been sent to those who had renewed their membership in the previous quarter. While that survey provided useful feedback, it was felt that the results could be skewed because it was being sent only to those members who had recently made the decision to renew, who presumably were relatively pleased with ONS, and was done on four occasions throughout the year.

It was therefore decided to conduct one annual survey of all members, soliciting feedback from everyone at one point in time. While many important components of the previous satisfaction survey were incorporated into the new survey, additional questions were designed to elicit more meaningful feedback regarding members’ perceived value for their dues investment, loyalty to the organization, and opportunities for engagement. The new survey also solicited feedback on members’ participation in, and satisfaction with, our chapters, SIGs, and volunteer opportunities.

I’m happy to report that overall member satisfaction remains very high. A complete summary and analysis of the survey responses soon will be available on the ONS Web site. In the meantime, here is a brief preview of some of the key questions asked this year.

Overall, 84% of respondents are “Very Satisfied” (49%) or “Satisfied” (35%) with their ONS membership—up from 77% last year.

Seventy percent of respondents consider their ONS membership to be either far more valuable (43%) or somewhat more valuable (27%) than other professional membership organizations they belong to—still very positive but down from 75% last year.

Ninety-four percent of respondents definitely will (85%) or probably will (9%) renew their ONS membership this year—up from 92% last year.

Eighty-four percent of respondents definitely will (63%) or probably will (21%) recommend ONS membership to a friend or colleague—up from 81% last year.
Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that they were members of their local chapter. Of those, 78% were either “Very satisfied” (50%) or “Satisfied” (28%) with their chapter membership. Of the 37% of respondents who do not belong to a chapter, their reasons for not doing so were that the chapter met at inconvenient times and/or locations (38%), that they felt the chapter was poorly run (the majority responses of the 33% who indicated “Other”), or that there was no chapter in their area (20%).

Sixty-three percent of respondents also indicated that they were members of a SIG. Of those, 57% were either “Very satisfied” (24%) or “Satisfied” (33%) with their SIG membership. Of the 37% of respondents who do not belong to a SIG, their reasons for not doing so were that they could access the sub-specialty information from other sources (26%) or that they were not aware that membership in SIGs was included in their ONS dues (21%).

Twenty-seven percent of respondents indicated that they had volunteered for ONS in some capacity during the past year. Of those, 84% were either “Very satisfied” (58%) or “Satisfied” (26%) with the experience. Of the 73% who did not volunteer, their primary reasons for not doing so were that they would like to but don’t have the time (52%) or that they wanted to but were not aware of volunteer opportunities or how to get involved (15%).

The survey feedback indicates that in general, respondents have a positive perception of ONS and are satisfied with their membership. High numbers of respondents consider their ONS membership to be more valuable relative to other organizations, plan to renew their membership, and are willing to recommend ONS to a friend or colleague.

While those results are very encouraging, a high number of respondents also wrote in their open comments that they believe member dues and education fees are “too high.” This indicates a continued need to demonstrate the value of ONS products, services, and benefits, especially relative to other organizations and/or service providers.

Look for the full survey summary in the coming days. In the meantime, for those of you who participated in the survey, thank you for your feedback!


Volume 4, Issue 3

Seeking Candidates for the 2012 Election

Nancy Houlihan, RN, MA, AOCN®
ONS Nominating Committee Member

The Nominating Committee is busy planning for the 2012 election. Now is the time to think about how you might serve ONS as a member of the Board of Directors or Nominating Committee. Four positions are to be slated for 2012: Treasurer, two Directors-at-Large, and one Nominating Committee member. Consider submitting an application for yourself, or encourage an ONS colleague to do so. Become part of the vital leadership that helps shape ONS and the oncology nursing profession. The following is a summary of the role responsibilities for the available positions. For more information, including more detailed qualification and position descriptions and the 2011 Candidate Guide, visit the ONS Web site.


  • Oversees, in partnership with the Chief Financial Officer(CFO), the Board of Directors’ financial processes, including providing the Board of Directors with monthly Treasurer Reports
  • Schedules and chairs the budget review components of Board of Directors meeting(s) and the Board of Directors budget
  • Collaborates with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer, and CFO on the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year
  • Makes recommendations concerning revenues and screening expenditures to meet budget parameters approved by the Board
  • Manages the ONS investments along with the Board of Directors, the CEO, financial advisors, and the CFO to attain targeted return at acceptable risk
  • Serves as the ONS representative to the Audit Committee and collaborates with CFO to understand the annual audit and Internal Revenue Service reports
  • Serves as Chairperson of the Compensation Committee at a minimum of one meeting/year as well as conference calls as needed

