About Congress


Why Attend?

original Congress Guide

“Congress is a time and space to reconnect with colleagues who understand what your work is about, who you can learn from and share experiences from and that’s invaluable. You may be one of a few from your home institution, but there, you have the power of numbers and colleagues that sort of bolster you for the next year.”

– Deborah Mayer, RN, 1978 – 1979 Program (Congress) Committee


Conference Outcomes

  • Recognize opportunities to impact leadership capabilities across oncology nursing roles.
  • Discuss clinical practice changes that can be implemented in individual practices or institutions.
  • Appraise clinical evidence to advance patient care from prevention to end-of-life.
  • Identify innovative approaches to influence care of patients with cancer.

Conference Accommodations

San Antonio, TX has all of your hotel and travel needs covered. Learn about the hotels and conference center by visiting the Congress hotel and travel page.

Hotel and Travel


The History of Congress

The Oncology Nursing Society was incorporated in 1975, and soon after, the annual conference was held in 1976 in Toronto, Canada. The first conference was one day, had about 200 attendees, and all sessions took place in one room. In 1979, the annual conference adopted the current name of the conference, “Congress,” and the first official theme was created: “Nursing Makes a Difference.”

Since its creation, Congress has evolved into a five-day event with more than 4,000 attendees. Sessions are divided into five education tracks, and attendees are encouraged to build a unique conference based on their specialty.

Congress Fun Facts

  • During the first ten years, Congress sessions took place with ASCO and AACR sessions.
  • The first business meeting in 1976 lasted 2.5 hours and ended with the proposed bylaws being tabled. After revisions were made, ONS’s bylaws were adopted later that year.
  • In 1976, ONS held two conferences: a general conference in Toronto in the spring and a clinical session in Boston in the fall. The former became the annual Congress; the latter much later became Fall Institute.
  • In 1982, the first Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lecture was given at Congress.


Future Congress Events

Don’t let Congress sneak up on you. See the future dates and locations and mark your calendar now.

ONS 46th Annual Congress
April 22–25, 2021
Washington, DC

ONS 47th Annual Congress
April 28–May 1, 2022
Anaheim, CA

ONS 48th Annual Congress
April 27–30, 2023
San Antonio, TX