Ten Reasons You Should Submit an Abstract for Presentation at the ONS 41st Annual Congress


By Linda H. Eaton, PhD, RN, AOCN®

Have you ever considered submitting an abstract for presentation at Congress, but you don’t end up doing so due to lack of time or lack of experience? Luckily, abstracts aren’t due until September 30, so plenty of time is available, and experience is only gained by writing abstracts. It really does get easier the more you do it, and it will benefit your patients and your career in the long run. In fact, here are 10 reasons why you should submit an abstract for presentation at Congress.

  1. Assistance is available for writing an awesome abstract through the ONS Mentorship Program for Abstract Writers—just contact ONS Education toll free at 866-257-4ONS or by email at absquestion@ons.org.
  2. It allows you to be creative in visually sharing your presentation as either a printed poster, e-poster, or PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Your abstract is published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, which is distributed to more than 35,000 ONS members.
  4. You meet other oncology nurses and healthcare providers who are interested in your topic.
  5. Sharing your work improves the care of individuals with cancer across the country.
  6. Talking with others about your project or research study is fun. (It really is!)
  7. You improve your presentation skills, an important competence for advancing your career.
  8. It’s a great addition to your resume to make you stand out among potential job candidates.
  9. Your work increases the knowledge of oncology nurses and others attending the conference.
  10. It showcases your hard work at an amazing conference with your peers.

As you can see, submitting and presenting an abstract provides great benefits, both to you and others. There’s no time like the present, so view the submission instructions and start writing today!

Plus, remember that late-breaking research abstracts will be accepted December 28, 2015–January 15, 2016. Late-breaking research abstracts focus on novel data from studies that were recently completed.

Distress Screening: The Sixth Vital Sign

Distress Screening

By Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN

Screening for distress is an essential part of providing comprehensive care for our patients—and many of us do this as a matter of course. However the literature suggests that distress screening is not done routinely and as a result, patients are not offered the help they need to get through active treatment and the aftermath in recovery and long term survival.

In tomorrow morning’s session, Linda Watson, RN, PhD, CON, will provide the audience with an overview of the complexity of the cancer experience for our patients and how this impacts on the need for personalized care. She will further highlight how nurses can incorporate screening for distress as part of routine nursing care and how this ultimately enhances our practice and the care we provide.

Using case studies and encouraging audience participation, Watson will show how screening for distress helps us to identify when patients are distressed, how to assess for this bothersome symptom, and how we can help patients manage their distress.

The Commission on Cancer requires screening for distress as an accreditation standard—so if you have not attended an educational session on this topic or need a refresher, this is one session you can’t miss.

New! ePosters at the ONS 40th Annual Congress


By Nonniekaye Shelburne, CRNP, MS, AOCN®, 2014–2015 ONS Congress Content Planning Team Chair

You may have heard that Congress will feature ePosters for the first time this year. But what exactly does that mean? An ePoster uses a large monitor and computer to display multimedia versions of a scientific poster versus the traditional printed poster. It gives the presenter an opportunity to more effectively convey information that would not necessarily be possible with a traditional printed poster, and it enhances visualization to attract interest of attendees. This method of presentation is being used by more than 25 poster presenters at the ONS 40th Annual Congress.

You can attend the ePoster presentations during the following sessions held in the Orange County Convention Center Valencia Lobby:

ePoster presenters will stand next to a large TV monitor to present their poster.  The monitors have the capability to zoom in on sections of the poster during a five-minute presentation of the work. The presenters will be available for questions during these times. You can get a preview of the ePosters in the poster session description now.

More than 200 posters total will be presented between the ePosters, general posters, and research poster sessions. In addition to the 1 CNE contact hour you will receive for attending a poster session, you can earn additional contact hours by independently reviewing the posters. For every 20 posters you review, you’ll receive 1 contact hour. Look in your conference guide for a worksheet to help you track the posters you review.

Obesity and Cancer

Obesity Veggies

By Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN

Obesity is on its way to replacing tobacco as the number one preventable or modifiable cause of cancer.

