Volume 5, Issue 1

You Spoke, ONS Listened

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

As your professional home, ONS strives constantly to improve upon the value you receive as a dues-paying member of the Society. An important part of that value-driven culture is listening to what you the leaders and members of ONS say, understanding your needs, and giving you what you want! Looking back on 2011, a number of new programs and services have been offered to members that were a direct result of your feedback. Here is a quick recap of those initiatives.

Regional Conferences
As you know, members are finding it harder and harder to travel to national conferences. This is due to increasing concerns about taking time away from work, to the travel expense, and to the lack of employer support. To address this challenge, in 2011 ONS piloted six regional conferences around the country, providing members the opportunity to earn CNE at events closer to home, and at less expensive venues. Two topics (primary care and survivorship) were each presented in three cities. Based on the success of these pilots, six more regional conferences will be offered in 2012, again on two topics (pain management and hematology) in three cities each.

Radiation eConference
As noted above, travel time and the inability to get away from work hinders members' ability to earn quality continuing nursing education credit on a schedule that meets their needs. To meet this challenge, last September ONS held its first-ever "eConference" (on radiation), allowing members from all over the world to participate in a live virtual learning experience. The event included presentations, discussion forums and chats, and an online exhibit hall. This virtual conference drew more than 200 live attendees participating from the comfort of their home or office, and it was recorded so that many more members could access it at their own convenience. The Radiation eConference was such a success that it will be repeated in 2012.

Free Special Interest Group Memberships
A popular change implemented late in 2010 was the opening up of membership in the special interest groups (SIGs). As you will recall, previously as part of their annual dues, members were allowed membership in one SIG free of charge, with additional SIG memberships available for $15 each. This arrangement limited participation in the SIGs, and members were unhappy with the added expense. Additionally, we found that the cost of managing the SIG memberships (in both staff time and systems maintenance) exceeded the revenue generated by the additional group memberships. The solution was to open up membership in the SIGs at no additional cost. ONS members now can join as many groups as they wish, all included in their annual dues. In the year since the change was implemented, member participation in the SIGs has grown 41%.

New Award Categories and Prizes
ONS offers a number of prestigious awards. However, over the past several years, fewer and fewer members have been applying for, or being nominated for, these awards. At the same time, many ONS members involved in direct patient care (a majority of the Society's members) indicated that they did not feel that the existing award categories were open to them, given their experience. In 2011, ONS revamped its awards program, offering new awards, new award categories, and new types of recognition for award recipients. ONS now has three primary award categories that recognize members at different points in their career path. The "Distinguished" Awards recognize members who are typically at or near the end of their career or those who have made significant contributions to the field during that career. The "Excellence" Awards recognize members who are experts in a specific field and who are at an advanced point in their career. A new category, the "Pearl Moore Making-a-Difference" Awards, recognizes members who are at an earlier or mid-career level, typically those involved more closely in direct patient care. New awards include a team award, a frontline care award, and an emerging leader award. Another important change made to the ONS awards program is that all three of these categories now include travel funds to attend Congress, where the awards are presented during opening ceremonies (only the Distinguished Awards winners previously received travel support).

Online Experience
Recent member feedback through a variety of surveys and evaluations has indicated that many members are frustrated with the ONS Web site. They feel that the content is poorly organized, that it is difficult to navigate, and that many functionalities are not considered "user friendly." You spoke, and ONS listened. We are now engaged in a complete overhaul of the Web site and plan to relaunch the site on a new platform in early 2012. The new site will not simply be a reorganization of the existing site; it will be an entirely new resource for members to access information and to engage with their Society. Consider the analogy of a house. Instead of doing some minor remodeling and repainting, we are tearing down the entire structure and rebuilding from the ground up. For instance, content will be arranged not by department (currently the case) but by how members would more intuitively expect to find it (grouped by topic or theme).

These are just a few examples of ways we have improved your membership experience this year. As leaders of ONS, we value your input as we look forward to 2012. If you have ideas to share, I look forward to hearing from you at btheil@ons.org!


Volume 5, Issue 1

Coming to Congress? Check out the Volunteer Connection Center!

If you will be at the ONS Congress this May, be sure to stop by the Volunteer Connection Center. This will be a dedicated area for volunteer leaders at all levels—national, chapter, and SIG—to meet with one another, and to meet with ONS staff, in a quiet and comfortable location. This will also be a place where aspiring volunteer leaders can come to learn more about available opportunities and ways to get involved. In addition, the center will be the location for SIG coordinators to receive, and then return, their SIG meeting packets. The Volunteer Connection Center will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Congress. We look forward to seeing you there!

  Back to top

Volume 5, Issue 1

2012 Leadership Weekend

Be sure to mark your calendars for this year's Leadership Weekend in Pittsburgh! The SIG Leadership Workshop dates are July 19 (Thursday) to July 21 (Saturday). The Chapter Leadership Workshop (formerly Mentorship Weekend) dates are July 20 (Friday) to July 22 (Sunday). The ONS Board and the affiliate corporation boards also will be meeting during this weekend; please consult your respective staff contacts for specific meeting dates.

ONS Chapter Leaders: Please keep in mind that all chapters now are required to send at least one representative to the workshop each year in order to retain their "Chapter in Good Standing" status. Please contact chapters@ons.org for more information.

