Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2011
Coordinator's Message

Lori McMullen, RN, MSN, OCN®
Ewing, NJ

I am happy to report that the Nurse Navigator (NAV) SIG continues to grow steadily. Our statistics from September indicated that the SIG had 237 members. I know that the fall was a busy time for many of you, especially those of you who are breast care navigators. Two national conferences took place this fall on navigation, one by the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators and one by the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators.

I have been involved with ONS as we work to develop a role delineation survey for nurse navigators. This was a two-day process involving nurse navigators from around the country. The survey is in its last stages of refinement and will be released early in 2011.

Our SIG will be sponsoring two sessions at ONS Congress in Boston, MA, this year. The sessions are in two parts and will address starting, growing, and evaluating a navigation program. We also will have our first formal meeting as a SIG! It is never too early to think about items to discuss, setting new SIG goals, and gathering ideas for possible session topics for 2012.

Please take time to review the want ad section of our newsletter. The only way that our SIG can make a difference is if our members get involved. The results of a recent NAV SIG quality improvement and needs assessment survey showed that our members would like to see an improvement in sharing resources and communication. One way to achieve this is to get the Virtual Community up and running.  I am pleased to announce that Marie Borsellino, RN, OCN®, CBPN-C, from Sarasota Memorial Hospital Health Care System has volunteered to fill the position of Web Administrator. Marie will begin by working with the newsletter editors to develop a resource list of Web sites.  I hope to see all of you at our first official SIG meeting at Congress!

"Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.”—Aristotle

The Nurse Navigator SIG Newsletter is produced by members of the
Nurse Navigator SIG and ONS staff and is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Advancing Patient Navigation and Survivorship Care

Sean T. Walsh
Monroe Twp., NJ

The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators’ (AONN’s) First Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference was a tremendous success with over 400 patient navigators and other professionals gathered to share their experiences and learn from one another. This conference was the culmination of over a year of planning on the part of the leadership council members, speakers, and many others.

With navigators from a variety of clinical and cultural settings, the conference was designed to advance navigation and survivorship in cancer care through shared experience and education. This conference marked the largest gathering of patient navigators and was a major step in institutionalizing best practices and empowering attendees to implement changes to improve patient care.

Since the formation of the academy in May 2009, a continuous growing interest and focus on patient navigation and survivorship care has emerged in the oncology community. Of course, as interest has grown, many questions have arisen and remain unanswered about structure, impact, and benefit of these patient care services. Over the two days of the conference, many discussions took place which addressed these questions, and we began a dialogue to advance this unique and critical role in the oncology care community.

To further advance this profession, AONN launched several initiatives at the conference.

  • Formation of state chapters and affiliates
  • Creation of committees for education, research, membership, and advocacy
  • Submission of manuscripts for the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship

We hope that you will gain insight from these highlights and begin discussions regarding methods for advancing this profession and patient care in your setting.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Second Annual National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators Conference
Changing the Face of Cancer Care: A Review

Carol Bush, BS, RN
Wichita, KS

By the nature of our evolving nursing specialty, many of us find ourselves forging programs from the ground up and in isolation. With a Nurse Navigator SIG within ONS and two professional nurse navigator national organizations, that is no longer the case.

This past fall, I took the opportunity to connect and network with oncology nurse navigator colleagues attending the 2nd Annual NCONN Conference in Branson, MO. Conference attendees covered the spectrum of patient advocacy and support professions—nurses, social workers, community advocates, cancer service line managers, and tumor registrars.

Three pre-conference roundtables were held. The discussions were robust and enthusiastic. Topics included “Documentation and Tracking Outcomes,” “Competencies for the Navigator Role,” and “Quality Improvement: Proving the Worth of the Program.” This stimulated a lot of networking and sharing of stories, tips, and resources. Many shared the value that two NCONN member benefits bring to their practice—access to a discussion board and an active listserv.

The sessions were engaging and thought-provoking. A city-wide model of network navigation was reviewed by Dr. Steve Patierno with George Washington Cancer Institute. Anna Cathy Williams, BS, RN, exposed the group to nursing research underway at City of Hope, illustrating emerging navigator roles. A primer on integrative medicine given by Dr. Linda Lee with John’s Hopkins showed how an integrative approach can improve symptoms and quality of life. Melanie Knoll, Cancer 101 founder, and Matthew Zachary, I’m Too Young for This! founder, provided important insights from a survivor’s perspective.

NCONN leaders announced the following.