Does that statement shock you? It certainly is something to think about—and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) thinks that this is such a serious issue that they devoted an issue of ASCO Connection to this topic.

On Thursday from 1:30–3 pm, you can learn more obesity and cancer from Adrienne Wald, EdD, MBA, RN, MCHES, an expert on the subject. The evidence she will present is alarming; a number of cancers, including breast, endometrial, prostate, renal, and colorectal, are associated with obesity. Obesity increases the risk of recurrence, has a negative impact on survival, and complicates screening and treatment planning. It also places the patient at risk of complications from chemotherapy. Are you convinced yet?

If not, attend this session and learn about behavioral approaches to managing weight that all nurses can incorporate into our care of patients. You will hear about the barriers to change for our patients (and even ourselves!) and how to motivate and encourage patients to incorporate strategies for wellness into their daily lives.

Cancer is a teachable moment—this session will show you why and how we can capitalize on this to improve the lives of our patients.

Help ONS Look Forward in an Innovation Exchange

Booth Chat

By Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, ONS Chief Executive Officer

Do you have an idea to share with the ONS Board? Would you like to know what your colleagues have to say about what’s happening in their work environment? At the ONS 40th Annual Congress, we are introducing a new approach for members and the Board to connect and discuss current issues in oncology nursing and cancer care. Two Innovation Exchange sessions are being offered on Friday in the learning hall and will serve as a substitute for the usual single Town Hall session. The Board and staff are in the process of developing the 2016–2018 strategic plan, and these sessions give members an opportunity to discuss what trends and changes they are seeing in the cancer care environment. As a member association, ONS has been built on the ideas and needs of members. Questions that will guide the conversation include: What issues are you facing in your day-to-day practice? What do you see coming down the road that will affect you and your patients? What can ONS do to make your life easier?

I hope you will attend one of the sessions and share your views.  We are looking forward to your feedback to help ONS move through the next 40 years and beyond.

Making Strides in Survivorship Care


By Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN

The number of cancer survivors grows every year, and with their increasing numbers comes an increasing need to provide them with care in this phase of the cancer trajectory. The 2006 Institute of Medicine report, “Lost in Transition,” highlighted the importance of survivorship care, and the Commission on Cancer requires the provision of survivorship care plans for cancer survivors as an accreditation standard.

So what is the state of the science on survivorship? In Survivorship Care: Moving Beyond Being Lost in Transition on Saturday, April 25, from 1:30–3 pm, Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, will highlight the survivorship needs of the millions of cancer survivors who have passed through our institutions. She will present the latest data on models of survivorship care, the unmet needs of this population, and the symptom burden carried by cancer survivors as they move through life after treatment. In addition, she will present evidence on the state of practice with survivorship care plans as well as providing audience members with resources for their own practice to help in the provision of excellent survivorship care.

This session is essential for all nurses as we work towards ensuring that our patients have the tools to live their post-treatment life as well as possible, while balancing the need for surveillance of long-term and late effects of treatment. By attending this session, nurses will be able to support their colleagues and institutions in this vital aspect of cancer care, now and in the future.

Attend this session live in Orlando or join remotely through Congress Live Streaming.

The Advantages of Non-CNE Events at Congress


By Gena Middleton, MS, RN, CNS, AOCNS®, Account Manager, ONS:Edge

Improving patient outcomes is the common goal of all oncology nurse education, yet sometimes important disease state and product-specific information is not discussed during CNE offerings. Industry-sponsored events provide critical information related to cancer treatment options, new and expanded indications for FDA-approved products, safe administration guidelines, strategies for managing potential side effects, and patient education resources.

As a Congress attendee, you’ll have the opportunity to network with peers at these events, share your patient management experiences, and ask questions to industry representatives and nurse educators who have extensive product knowledge and clinical experience. Upon returning home, you can share the key points about specific agents with your colleagues.

