Building the Scientific Evidence for Oncology Nursing Practice

Research Agenda

By Linda H. Eaton, PhD, RN, AOCN®

The ONS Research Agenda is important to all members of our organization. It’s developed through member input and consensus building. The 2014-2018 ONS Research Agenda represents the most relevant oncology nursing challenges that need to be addressed by research currently. It guides the development of ONS research initiatives to meet our mission of promoting excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.

The goal of the research agenda is to advance evidence-based care. It provides direction for researchers to design studies that generate critical oncology nursing knowledge. The current agenda’s eight priority content areas include (1) symptoms, (2) survivorship, (3) palliative and end-of-life care, (4) self-management, (5) aging, (6) family and caregivers, (7) improving health systems, and (8) risk reduction. Bioinformatics, biomarkers, comparative effectiveness research, and dissemination and implementation science are cross-cutting themes among the topics.

The ONS 41st Annual Congress marks the midpoint of the 2014-2018 ONS Research Agenda, and you’ll find content representing the eight focus areas presented throughout the conference. For example, “Complex Pain Management in Oncology” features education and discussion on a distressing symptom. “PEP Cancer Caregiver Interventions: What Works?” explains the latest evidence for supporting caregivers. Many of the abstracts to be presented at podium and poster sessions also address priority content areas.

In addition, come meet with expert nurse scientists to discuss the agenda at the research priorities roundtable discussion. As a practicing nurse, discuss specific research questions relevant to your clinical practice. As a researcher, learn how your own research program can best address the content areas. Implementing the ONS Research Agenda requires participation from all of us. Attend Congress in April to be part of building the scientific evidence for oncology nursing practice!

Get to Know San Antonio: Getting Around Town

San Antonio Blog 2

By Stefanie Wenger, RN, and Roberto Zamora, RN, OCN®, San Antonio Chapter Members

Hey y’all!

I’m sure everyone will be doing plenty of walking during ONS Congress, so even though there are plenty of attractions to visit within walking distance, why not change it up a bit? If you absolutely insist on getting more exercise in, I recommend trying San Antonio B-Cycle. There are many locations around the city to rent bicycles, and maps are available to help you navigate to your desired destination. Just remember to be safe and wear a helmet!

For all of the fellow ONS members who are from up north and have never experienced Texas heat, San Antonio has air-conditioned trolley tours. It’s definitely nice to cool off for a bit after doing some outdoor activities, and I highly recommend it if you’re not used to the heat. The end of April typically brings some nice weather, but it can also get very hot, very quickly. So take a break from the sun by riding one of the cute trollies to your chosen attraction. There are many variations of trolley rides to suit your needs. There is a London-style double decker trolley tour (no A/C), regular trolley tours (with A/C), and the VIA trolley (this one isn’t a tour, but rather goes to destination points).

The last and best method of transportation is the Rio San Antonio Cruise. You can either take the boat on a guided tour or wave down a boat like you would a taxi for a ride to your destination. This is hands-down the best way to enjoy the scenery on the river walk, and it’s a lot of fun to float down the river.

No matter which way you go about it, we hope you take advantage of your time in San Antonio to do some exploring!

Plan Your Congress Trip in Just One Online Transaction

Register for Congress

By Una Kilberg, ONS Director of Meeting Services

Registering for Congress and booking your hotel is simpler than ever. In fact, they can both be done in one easy process, all while getting you the best possible rates.

Before you begin, make sure you take a look at the hotel and travel information as well as Congress pricing to get all of the details you need to plan your trip. When you are ready to register, just click “Register Now.” If you’re an ONS member or have previously purchased something from ONS or ONCC, you already have a login. If not, create a new account by clicking “Sign Up.”

You’ll go through the intuitive Congress registration process by selecting your registration type, and then choosing if you would like to add preconference programming, guest passes, and registration for the ONS Foundation/Pfizer Oncology Fun Run/Walk & Wheelchair or a donation to the ONS Foundation.

Once your conference registration is ready to go, you’ll move into housing. Booking your hotel through this site ensures you receive the lowest rates available, plus you’ll be entered to win a free night’s stay or a room upgrade!* Select your arrival and departure dates and the hotel of your choice. You’ll also add any attendees who will be sharing your room—this is important so they can receive a room key at check in and will be accounted for in case of an emergency. If you’re not ready to book your hotel quite yet, that’s fine, too. You can always log back in later and add housing, but keep in mind that hotels fill quickly and the deadline to book with the discounted ONS rate is March 31.