Director-at Large

  • Contributes to the development of the strategic planning, monitoring, and priority setting for the Society
  • Exercises fiduciary responsibility, actively participating in the ONS budget process
  • Fosters active visionary thinking, membership input, trend analysis and identification of strategic issues, systematic planning, prioritization, and evaluation that lead to the transformation of cancer care
  •  Collaborates with other Board members in the defining, developing, and/or revising ONS position statements and background documents on significant issues
  • Identifies issues and strategically advocates for the oncology professional and patients with cancer through legislative, educational, financial, and grass-roots efforts
  • Promotes and facilitates strategic collaborative relationships with internal and external organizations and represents ONS at various national and international nursing, cancer, and healthcare-related organizational meetings
  • May serve as Board liaison to ONCC, ONS:Edge, and/or ONS Foundation, and/or may serve as liaison to another organization (e.g., American Cancer Society, American College of Surgeons), as determined by the President and CEO

Nominating Committee

  • Assesses leadership needs of the Society in conjunction with the ONS Board of Directors
  • Assesses needs of potential leaders and guides them toward leadership and mentorship opportunities
  • Facilitates candidate recruitment
  • Establishes and uniformly enforces the policies and procedures and oversees the nomination and election process
  • Establishes an annual qualified slate of candidates
  • Seeks means of encouraging voting

Don’t miss the deadlines—A letter of intent to run is due no later than Monday, August 1, 2011, by noon EDT. The necessary application materials must be submitted to the Nominating Committee no later than Monday, August 15, 2011, by noon EDT. Be a part of the diverse and talented leadership working to transform cancer care. Feel free to e-mail any questions to the Nominating Committee members.

  Back to top

Volume 4, Issue 3

Fall Meetings Will Change in 2012

ONS’s fall conference will look a bit different beginning in 2012. Based on customer feedback and the changing landscape of healthcare meetings and education, the ONS Board of Directors decided at its March 2011 meeting to develop an annual fall meeting specifically targeted to researchers and advanced practice nurses (APNs).

The interdisciplinary meeting will offer intermediate- to advanced-level clinical content with pre-conference skills workshops. Additionally, the conference design will target non-oncology APNs, researchers, clinical trials nurses, and graduate students. Advanced Nursing Research, Nurse Practitioner, and Clinical Nurse Specialist SIG meetings, as well as a Town Hall meeting, will be included in the fall conference’s programming.

The 2011 conferences will remain in their current format. The 2011 Congress was April 28–May 1 in Boston, MA, and the Institutes of Learning (IOL)/APN Conferences will be held in November 2011 in Salt Lake City, UT.

The changes were made in response to feedback indicating that regional live conferences and online continuing nursing education are more appealing in the current healthcare climate. Employer-provided financial support, as well as the ability to take time off work, has been reduced or eliminated for many nurses in recent years. Additionally, attendance at ONS national conferences has remained flat or gone down over the past three years, especially at IOL.

ONS’s annual Congress will continue to target all nurses working in oncology settings. The 37th ONS Annual Congress is scheduled for May 3–6, 2012, in New Orleans, LA. The newly formatted Research/APN Conference will begin in November 2012.

To learn more about ONS’s national conferences, visit our Web site at www.ons.org/cnecentral. As always, to provide feedback to the ONS Board of Directors and ONS, send your comments and suggestions to suggestionbox@ons.org.

  Back to top

Volume 4, Issue 3

Industry Guiding Principles Ensure Transparency and Disclosure

The ONS Board of Directors approved a new set of guiding principles for corporate support and conflicts of interest (COIs) at its March 2011 meeting. The most notable difference in the new principles deals with the Board’s Executive Committee, which is comprised of the President, President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Consistent with best practices for transparency and disclosure, individuals serving in these positions cannot be employed by the pharmaceutical or medical device industry during their terms of service. This requirement only applies to those serving on the Executive Committee; directors can be employed by industry while serving their terms.

ONS’s Industry Guiding Principles provide a framework for other relationships and interactions between ONS and for-profit organizations as well. Federal and state governments, as well as the public, have pushed for greater disclosure, transparency, and accountability by corporations and nonprofit organizations about the sources and uses of funds. Because ONS receives commercial support, which makes many of its education programs and other professional activities possible, the guidelines help to ensure that this support does not influence activities, policies, or decisions.

ONS Board members who have professional interests that involve the pharmaceutical or medical device industry or related corporations may be required to stop specific activities during their term or may need to recuse themselves from discussions and votes on actions in which a potential COI or bias exists. For more information, check out the Guiding Principles for ONS Policies Related to Corporate Support and Resolving Conflicts of Interest.

  Back to top

Volume 4, Issue 3

ONS Joins the Journey Forward Survivorship Collaborative

ONS has joined forces with the survivorship group Journey Forward, which is a collaboration of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, University of California Los Angeles Cancer Survivorship Center, WellPoint, and Genentech. Journey Forward offers a free software tool designed to create customized survivorship care plans for patients.

“Nurses are key providers of education for patients through their diagnosis and treatment, so this partnership is a natural fit as we work together to communicate about the importance of survivorship care plans,” said ONS Director of Education Michele Galioto, RN, MSN.