Your active participation in non-CNE educational events plays an important role in providing safe and quality care to patients. These events also serve to provide pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers with clinical nurses’ perspectives, including the patient journey and challenges with administration, adherence, and access. They use this information when developing educational resources and support programs designed to meet the unique educational needs of oncology nurses, patients, and caregivers. Get involved to learn from others and share your expertise!

ONS:Edge is hosting many non-CNE learning opportunities this year, including product theaters, lunch and dinner programs, and receptions to encourage networking. Keep an eye on the ONS:Edge Live Events page for upcoming non-CNE opportunities at Congress and beyond!

Ensuring Proper Oral Therapy Adherence

Oral Therapy

Today, more than half of newly approved cancer drugs are administered orally. While oral oncolytics make therapy more manageable and convenient for patients than other treatment options, they have some issues of their own.

It can be difficult to ensure proper adherence to this type of treatment among patients with cancer. In Oral Therapy: Underadherance, Overadherance and Everything in Between,” Pamela K. Ginex, EdD, RN, OCN®, and Susan M. Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, will review issues that impact adherence and delve into innovative strategies to resolve problems. They’ll discuss patient cases where adherence barriers exist and suggest ways that you can support individuals in those scenarios to take their medication as prescribed.

Nurses of all levels will value the information presented in this ever-growing arena of cancer treatment. You’ll come away with new ideas and tools to ensure safe, effective medication regimens for your patients. Attend this session live in Orlando or join remotely through Congress Live Streaming.

Cancer Genetics: Genetic Counseling, Ethical Issues, and the Nurse’s Role

Genetic Counseling

By Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN

Consideration of genetics is rapidly becoming part of routine cancer care—and as nurses, we need to be up to date and confident in our understanding of this topic. While it is not expected that we should be experts, we do need a working knowledge of hereditary cancers, how they present in families, the “real” risks, and when and how to refer patients for genetic counseling. In addition, we need to be aware of the ethical issues involved in genetic testing. We are trusted by our patients, and many of us were educated long before we knew anything about these cancers. We must update our knowledge so that we can educate and support our patients and their families.

This year at the ONS 40th Annual Congress, we have a preconference session devoted to the topic of genetics and the oncology nurse. You’ll learn about hereditary cancer syndromes, how to recognize them, and the role of surveillance for early identification of cancer and potential risk reduction for those impacted. Risk assessment and genetic testing can reduce anxiety in those who are not at increased risk and may identify those who do not need genetic testing because their risk is low. In recent years, direct to consumer marketing of genetic tests has led to patients assessing their own risk—and we need to be more informed than our patients and their families so that we can advise and provide guidance to them.

This preconference session will not only inform and educate, but it will also challenge your thinking with real world cases studies. Our need to know about this increasingly important aspect of cancer care is not going away—register for this preconference session and you’ll be ahead of the curve!

Gain Knowledge and Confidence to Handle Oncologic Emergencies

Onc Emergencies

By Carol Cannon, RN, BSN, OCN®

Learn how you can become proficient in managing oncologic emergencies in Saturday’s session, Oncologic Emergencies: A Case-Based Approach.”

Two advance practice nurses will use case studies to help attendees become proficient in managing two different situations.

  • Juanita Madison, MN, RN, AOCN® will present the pathophysiology, medical management, and key nursing considerations in caring for the patient with metastatic spinal cord compression. Attendees will be able to describe the clinical presentation and progression of this emergency, as well as diagnostic tools and goals of care for these patients.
  • Martha Lassiter, RN, MSN, AOCNS®, BMTCN™ will educate attendees on the complex tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). A patient with Burkitt’s lymphoma will set the stage for attendees to gain understanding of risk factors and strategies for prevention of TLS. At the conclusion of this session, oncology nurses will be able to recognize patients at increased risk for TLS, and play a key role in the prevention of progression of this syndrome.

It is imperative that every nurse caring for patients with cancer understand the importance of recognizing oncologic emergencies such as metastatic spinal cord compression and tumor lysis syndrome, and know his or her role in the prevention and management of these emergencies. Attend this session live in Orlando or join remotely through Congress Live Streaming.