  • An updated Web site with many upgrades including an interactive map of navigators—www.nconn.org
  • Member committee developing a Thoracic Oncology Nurse Navigator Toolkit
  • Opportunity to participate in an internet-based survey among oncology nurse navigators.
  • Free subscriptions for members to OncNurse and Onc Net Guide Magazine

I appreciated connecting with colleagues from across the country at this conference. It increased my enthusiasm for our first Nurse Navigator SIG sessions at ONS Congress this spring! I am hopeful that many colleagues—ONS, AONN, and NCONN members—will attend and work together to guide our practice forward.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Want Ads!

Newsletter Contributors—Do you have a story to share? We always are looking for additions to our newsletter. Please consider writing an article to share with the SIG members. Contact any of the newsletter editors for more information.

SIG Poster Designer—Did you know that every SIG has its own poster that is displayed at Congress? Please consider putting your creative talents to work in designing our first poster for the 36th Annual ONS Congress in Boston, MA.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Breast Cancer Advocacy Groups and Resources

Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN®, CBCN®
Lewisville, NC

The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS) has formed a non-physician Board of Advocates to develop relationships with breast cancer advocacy groups so that each can be supported in their respective missions. As ASBS reaches out to collaborate with others interested in providing state of the art breast care and educate their physician members on resources, this is a great opportunity for ONS and ONCC groups to share their services that are dedicated to breast care. Just look at what ONS and ONCC can offer to these surgeons.

  • Breast Care and Surgical Oncology SIG Virtual Communities and newsletters
  • ONS Position Statements—ONS actively supports health policy initiatives that support the nursing workforce, access to care, and prevention and early detection of cancer.
  • Comprehensive education—A clinical practice resource area exists for nurses that work specifically with breast cancer. This publication area includes books, articles, and abstracts that span the continuum of breast cancer care. The education area has a Webcast or a month long Webcourse that is essential to any nurse in the breast care arena. The resource link provides connections to national breast care organizations.
  • The Certified Breast Care Nurse (CBCN®) examination is a sub-specialty nursing certification focused on breast care. More than 400 nurses earned the CBCN® credential in 2010.
  • Local contacts—More than 220 local chapters provide a network for education and peer support at the community level.

In return, we can learn about breast resources and advocacy groups. During the last telephone conference, the following resources were discussed.

  • Breast Cancer Boot Camp developed by Anita Kellam
  • Feel Your Boobies Foundation P.O. Box 41 Middletown, PA 17057; the hope is to get this on every college campus. (The University of Pittsburgh has an active group.)
  • CANCER101—This organization's mission is to help patients and caregivers get organized and be informed to fight their cancer. We heard positive comments about the 101 planner and how people order this and use with patients as a teaching tool.
  • Inspire!—The internet radio show for breast cancer survivors. Beverly Vote is a contributing writer for Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul, Dancing With Fear: Tips and Wisdom From Breast Cancer Survivors, and The Pink Prayer. This is a part of the breast cancer wellness Web site and magazine.
  • Good Breast Health—The goal of this Web site is to provide pertinent information on good breast health that will enhance the quality of life of all women. It is their intention to provide fresh, current, and comprehensive information that will be useful to breast health.

Breast Cancer Stories gives patients with breast cancer and caregivers access to virtual hugs and support from family members as well as other patients and caregivers across the globe going through a similar experience. Having just launched in the summer of 2006, more than 10,000 people log on every month to post and read stories about the trials of breast cancer and the triumphs of surviving the disease that claims the lives of far too many people every year. One can receive an e-newsletter full of helpful tips, resources, and featured stories. You need not register to read stories—simply visit the Stories page to run a story search. Spun off of Breast Cancer Stories is “My Breast Cancer Support.”The objective of the program is to work with local community hospitals and cancer centers in the northeast to develop a support toolkit that will help their patients as well as family members to better cope while someone is going through treatment. The hospitals involved are Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Wentworth Douglas Hospital, Exeter Hospital, Frisbee Hospital, York Hospital, and the York County Cancer Center.

