Volume 19, Issue 2, July 2008
The Nurse Practitioner SIG Newsletter is underwritten by Amgen Inc.
Coordinator's Message
Help Abolish Discriminatory Language Against Nurse Practitioners

writeBarbara Biedrzycki, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP®
Baltimore, MD

I recently received a large envelope in the mail that boldly proclaimed to be an “NP Alert.” Inside, a well-written letter advising on important prescribing information was addressed with the greeting “Dear Health Care Professional.” Great! Nurse practitioners (NPs) love to be up to date on important information. However, although the mailing definitely was targeted toward NPs, the enclosed corresponding patient information repeatedly advised patients to “ask [their] doctors.”

How absolutely frustrating this continues to be! Although we are making some progress in abolishing discriminatory language, not only does the practice still continue, but some pharmaceutical companies also wave it in our faces through direct mail. If every pharmaceutical representative with whom I have spoken about my concerns really did address this issue with headquarters, as promised, surely the discriminatory language practice would be resolved. More than one representative has said, “Your patients think of you as their doctor” and “NPs are included in that term.”

This is just one of many issues in which the NP SIG can take action. Send me examples of discriminatory language that you have seen and heard. Please e-mail me (npbiedrzycki@aol.com) or send by traditional mail (709 W. Baker Avenue, Abingdon, MD, 21009-1457) the examples in print, or send a link to a Web site or a summary of what you have heard on the television or radio, at a conference, or even in your practice. The more testimonials received the better our evidence will be. Please be as specific as possible. If you have taken action against discriminatory language, please share that, too. Because this is the ONS NP SIG, the preference is for oncology services and products, but all discrimination against NPs will be valued. Be sure to include your name and contact information. Look for updates in future issues of the ONS Nurse Practitioner SIG Newsletter.

The example of discriminatory language is just one of many issues that we, as a group, can impact. You will read throughout the newsletter requests for your involvement. Consider the possibilities, your passion, and your ability to volunteer. Some opportunities may take a short amount of time whereas others require a greater commitment. For example, Legislative Coordinator Wendy H. Vogel, MSN, FNP, AOCNP®, who has agreed to lead us through the next year, shares many legislative updates in this issue’s Advocacy Corner. Wendy is making a huge volunteer commitment to the NP SIG.

You are sure to be moved by the legislative issues that Wendy puts on the table, but considering your already overextended life, you may think that you do not have the time to volunteer or act on an important issue. Yet, by electronically enrolling in ONStat, the Society’s grassroots response network, you will be able to contribute easily via electronic lobbying of your legislators on important issues. ONS sends brief e-mails summarizing the issues and invites you to contact your legislators. It is really so very convenient. If you try it and do not care to continue, just unsubscribe. I do not think that you will unsubscribe, though, because ONStat makes being legislatively active so easy.

Have you ever attended a conference and been unable to find any sessions in a particular time slot that appeared to offer content that would teach you new knowledge? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I know a lot about [insert topic here], and I bet others don’t?” or “This session should have included [insert missing advanced practice] content and did not.” If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the NP SIG is looking for you to make a difference. Our goals are to (1) submit many advanced practice topics to the conference planning teams for their consideration and (2) share our expertise with colleagues. We already started this plan at Congress by asking meeting participants to provide topic ideas. Please see NP SIG News: Who/What Do You Know? for details. We are looking for help in identifying expert speakers and volunteers to work on the topic submissions, as well as generate more topics. We will submit topics for the 2008 Advanced Practice Nursing Conference, which will be held November 13–15 in Seattle, WA, and the ONS 34th Annual Congress, which will be held April 23–May 3, 2009, in San Antonio, TX.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a personal note. It seems as though my messages have always asked for your help. I really do realize, even more so now than ever, that not only do our careers capture so much of our time, but our families, churches, schools, and social lives also need devoted time. I am not implying that our careers come first, and please do not consider that the ordering of important elements of our lives represents a prioritization or is all inclusive. What I am trying to say is that we all have a lot going on, and when unexpected things happen, everything can fall apart. There is so much strife in the United States that can affect us—unemployment, gasoline prices, natural disasters, crime, etc., not to mention the potential for our loved ones and ourselves to have health problems. When these things happen, the last thing you may be thinking about is volunteering. So much is going on in the world and in our lives right now. As one of my dear colleagues at ONS said as she comforted me, “Life happens.”