When you’re done making your selections, you’ll pay for your Congress registration and any extras you chose. The credit card number you provide will also be used to reserve your hotel room, but your card will not be charged for housing at that time.**

We hope registration is just the beginning of a great Congress experience. We look forward to seeing you in April!

*Room must be booked by March 31 to be eligible to win. Winners will be announced in early April.
**Credit card information is required to guarantee your hotel reservation. The hotel may charge a deposit of one night’s room and tax after Monday, April 4, 2016.

Get a Hands-On Shopping Experience at the ONS Store

ONS Store

By Lisa George, ONS Managing Editor

Congress provides a one-of-a-kind educational experience for oncology nurses, but who couldn’t use a little retail therapy in the midst of a long day of learning? Plan to take a break during the conference and head to the ONS store—a one-stop shop for award-winning books, a variety of ONS logo apparel, certification pins, and unique Oncology Nursing Month gifts for colleagues. If you’ve ever heard about a great new ONS book or contemplated ordering a cozy logo fleece but wished you could check it out in person first, a stop in the ONS store is just what you need.

Located in the learning hall near the ONS booth, the ONS store provides a unique shopping experience for Congress attendees. Browse through ONS publications that will help you keep up to date on the latest evidence, transition to a new practice area, or prepare for a certification exam and enjoy special discounted pricing—and save those shipping fees! You can also find books to help support your patients and their caregivers on their journey. Don’t miss this great opportunity to peruse and purchase top resources to support your practice!

The ONS Foundation has you covered, too, offering an assortment of clothing items, drinkware, and other fun and useful products, including the very popular “Keep Calm . . . I’m an Oncology Nurse” collection. You can try on apparel before you buy to ensure you’re thrilled with your purchase. And don’t forget to buy tickets to the ONS Foundation’s daily raffle and take a chance at winning valuable prizes—and know that your purchase supports the Foundation’s oncology nursing grants, scholarships, and programming.

Look for more information closer to Congress on new publications and ONS Foundation products that will be available at the store.

As you make your way through the learning hall, be sure to stop in!

Complete Your Congress Itinerary With Learning Hall Presentations

Learning Hall Presentations

By Jen Krause, ONS Director of National Conferences

Congress is all about learning and networking—in sessions, while viewing posters, in the hallways, at industry-sponsored symposia, and everywhere in between. Everywhere you go, oncology nurses are sharing ideas and making professional connections.

The learning hall is no exception to that sort of attendee collaboration and conversation. As your Congress hub, it’s home to our exhibitors, the ONS booth, the ONS store, and the career fair, which is debuting in San Antonio. What you might not know is that you’ll also find more than 40 presentations and networking activities to provide you with some of the latest information on what’s going on not only in cancer care but at ONS and in oncology nursing.

Located near the center of the learning hall, the ONS booth will feature presentations from thought leaders and innovators. There will be simulation clinics on complications, anger, and burnout and on infusion reactions. At Best Practice Exchanges, you’ll talk with the ONS board about the issues facing you and your patients every day. Share your feedback so we can be sure ONS is meeting your needs. As the race for the presidency heats up, Election 2016: Donkey or Elephant, Educate the Candidates on Oncology Nursing Issues will help you make sure that the voice of oncology nurses is heard at the local, state, and national level. That’s just a sampling of what’s in store at the booth.

The career fair pavilion will host hospital nurse recruitment booths; presentations on topics like resume/CV writing, interviewing, publishing and presenting to advance your career; and more. Participating recruiters will also be conducting on-site interviews. Visit the ONS career center to post your resume and see which employers will be in San Antonio.

Also new this year are our roundtable discussions, where small groups of attendees can meet in an informal, intimate setting to discuss topics like the ONS research priorities, research funding opportunities, and resources for educators.

Industry-sponsored theater presentations are one of the most popular Congress offering. They feature the latest information on treatments, symptom management, and more. They’re still under development, but details will be posted closer to Congress.

As you can see, you’ll be spending some time in the learning hall this year. This post doesn’t even scratch the surface of everything that will be going on there, but we promise you won’t want to miss it.

