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!