Know that ONS is here for you. Volunteering can be a way to find relief from the strains of life and work and provide you with professional and personal satisfaction. Please take this advice from someone who has been there. ONS really wants you to be involved, no matter what has happened in the past or what is happening now. ONS and the NP SIG truly value your input. We are the NP SIG!

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

Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Coordinator-Elect's Message

hawaiiChrista Braun-Inglis, MS, APRN, AOCNP®
Honolulu, HI

Aloha! My name is Christa Braun-Inglis, and I am your new SIG coordinator-elect. First of all, I would like to thank you for electing me to this position. I look forward to working with all of you and continuing the progress that our SIG has made over recent years. We have a lot of great projects that we currently are working on, including a new research project and an updated NP job description. If you are interested in working on any of these projects, please let SIG Coordinator Barbara Biedrzycki, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP®, or me know. We also are looking for Congress topics for next year. The best way to understand what is going on in our profession is to get involved!

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Editor's Message
Information Overload

computerAnnette W. Kuck, RN, MS, CNP, AOCN®
Minneapolis, MN

One day, a young patient told me about a Web site that she found to be helpful: www.planetcancer.org. I had never heard of it before. Our patients are searching the Web more than ever for information. When you type “cancer information” in the AOL search engine, you get 14,600,000 potential responses! Fortunately, one of the first listings is for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which made me feel slightly better. Can you imagine how many responses you would receive if you entered a specific diagnosis or symptom?

NCI offers the helpful fact sheet How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers. Other resources advise how to evaluate the credibility of a Web site, such as Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask from the University of California, Berkley, Tutorial on Evaluating Web Pages.

Each individual and organization needs to evaluate Web sites before recommending them to patients. The Internet is an evolving source of information, and I will keep surfing the Web when presented with new sites.

Share Your Expertise by Writing a Newsletter Article

The ONS Nurse Practitioner SIG Newsletter is posted three times a year and needs your expertise. We would like to include a clinically based article with each posting (one that is not written by the editor.) Please let us know if you are interested in writing a brief article for the next newsletter. The deadline for submission is Friday, September 12. Please send contact information and topic ideas to Editor Annette W. Kuck, RN, MS, CNP, AOCN®, at kuckhouse@aol.com.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Co-Editor's Message
You, Too, Can Be Involved

ideaMegan Wholey, RNC, AOCNP®
Arlington, VA

The NP SIG strategic plan for 2007–2010 speaks to the role that our group can play as part of the “big picture” of ONS and oncology care as a whole. At our SIG meeting held during Congress, several people volunteered to lead initiatives on important areas of concern, and many others contributed project ideas and suggestions for future Congress sessions. If you are wondering where you might fit in, consider the following possibilities.

Visit the NP SIG Virtual Community to access useful links, photos of the SIG leadership (click on the Scrapbook tab), and links to informative Web sites. One item requiring attention is the NP job description, which will need to be updated and posted on the virtual community. Please contact Diane Cope, who is heading this effort, at dgcope@comcast.net, if you are able to help out.

Wendy H. Vogel, MSN, FNP, AOCNP®, our legislative coordinator, can be reached via e-mail at wvogel@charter.net. Interest also has been expressed in mentoring (especially NPs new to oncology) and collaborating with other SIGs, such as the Radiation and Advanced Nursing Research SIGs. If you would like to connect with one of these groups, check  the SIG Virtual Community periodically for additional information.

Other ideas raised at the meeting include survivorship issues, the NP role, and educational needs (e.g., billing and coding, managing complex patients, interpreting labs).

Ongoing concern and discussion surround the Doctor of Nursing Practice requirement for entry into NP practice in the next 7 to 10 years. Although there was discussion about grandfathering the experienced oncology NPs, the problem of “who will replace us” remains, as well as the fact that healthcare affordability, quality, and accessibility require us to stay involved and aware of these issues. Membership in your local NP organization is a good way to keep up with what is going on at the state level, and our SIG can help with your national perspective.