Feel free to visit the sites if interested. I will provide other highlights after the board’s conference call and meetings.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011


RE:Connect is a blog written by oncology nurses on a variety of topics of interest to other nurses in the specialty, including facing 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. This month on RE:Connect, you’ll find discussions titled New Year’s Resolutions for Nurses, Grow Professionally—Volunteer, and Strength in Many Forms. As a reader, join in on the conversation and connect with other oncology nurse readers by posting your own stories, tips, ideas, and suggestions in the comments section at the end of each blog post.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Five-Minute In-Service

In the latest issue of ONS Connect, the Five-Minute In-Service takes a look at How Much Time Nurses Need to Give Chemotherapy, which appeared in the December 2010 issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

ONS Podcasts of Interest

ONF Podcasts
ONF Associate Editor Ellen Giarelli, EdD, RN, interviews Jeanne Erickson, PhD, RN, AOCN®, the lead author of the July 2010 ONF article “Patterns of Fatigue in Adolescents Receiving Chemotherapy.” Listen in as Dr. Erickson discusses her article and describes patterns of fatigue through the eyes of the adolescent.

CJONPlus Podcasts
In the first-ever installment of CJONPlus, Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP®, addressed questions based on a descriptive study she conducted with adults experiencing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Listen in as Dr. Tofthagen is interviewed about the study and her June 2010 CJON article "Patient Perceptions Associated With Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy.”

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Help Improve Evidence-Based Practice: Get Involved in PEP

Do you want to help make evidence readily available to nurses in oncology practice? Do you want to easily stay up to date with all of the evidence in particular PEP topic areas or learn more about summarizing and critically appraising evidence? Become a PEP topic contributor or reviewer today. Those who participate in PEP activities are eligible for ONC-Pro points on an annual basis. Contact us to learn more about how you can become involved today.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Make Sure You're Getting the Latest SIG Info!

All SIG newsletters and communiqués are posted to their respective SIG Virtual Community, and members with valid e-mail addresses receive notification when the latest newsletters and communiqués are posted. As of January 1, 2011, ONS will no longer distribute via U.S. mail hard copy printouts of the SIG newsletters and communiqués to members who have not provided a valid e-mail address.

If you currently are not receiving e-mails from ONS, please go to www.ons.org and select “login.” Enter your username and password (or, if you do not have a profile, select “Create One Now”). Once you are logged in, go to your profile and select “My Personal Info.”Here you can add or change your e-mail address in our database.

If you wish to receive SIG correspondence but not other e-mails from ONS, select “My Preferences” on the left, and then, select “Manage Subscriptions” under “E-mail Preferences.” From this page, you can select any kind of e-mail that you do NOT want to receive. You still will receive your SIG information as part of your membership as long as we have a valid e-mail address on file for you.

If you do not provide an e-mail address, you will not be notified when a new SIG newsletter or communiqué is posted. However, you always can access newsletters and communiqués by going to your SIG’s Virtual Community.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Membership Information

SIG Membership Benefits

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Join a Virtual Community

A great way to stay connected to your SIG is to join its Virtual Community. It’s easy to do so. All you will need to do is

  • Log on to the ONS Web site (http://www.ons.org/).
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Subscribe to Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum
Once you have your log-in credentials, you are ready to subscribe to your SIG’s Virtual Community discussion forum. To do so,

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Participate in Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum

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Sign Up to Receive Your SIG’s Virtual Community Announcements
As an added feature, members also are able to register to receive their SIG’s announcements by e-mail.

  • From your SIG’s Virtual Community page, locate the "Sign Up Here to Receive Your SIG’s Announcements" section.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2011

Nurse Navigator SIG Officers

Coordinator (2010–2012)
Loir McMullen, RN, MSN, OCN®
Ewing, NJ

Linda Aeschliman, RN, OCN®
Nevada City, CA

Carol Bush, BS, RN
Wichita, KS


Dominique Srdanovic, RN, OCN®, MA
Stamford, CT

ONS Copy Editor
Emily Nalevanko, MFA
Pittsburgh, PA

Know someone who would like to receive a print copy of this newsletter?
To print a copy of this newsletter from your home or office computer, click here or on the printer icon located on the SIG Newsletter front page. Print copies of each online SIG newsletter also are available through the ONS National Office. To have a copy mailed to you or another SIG member, contact Membership/Leadership Specialist Carol DeMarco at cdemarco@ons.org or 866-257-4ONS, ext. 6230.

View past newsletters.

ONS Membership & Component Relations Department Contact Information

Brian K. Theil, CAE, Director of Membership

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CAE, CMP, Manager of Member Services

Carol DeMarco, Membership/Leadership Specialist

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) does not assume responsibility for the opinions expressed and information provided by authors or by Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Acceptance of advertising or corporate support does not indicate or imply endorsement of the company or its products by ONS or the SIG. Web sites listed in the SIG newsletters are provided for information only. Hosts are responsible for their own content and availability.

Oncology Nursing Society
125 Enterprise Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1214

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