The Survivorship Care Plan software can be downloaded from Journey Forward’s Web site. It is based on the American Society of Clinical Oncology treatment summary templates and surveillance guidelines. ONS’s evidence-based guidelines, symptom management resources, and the growing collection of quality indicators eventually will be incorporated into the survivorship plans.

Galioto noted that survivorship care plans put survivors in a better position to advocate for themselves, monitor their health, and participate in decisions about their future care.

“This partnership allows us to bring valuable tools to nurses and to reach beyond our membership as we work to improve care for all patients,” she said.

  Back to top

Volume 4, Issue 3

Chapter Highlight

East Central Florida Chapter Highlights of 2010

The East Central Florida Chapter implemented a one-time discounted payment system. Each member received $10 off his or her annual fee, and 14 members took advantage of the offer.

The chapter also sponsored two student nurses, Kari Beddard and Scott Genest, each for a one-year chapter membership and received additional scholarship money from ONS to sponsor two more students in 2011 under the Engaging Student Nurses in Oncology Nursing Project. Kari has since graduated and transferred to the Outpatient Oncology Clinic, and she and Scott still attend many meetings. An application process again was conducted at the schools of nursing in Daytona Beach, and the two students awarded the annual scholarships for 2011 were Kimberly Robin and Teresa Valle.

The chapter then provided encouragement and mentorship for the two student nurses of 2010 to write articles for the ONS Student Voice e-newsletter.

East Central Florida celebrated the chapter’s 25th anniversary with a special dinner program at Le Crepe en Haut Restaurant in Ormond Beach, where everyone received a rose and special ONS nurse pin designed by a local member. A drawing from all members’ names was held for a free ONS national membership—Rhonda Hart was the winner. The ONS 25-year anniversary plaque was received and displayed by the President-Elect, Judith Hussey, RN, BSN, OCN®, who attended Leadership Weekend in July.

The chapter promoted attendance at Institutes of Learning, and seven members were awarded financial aide scholarships to attend. Chapter members also volunteered to assist the Orlando host chapter and worked the registration desk and room monitoring at the conference.

Chapter members are rewarded for their work and volunteerism by acquiring points for service; the application process for scholarships reflects this “credit.”

The chapter encouraged members to apply for the Leadership Development Institute, ONS Congress, and OCN® scholarships; several applied this year. The chapter also provided announcements of educational opportunities at meetings.

Membership recruitment was encouraged through the “Bring a Potential Member Campaign” which enabled members to bring a guest to a meeting free of charge one time. The chapter paid for the guests’ meals and continuing nursing education fee, and if the guest joined ONS and the chapter, the hosting member received a free meeting credit. The chapter also encouraged students to attend by offering “member” fee nights, which enabled them to attend a dinner and program for only $5.

East Central Florida applied for and received a $4,000 educational grant from the France Foundation, a CME Company, to promote a continuing nursing education NSCLC presentation by Dr. Gregory Favis, a local medical oncologist. A multidisciplinary group of 83 people, including 10 nursing students, attended. This grant money helped to offset the cost of the program, and the rest will help to support member scholarships.

Finally, the chapter met with the local hospice professional nursing chapter program chair to develop a joint continuing nursing education program in 2011.

A big thank you to the members and nonmembers who contributed to 12 different community charity drives in 2010, including the following.

  • Donated flip flops, socks, hygiene products, and blankets for the Daytona Beach Homeless Shelter
  • Donated many bags of food for a couple of area food banks
  • Raised money (about $300) for the Help for Haiti Project (one of our oncology nurses went to Haiti with her church group and cared for Haiti victims)
  • Donated many skeins of yarn for Knots for Love (a group of women who knit lap blankets for patients undergoing chemotherapy and local nursing home patients)
  • Donated nearly 50 backpacks full of school supplies for The Jewish Federation, which gives the bags to needy children at the start of the school year
  • Donated 131 decorated bras for the ATHENA CUP Project sponsored by a local restaurant to support women with breast cancer
  • Collected $230 for Publix food certificates for Thanksgiving dinner for needy families
  • Sponsored a family of a patient with breast cancer (a mother of three children) in need at Christmas with presents and money
  Back to top

Volume 4, Issue 3

ONS Publishing Receives Media Accolades

Exciting news! The ONS Publishing Department has received notification of three new awards.
From Association Media and Publishing:

  • The ONS book, Cancer Basics, edited by Julia Eggert, has won a 2011 Bronze Excel Award in the technical books category.
  • A Clinical Challenges column, “Prolonged Grief Disorder,” featured in the July 2010 issue of the Oncology Nursing Forum was bestowed a 2011 Silver Excel Award in the journals, feature article category.

From American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors:

  • The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing received a Bronze Award in the Best Peer-Reviewed Journal category in the 2011 Awards Competition.
Thanks go to the editors, volunteers, and book and journal staff for all of their hard work. These awards celebrate their collective contributions, resulting in our high-quality publications.
  Back to top
  Back to top

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