Please let us know what articles and projects interest you by contacting any of the NP SIG officers. We will have a stronger voice if we each have our say.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Advocacy Corner
"No Complacency!" Remains Our Maxim

announcementWendy H. Vogel, MSN, FNP, AOCNP®
Bristol, TN

“No complacency!” remains the maxim for the NP SIG Legislative Report. As advanced practice nurses (APNs), we cannot be complacent about legislative issues that pertain to our practice. The following are legislative highlights from the NP SIG Meeting, which was held May 16 at the 33rd Annual Congress in Philadelphia, PA.

ONS has authored a groundbreaking piece of legislation! The exciting bill is known as the Assuring and Improving Cancer Treatment Education and Cancer Symptom Management Act of 2008 (HR 5585). To read more about the bill, visit www.ons.org/lac/HR5585.shtml on the ONS Legislative Action Center. It is very important for all of us to send an e-mail to ask our legislators to cosponsor this bill. You can do this with just a few clicks of your mouse from the Web site.

This brings us to another important item: Please join ONStat, the Society’s grassroots response network. You will be alerted when legislation is pending that is pertinent to oncology. This is so important to all APNs as well as oncology nurses. Make it a priority to join today! For more information, click here.

One of the hot topics for APNs at Congress was the session “APRN Regulation: Recent Trends and Implications for Oncology APRN Practice.” The session was presented by Julie Ponto, Barbara Rogers, Carlton Brown, and Cindy Miller-Murphy. The most recent oncology APN statistics and background information on the APRN Consensus Work Group were presented, as well as how the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation document  will impact oncology APNs. To view the slides from the session, click here. The audio and slide versions of this and other sessions can be purchased from the ONS online learning portal by clicking here.

I also want to highlight one of oncology legislation’s success stories. The Genetic Information Nondiscriminatory Act (S 358/HR 493), also known as GINA, finally has passed! Although it has taken several years to move forward, GINA is indeed a victory for patients with cancer.

Do not sit back and think all is well, however. The American Medical Association continues to press forward with initiatives such as the Alliance of Retail Clinics With Pharmaceutical Chains (Resolution 705) and Retail Medical Clinics (Resolution 706), the Scope of Practice Initiative (Resolution 814 and the Scope of Practice Partnership), and the Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act (HR 5688). If we do not make our voices heard today, then we cannot complain about where our practices will be in 3, 5, or 10 years.

I would like to leave you with this thought: The development and direction of our own destiny can only come from our own initiative. It will not be freely granted by other groups.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Nurse Practitioner SIG News
Who/What Do You Know?

glassesThe NP SIG leadership would like to propose sessions for the upcoming Advanced Practice Nursing Conference and Congress meetings. We gathered topic suggestions at the SIG Planning and Networking Meeting at Congress in May. What we need now are names of experts in particular areas—and we expect that many of them are NP SIG members. If you have information to share, please e-mail SIG Coordinator Barbara Biedrzycki, RN, MSN, AOCN®, CRNP, at npbiedrzycki@aol.com. Your suggestions will be helpful to the planning group (although speaker selection is ultimately out of our hands). Additionally, if you would like to suggest or write objectives for any of the subject areas, please forward your ideas—they will be much appreciated. Areas proposed for upcoming sessions include

  • Diagnostic imaging and lab interpretation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine and their relevance to NPs
  • Transitioning to oncology as an experienced NP (perhaps as a pre-Congress session)
  • NP protocols
  • Role, setting, and function differences (e.g., working with one versus multiple physicians)
  • Advanced management of complex patients (e.g., gastrointestinal, multiple comorbidities, challenging individual or family issues), hypertension, ascites, rash, etc.
  • Optimizing billing and insurance reimbursement
  • Electronic order sets and other technologic tools to facilitate efficiency and evidence-based care
  • Current trends in nursing education and how APNs are involved and effective
  • Pressures on the practitioner (e.g., managed care, billing, increased numbers of patients who are living longer).