BIG Changes for 2016: Session Tracks


By Anne Kolenic, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, 2015–2016 ONS Congress Content Planning Team chair

Have you been to a conference lately and wished that you didn’t have to determine if a session was relevant to your practice or not? Have you searched for content that specifically targets a specific level of nursing practice? Did you write this request on your ONS Congress evaluation in the past? Well, the ONS Congress content planning team is excited to tell you a big change is coming to the 2016 Congress schedule based on member feedback. This year the conference features four tracks: clinical practice, leadership/management/education, advanced practice, and research. These tracks were developed to help you determine which sessions are most relevant to your practice, but you are not limited to attending sessions in just one track—all sessions welcome all attendees. No matter your experience level or subspecialty, you’ll find content at Congress that meet your learning needs.

The clinical practice track is geared towards clinical nurses working in acute care or ambulatory settings treating oncology patients. When attending these sessions, you will learn about up to date, evidence-based practice issues on treatment, symptom management, unique patient situations, and more. Sessions will provide practical, implementable information for nurses working in oncology-specific settings or other locations.

The leadership/management/education track will focus on providing information and tools to help you support the nursing staff you lead and work with. You’ll hear from speakers with extensive leadership experience, sharing insight on how you can develop innovative leadership strategies, grow your nurse leaders, and identify quality measures to positively impact your program. The audience for this track are current or future nurse leaders (which really is all of us!), administrators, managers and educators.

The advanced practice track was developed to meet the requests and needs of the advanced practice nurses (APN) attending Congress. The planning team recognized that there was a need for more advanced content related to treatment and treatment-related side effect issues as well as content for issues related to the current healthcare environment and economics related to APN roles and clinical practice.

The research track, although not new to Congress, will be returning in 2016 and has undergone some enhancements based on feedback from last year’s attendees. This track is geared towards the doctoral-prepared nurse involved in research science. Join this track to be involved in hot topic discussions about current research findings and issues surrounding conducting research studies. Sessions feature world-renowned senior nurse scientists and faculty at all levels, focused on the latest and greatest studies and how current research is changing clinical practice.

So, now’s the time to register for Congress and start building your own conference itinerary based on your learning needs, clinical practice expertise, and areas of interest. We can’t wait to meet you in San Antonio!

Why Wait to Apply for a Congress Scholarship Through the ONS Foundation?

Emerging Chapter Leader

By Kimberley Munn, RN, BSN, OCN®, ONS Cleveland Chapter President

I was sitting around trying to think about how to convince nurses to apply for an Emerging Chapter Leader Scholarship, funded by ONS/Lilly Oncology Advancing Patient Care Project though the ONS Foundation. Hmm…How can I entice people to apply for free money? Wait—What? Free money? I’m pretty sure that is all I need to say! “Hello, people—come here and ask for FREE MONEY to go to THE best conference for oncology nurses.” It really is a no brainer.

If that isn’t enough for you, let me tell you a little about my experience. I have been an oncology nurse for over 10 years. My personal and professional growth has been aided by ONS both locally and nationally in several different ways. Last year, I applied for the Emerging Leader Scholarship because I was under the age of 40 (shhh…don’t remind my board because it is definitely a sore subject) and highly involved with my chapter. With the scholarship, I was able to travel to Orlando, FL, and attend the ONS 40th Annual Congress. The conference had everything—great educational opportunities, unprecedented collaboration with a variety of oncology nurses, and a chance to travel to a different city to spend some time relaxing (all nurses need some of that). Of course, that last portion was only in moderation. It’s a busy few days!

The scholarship experience was such a success, our board has already nominated another member for this upcoming year. Join the Cleveland chapter’s lead and submit an application—we can meet up at the pool for some chapter story swapping and a cocktail.

No more procrastinating—apply NOW! Applications are due November 15.

P.S. If you don’t qualify for the Emerging Chapter Leadership Scholarship, don’t fret! Additional Congress scholarships are available through the ONS Foundation. Applications are due December 1.

Live the ONS Core Values at Congress

Innovation Exchange

By Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN

Recently, the ONS Board of Directors voted to consolidate and streamline our core values from six to three: innovation, excellence, and advocacy. These three words are the guiding principles for our organization, our leaders, and our members. They carry a great deal of weight in everything that we do at ONS, including planning Congress.

Innovation is a key topic at the ONS 41st Annual Congress, as it will be a reimagined event with a number of changes to enhance the member experience and push oncology nursing forward. Starting with our conference theme, “Big Change Starts Here,” we want oncology nurses to recognize that the information you learn at Congress will create significant change in your practice and ultimately patients’ lives. In the opening ceremony presentation, “Do it Well. Make it Fun. The Key to Success in Oncology Nursing,” you’ll discover how a slight tweak in mindset and attitude can have a tremendous impact on how you do your job every day. Sessions like “Intervention Management: A New Approach to Ongoing Issues,” “Looking Toward the Future,” and “Leading Through a Sea of Change” will continue to help you recognize challenges you can overcome and opportunities that exist for improvement.