  Back to top

Volume 5, Issue 1

The Top Ten Reasons to Become a Member of the Nevada ONS Chapters

By Dina Faucher, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, OCN®, CHt

Note. The following was developed by Dina Faucher, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, OCN®, CHt, of the Greater Las Vegas ONS Chapter to assist in member recruitment. Feel free to modify and use it in your own recruitment efforts.

ONS is a professional organization whose members are a diverse group representing a variety of professional roles, practice settings, and subspecialty practice areas. Members include registered nurses (including staff nurses), advanced practice nurses, administrators, case managers, educators, researchers, consultants, and, of course, students studying to become nurses. The following are the top ten reasons to become a member of the Nevada ONS chapters (Greater Las Vegas or Sierra Nevada).

Reason number TEN: Monthly pharmaceutical-sponsored full-course fine-dining dinners

Reason number NINE: Household discount savings on select everyday expenses, including cell phone service, car rentals, computer/accessory purchases, insurance, scrubs, and more!

Reason number EIGHT: Many networking opportunities through chapter meetings, special interest groups, and national conferences

Reason number SEVEN: Access to continuing nursing education (CNE) at the local, regional, and national level as well as online learning opportunities

Reason number SIX: Three full publication subscriptions to the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Oncology Nursing Forum, and ONS Connect (a value of more than $300 per year)

Reason number FIVE: Full access to the ONS Web site's resources, including its current oncology-related news provided on the site's special interest groups (SIGs) pages. The SIGs include Acute and Critical Care; Advanced Nursing Research; Ambulatory/Office Nursing; Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant; Breast Care; Cancer Genetics; Chemotherapy; Clinical Nurse Specialists; Clinical Trial Nurses; Complementary and Integrative Therapies; Ethics; Home Care and Palliative Care; Lymphedema Management; Management and Program Development; Neuro-Oncology; Neutropenia; Nurse Navigator; Nurse Practitioner; Pain Management; Pharmaceutical/Industry Nursing; Prevention/Early Detection; Radiation; Spiritual Care; Staff Education; Surgical Oncology; Survivorship, Quality of Life, and Rehabilitation; Targeted and Biological Therapies; and Transcultural Nursing Issues.

Reason number FOUR: Hundred of dollars of ONS savings in relation to educational offerings and resources, including Congress ($125), certification ($120), publications (20%-30%), online education (20%-30%), and online CNE (free). This does not include the multitude of awards, grants, and scholarships that are available.

Reason number THREE: Access to the national membership directory, where you can locate ONS members by name, geographical area, or SIG

Reason number TWO: Access to ONS's mentoring program, which is a formal mentoring program for oncology nurse professionals, and includes a student newsletter along with discount rates

Reason number ONE: Survival of the local Nevada chapters (especially the Greater Las Vegas Chapter)

ONS has been a leader of cancer nursing care since 1975. It provides information and education to nurses worldwide in addition to playing an active role in advocacy activities at the local, state, national, and international levels. Please join TODAY so this great organization can continue to make a difference to so many, including patients. See you at the next dinner educational meeting!

  Back to top

Volume 5, Issue 1

And the 2011 SIG Excellence Award Goes to . . . The Radiation SIG!

The Radiation Special Interest Group (SIG) won the 2011 SIG Excellence Award for promoting the mission and actualizing the strategic plan of ONS. Along with completing its responsibilities as a SIG (publishing three newsletters per year, e-mailing communication to its membership, completing and submitting an annual report, maintaining SIG Mission Statement and goals, and planning and facilitating the Radiation SIG Planning/Networking Meeting at Congress), the Radiation SIG contributed to three pillars of the ONS Strategic Plan: advocacy, knowledge, and partnership.

In the past year, the Radiation SIG has

  • Developed content for the Radiation Certificate Program
  • Planned the first Radiation eConference
  • Worked on the radiation dermatitis chapter in Putting Evidence Into Practice: Improving Oncology Patient Outcomes (Volume 2)
  • Networked with radiation oncology nurses across the world
  • Partnered with the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology Nurses, who invited the Radiation SIG to participate in a workforce committee to address and evaluate issues related to the entire radiation oncology workforce.

In addition, 63% of the Radiation SIG's members are certified nurses.

The Radiation SIG leadership includes an historian and a Web administrator for the Radiation SIG Virtual Community, who provide timely updates and monitor the discussion area. The SIG also has a page on Facebook to encourage members to network with each other and stay informed about educational opportunities.

The SIG Excellence Award is given annually based on SIG activity from the prior calendar year. SIGs have to be chartered for at least two years to apply. The winner receives banner recognition on the SIG virtual community page, refreshments and a private room for the planning/networking meeting at Congress, and recognition in Leadership Update. Applications are due at the end of October.

Volume 5, Issue 1

Leadership Competencies

During the month of April 2012, oncology nurses will be asked to provide their comments on a listing of oncology nursing leadership competencies, which are being developed by a team of ONS volunteers. The competencies will define traits and skills of the nurse leader at three levels—individual, small groups, and governance. When completed, the competencies will provide a means for self-assessment and a foundation for future leadership education.

Public comment will be elicited through an online survey. Further information will be available on the ONS website and in the Connect Weekly.

  Back to top

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