Common APN Issues
The idea of an Advanced Practice Council or Advisory Board within ONS also was raised during our SIG meeting. It would consist of representation from the NP SIG, Clinical Nurse Specialist SIG, and other SIGs with advanced degrees. As you have read in NP journals and our local NP newsletters, the academic, legislative, and regulatory issues facing APNs are many. A joint “voice” may be helpful, but another layer of bureaucracy may not. Alternatives would be for our SIGs to join forces as an Advanced Practice SIG or develop an advisory board. We could work together to respond to and participate in the changing environments around us. We probably can agree that although our daily practices differ, our common interests regarding patient care issues and mobility of practice and our opinions regarding appropriate preparation for our roles may be more alike than different. Let’s talk about it! Discussion will be ongoing via the NP SIG Virtual Community. Join in and let everyone know what you think.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

2008 ONS Foundation Breast Cancer Research Grant Available

ons foundationApplications are invited for breast cancer grant proposals that address high-priority topic areas identified by the ONS Research Agenda. One $100,000 two-year grant award is available. Applications are due July 30. Click here for more information.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

New Quick Reference Chart Available From CMS

blood pressureThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Learning Network has developed a quick reference chart titled “The ABCs of Providing the Initial Preventive Physical Examination” (ICN# 006904). The laminated chart can be used by Medicare fee-for-service physicians and qualified nonphysician practitioners (physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists) as a guide when providing the initial preventive physical examination (IPPE), also known as the "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam. The handy tool identifies the components and elements of the IPPE and provides eligibility requirements, procedure codes to use when filing claims, frequently asked questions, suggestions for preparing patients for the IPPE, and references for additional information. To download, view, and print the resource, click here. Free copies of the IPPE chart also can be ordered through CMS's Medicare Learning Network Product Ordering System.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

News From ONS National

onsONS Connect E-Magazine Now Available
Timely oncology-related news and information about ONS is just a click away with the new online ONS Connect. This enhanced, user-friendly version of the popular ONS news magazine makes keeping up with the latest in oncology nursing easier than ever. Click here to read the latest issue.

New ONS Putting Evidence Into Practice® Card Volume Available
The latest volume of the highly popular ONS Putting Evidence Into Practice® (PEP) card series is now available now. The new two-card set features the topics of pain and prevention of bleeding. Order your set today by clicking here.

Learn More About Healthcare Economics
As expenditures continue to rise rapidly, the economics of health care in the United States has been an increasingly important area of interest. The ONS Web site's Economics Clinical Resource Area provides information on economic resources of interest to oncology nurses.

Attention All CJON Readers: It's Time to Get Creative!
Everyone has at least one great story, whether it is told or expressed through artwork or poetry. Now, the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing is asking you to share your poetry, artwork, anecdotes, or stories about the meaning of cancer and cancer nursing in its new column, “Heart of Oncology Nursing.” For more information or to submit your work, contact Associate Editor Barb Henry, APRN-BC, MSN, at pubCJON@ons.org.

Save the Date for National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research
Save the date for the ONS 10th National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research, which will be held February 12–14, 2009, in Orlando, FL. A late-breaking research session is planned for the 2009 conference. A separate call for abstracts will be sent out this fall with a submission deadline of December 2. The four top-scoring abstracts from this specific call will be chosen for the late-breaking session. Share your knowledge with your colleagues at the premier conference for oncology nursing research. Click here for more information.

“Oncology on Canvas” Submission Deadline Extended to July 15
Do you have an artistic patient, or have you been inspired to create original artwork as part of your experience in treating patients with cancer? If so, please consider participating in “Oncology on CanvasSM.” Learn more.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Membership Information

SIG Membership Benefits

  • Network with colleagues in an identified subspecialty area around the country.
  • Contribute articles for your SIG’s newsletter.
  • Participate in discussions with other SIG members.
  • Contribute to the future path of the SIG.
  • Share your expertise.
  • Support and/or mentor a colleague.
  • Receive information about the latest advancements in treatments, clinical trials, etc.
  • Participate in ONS leadership by running for SIG coordinator-elect or join SIG work groups.
  • Acquire information with a click of a mouse at http://ons.org/membership including
    • Educational opportunities for your subspecialty
    • Education material on practice
    • Calls to action
    • News impacting or affecting your specific SIG
    • Newsletters
    • Communiqués
    • Meeting minutes.

