This beloved refrain from the Sound of Music song “So Long, Farewell” is a fitting title for this last issue of the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) Cancer Genetics (CAG) SIG online newsletter. In this editor's message, I will reflect on where we have been and where we are going with SIG communications.
Where We Have Been
ONS has shared cancer genetics information through CAG SIG newsletters since 1996 and has published 35 online newsletters since February 2003. Prior to the online newsletter, ONS published six volumes of print newsletters with approximately three newsletter issues per volume. These newsletters represent some 54 submissions on behalf of CAG SIG leadership teams over 20 years. This current and last newsletter is ONS CAG newsletter volume 20, issue 36.
The newsletters have been a vehicle to share ONS leadership information, cancer genetics updates, educational resources, and challenging case studies. Kudos to all members and guest authors who have contributed to the SIG newsletter over these years. A listing of all the online newsletters can be found at the current SIG website. (The SIG website will transition to an “ONS Communities” webpage in the near future.)
The CAG SIG has a history of excellence in communications and has received ONS “Best Article” newsletter awards for the articles “Unusual Case Presentation: Pseudopapillary Pancreatic Tumor in a 13-Year-Old With a BRCA 2 Mutation” (2012), “Mamma at the Bar: Understanding Genetically-Targeted Therapies” (2011), and “Genes and Codeine: What’s the Connection?” (2007). Most importantly, the newsletter has been a way for cancer genetics nurses to connect with one another. ONS CAG SIG coordinator (2014–2016) Cathy Belt, MSN, RN, OCN®, loved hearing from the nurses who reached out to her with questions and interest in her coordinator column in the CAG SIG newsletter.
Where We Are Going
We cannot be troglodytes (see ONS SIG 2010 newsletter article “Troglodyte or Transformational Leader? Genetic Nursing in 2010” for the definition) and cling to outdated communication modalities. SIG communications need to be reflective of the 21st century with shorter, more concise, and almost instantaneous messaging. Think of tweeting and blogging. One example is our Cancer Genetics SIG Facebook page. If you haven’t been to the page, check out the posts on the Cancer Moonshot. Special thanks to Lisa Aiello, MSN, RN, APN-C, AOCNS®, SIG web administrator, who developed the Facebook page and has maintained it for more than five years.
Going forward, CAG SIG coordinator (2016–2018), Julie Eggert, PhD, GNP-BC, AGN-BC, AOCN®, FAAN, will lead our change from a SIG to a community, which will emphasize real-time communication through community discussion groups. Julie welcomes your thoughts and ideas. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is with sadness that I say farewell to the familiar SIG newsletter. At the same time, I welcome the challenges, reflections, and energy that will come with restructuring. Perhaps our theme song should be “Climb Every Mountain.” Just think of the view we will have from the top.
Patricia A. Kelly, DNP, RN, AGN-BC, AOCN®