We strive to promote excellence in oncology nursing in our organization, and we know you provide quality care for your patients. Congress is the place where you can learn the very latest information and stay up to speed on hot topics in cancer care. Take steps to avoid complications before they occur in “Assessing and Preventing Critical Situations,” help patients understand their treatment and make informed decisions in “Using Health Literacy Principles to Improve Patient Education,” and familiarize yourself with recently FDA-approved cancer drugs in “Pharmacology Update.”

Advocacy is a vital part of your job, and Congress will provide tools to help you improve your ability to advocate for both your patients and your profession. In “Self-Advocating for Protection Against Hazardous Drugs,” you’ll learn how nurses just like you have advocated for safe-handling regulations and get the information you need on how you can work towards state legislation. Plus, “Election 2016: Donkey or Elephant, Educate the Candidates on Oncology Nursing Issues,” will provide insight on how the presidential candidates stack up with the ONS health policy legislative and regulatory agenda.

Join us in San Antonio to experience these values firsthand. You’ll get an up-close and personal look at what these three words mean to ONS and understand why they are the backbone of our organization and the future of oncology nursing. We hope to see you there!

Increase Your Chances of Getting Your Work Published

Get Published

By Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN, BC, AOCNP®

The publication process can be challenging for novice and even seasoned authors. Considerable effort goes into a piece before it’s submitted for peer review. However, outcomes ranging from Magnet status to tenure track compel us forward.

Before your fingers touch the keyboard, pause to consider how you can divide the content for multiple publications. You can likely produce several articles from one study, but how do you avoid self plagiarism and salami slicing? How can you increase the reach of your work and maximize the professional and scholarly benefits to you and your organization?

Be strategic! Develop a strategic approach to your professional publications. This may help to ease your nerves once you submit an article for peer review and are awaiting the editor’s response. If you’ve considered the topic and project as well as the audience you intend to reach with your article by directing it to an appropriate publication, you’ve started down the correct path.

We will explore these topics during an interactive session at Congress. Anne Katz, editor of the Oncology Nursing Forum, will present tips on how to maximize your prospects of publishing in research journals. Although there are many potential pitfalls in the process, there are also strategic ways to improve your chances of being published. Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, will discuss the projects, studies, and topics that have the best chance of being published in today’s environment. This session will highlight the good, the bad, the ugly, and the mistakes that eager researchers and nascent authors make in the journey to publication success.

Join us from 12:30-1:30 pm on Saturday, April 30, in the learning hall’s career fair for “Development of a Strategic Publication Portfolio” and bring your questions!

Get to Know San Antonio: Places to See and Things to Do

San Antonio Blog 1

By Stefanie Wenger, RN, San Antonio Chapter Member

Hey y’all!

If you’ve made the decision to attend the ONS 41st Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX, I bet you are trying to find fun, must-see places to go while you’re there. Let me start with “Remember the Alamo!?” All of you history buffs need this on your to-do lists! I highly recommend using the audio tour to maximize the amount you learn about the amazing history. While planning your journey to the Alamo, make sure you also check out the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. You can take a tour-guided barge ride that takes you through downtown river walk with great sights to see.

Another popular place to visit is the Tower of Americas. The attraction is over 600 feet tall and has an observation deck and a restaurant with a revolving floor— you can get a 360 degree view of beautiful San Antonio while enjoying your meal. There is also a bar located in the Tower of Americas. If you just want to enjoy drinks at the bar the elevator is free, but if you want to go to the restaurant or observation deck, there is a fee to ride to the top. Don’t worry, it’s worth the cost—your ticket even includes access to a 4D theater ride!

A few other interesting places to visit are the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, which is located close to the convention center, and the San Antonio Pearl District, which is a former brewery that is now home to restaurants, bars, and shops. You can get to the Pearl District by walking down the River Walk just 2 miles north of downtown San Antonio, enjoying the beautiful scenery the River Walk has to offer. While you’re on your way to the Pearl District, you’ll pass by the San Antonio Art Museum and the oldest VFW hall, which offers drinks and live music on Fridays.

The best part about all of these places is that you don’t even need a rental car or taxi to get to them. Everything is conveniently located near the convention center and Congress hotels, making it easy to explore our fantastic city!