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/).
  • Select "Membership" from the tabs above.
  • Then, click on "ONS Chapters and Special Interest Groups."
  • Scroll down to "Visit the ONS Special Interest Groups (SIG) Virtual Community" and click.
  • Now, select "Find a SIG."
  • Locate and click on the name of your SIG from the list of all ONS SIGs displayed.
  • Once the front page of your SIG’s Virtual Community appears on screen, select "New User" from the top left. (This allows you to create log-in credentials.)
  • Type the required information into the text fields as prompted.
  • Click "Join Group" (at the bottom right of the text fields) when done.

    Special Notices

    • If you already have log-in credentials generated from the ONS Web site, use this information instead of attempting to generate new information.
    • If you created log-in credentials for the ONS Web site and wish to have different log-in information, you will not be able to use the same e-mail address to generate your new credentials. Instead, use an alternate e-mail address.

Subscribe to Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum

All members are encouraged to participate in their SIG’s discussion forum. This area affords the opportunity for exchange of information between members and nonmembers on topics specific to all oncology subspecialties. Once you have your log-in credentials, you are ready to subscribe to your SIG’s Virtual Community discussion forum. To do so,

  • Select "Log In," located next to "New User," and enter your information.
  • Next, click on the "Discussion" tab on the top right of the title bar.
  • Now, select "Featured Discussion" from the left drop-down menu.
  • Locate and select "Subscribe to Discussion" inside the "Featured Discussion" section.
  • Go to "Subscription Options" and select "Options."
  • When you have selected and entered all required criteria, you will receive a confirmation message.
  • Click "Finish."
  • You are now ready to begin participating in your SIG’s discussion forum.

Participate in Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum

  • First, log in. (This allows others to identify you and enables you to receive notification [via e-mail] each time a response or new topic is posted.)
  • Click on "Discussion" from the top title bar.
  • Select "Featured Discussion" from the left drop-down menu.
  • Click on any posted topic to view contents and post responses.

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. This appears above the posted announcements section.
  • Select the "Click Here" feature, which will take you to a link to subscribe.
  • Once the "For Announcement Subscription Only" page appears on select how you wish to receive your announcements.
    • As individual e-mails each time a new announcement is posted
    • One e-mail per day comprised of all new daily announcements posted
    • Opt-out, indicating that you will frequently browse your SIG’s Virtual Community page for new postings
  • Enter your e-mail address.
  • Click on "Next Page."
  • Because you have already joined your SIG’s Virtual Community, you will receive a security prompt with your registered user name already listed. Enter your password at this prompt and click "Finish."
  • This will bring up a listing of your SIG’s posted announcements. Click on "My SIG’s Page" to view all postings in their entirety or to conclude the registration process and begin browsing.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  July 2008

Nurse Practitioner SIG Officers

Coordinator (2007-2009)
Barbara Biedrzycki, RN, MSN, AOCN®, CRNP
Baltimore, MD

Coordinator-Elect (2008-2009)
Christa Braun-Inglis, MS, APRN, AOCNP®
Honolulu, HI

Annette W. Kuck, RN, MS, CNP, AOCN®
Minneapolis, MN

Megan Wholey, RNC, AOCNP®
Arlington, VA


Web Page Administrator
Jennifer Wulff, RN, MN, ARNP, AOCNP®
Lynwood, WA

Legislative Issues
Wendy H. Vogel, RN, MSN, FNP, AOCNP®
Bristol, TN

Barbara Biedrzycki, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP®

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 Administrative Assistant Carol DeMarco at cdemarco@ons.org or 866-257-4ONS, ext. 6230.

To view past newsletters, click here.

ONS Membership/Leadership Team Contact Information

Angie Stengel, MS, CAE, Director of Membership/Leadership

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CMP, Manager of Member Services

Carol DeMarco, Membership/Leadership Administrative Assistant

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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