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

Did you know?

  • There are more than 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV), 13 of which are classified as high-risk types due to their association with cancer.
  • HPV and its subsequent cancers are preventable through vaccination in many countries.

Being an oncology nurse, I imagine this is not new information. Unfortunately, to millions of people in the U.S. and internationally, these facts are unknown due to a lack inflatable floating water park of health care access or lack of knowledge. We have the scientific knowledge and the vaccination, so what’s the hold up with translation into our communities and practice?

Ongoing research is identifying barriers to vaccination uptake, including a laborious vaccination schedule, insurance/access, stigma or cultural concerns, and effective provider communication. Oncology nurses in clinical and research roles are in a position to contribute to the evidence behind this lack of uptake and the translation of findings. What is your role going to be?

Join Electra Paskett, PhD, and Betsy Shenkman, RN, PhD, on Friday morning at Congress for Healthy People Vaccinate: Improving HPV Vaccine Uptake to learn more.  They’ll discuss global efforts to raise awareness and action on HPV vaccination uptake, current and future research in this area, and the role of oncology nurses in preventing HPV-related cancers.

For a more personal look at the results of HPV, visit Theater 1 in the learning hall on Thursday, April 23, at 4 pm for a screening of Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic. The documentary chronicles the lives of five women affected by HPV. Through their stories, you’ll gain a greater understanding of why your involvement in HPV vaccination is vital.

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