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!