No matter what your specialty is, you’re sure to find content to suit your personal and professional goals as an oncology nurse at ONS Congress. Hear from the 2021 Content Planning Team members on how they would navigate their specific track and explore sessions throughout the rest of the conference. 

Not registered yet? Register today to join us for the most comprehensive conference dedicated to oncology nursing.

Clinical Practice track:
Colleen McCracken, BSN, RN, CMSRN, CHPN®, OCN®

As a staff nurse/educator on an inpatient oncology unit, I am often torn about what sessions to attend at ONS Congress. Do I go to a Clinical Practice session to expand my knowledge that gives me tools to enhance my practice or the Leadership/Management/Education sessions that provide opportunities to learn new ideas to educate and inspire nurses? And those don’t even include the Radiation, Advanced Practice, and Research tracks—those tracks have so many great sessions that I want to attend, too.

There are so many different tracks and sessions to attend but that is one of the best things about ONS Congress: the opportunity to step outside of your specialty and gather new insight from each session no matter what track you choose.

As we have been planning for the 46th Annual ONS Congress, I have heard my fellow Content Planning Team members describe the sessions and it always gets me excited. There is so much to learn and so many great educational opportunities to attend this year, including the following:

  • Attend a session in the Advanced Practice track to learn more about “Pharmacokinetic (PK)—Directed Dosing” and the future of this research.
  • Join the Clinical Practice track to gain a better understanding about “Customizing Nursing Care for At-Risk Family Members in Cancer Caregiving”.
  • Tune in to the Leadership/Management/Education track to acquire new knowledge about “Engaging the Oncology Nurse Learner With Technology and Innovation” to help teach oncology nurses.
  • The Research track will help to provide you with knowledge about how nurse researchers are working with “Disparities: Improving the Underrepresented Populations in Oncology Studies.”
  • Do not forget about the Radiation track; this track will help you to look “Beyond the Beam: Managing Radiation Therapy Side Effects.”

I assure you, there is something for everyone at the 2021 ONS Congress.


Advanced Practice track:

Anne Kolenic, DNP, APRN, AOCNS®

How exciting that there are 160 nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) contact hours offered at the 46th Annual ONS Congress! With five different specialty tracks, you have the opportunity to attend sessions specifically geared toward your role or area of oncology expertise, but you are always encouraged to attend sessions within any track that interests you. By attending sessions within various tracks, you can network with nursing colleagues across roles and continue to expand your knowledge base among the varying sub-specialties within oncology care.

The Advanced Practice track is one of the five tracks offered. It is geared towards elevated content to enhance the advanced practice RN’s (APRN’s) ability to provide and coordinate optimal cancer care. Although the target audience is oncology APRNs, all attendees are encouraged to attend these sessions. This year’s Advanced Practice track will feature the following sessions, as well as oral abstract and poster presentations geared toward the APRN:

  • Pharmacokinetic (PK)—Directed Dosing
  • Thinking Beyond the Current Roles of APRNs
  • Leveraging Digital Health as an APRN Parts 1 and 2
  • Role of the APRN in Prescribing Oncologic Agents
  • Medical Marijuana: Exploring Established Guidelines for APRNs Certifying a Medical Marijuana Condition Parts 1 and 2

New this year is a session specially designed and created to integrate the Advanced Practice and Research tracks. This unique dual-track session will explore the current state of translational research, showcasing exemplars from PhD—DNP collaborators. Facilitators and barriers to the process of translating research findings into clinical practice will be discussed. The following dynamic session will include perspectives from academic programs to clinical settings:

  • PhD—DNP Collaboration: Opportunities to Translate Scientific Research Into Practice

In addition to these sessions, consider attending sessions outside of the Advanced Practice track that interest you. Sessions of interest to APRNs may include “Updates in Pharmacology,” “Cytogenetic and Molecular Abnormalities Parts 1 and 2,” “Cognitive Impairment: Following the Evidence and Improving Quality of Life,” and “Emerging Therapies in Radiation Oncology From a Medical Physics Perspective.”

No matter what sessions or in which track you decide to attend, you will gain valuable knowledge and have the opportunity to hear from experts across the nation on oncology topics. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge, build relationships through networking with colleagues, as well as strengthen and rejuvenate your passion for oncology nursing!

Leadership/Management/Education track:

Jeanette Pretorius, BSN, MBA, RN-BC, NE-BC, OCN®

The Leadership/Management/Education track is geared toward providing nurse leaders and educators with varying innovative tools, tips, and techniques to foster the development and growth of oncology teams and programs across the spectrum. Session topics in this track cover a wide array of interests, including orientation, advanced training opportunities, professional growth, program development, regulatory compliance, and so much more!

But you don’t have to be a leader or an educator to benefit from attending one of these sessions; you simply need to have a desire to learn something new or view something familiar through a different lens. For example, many of us have learned about newly evolving cancer treatments– like chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy–by attending Research or Clinical Practice track sessions in the past. We’ve heard from leading researchers and clinicians about the science, technology, and nursing care necessary to successfully navigate a patient from apheresis to infusion to remission. However, this year, the Leadership/Management/Education track will present a session on the development, organization, and structure behind building and sustaining a CAR T-cell therapy program. This session will cover the logistical and financial bandwidth required to get a program of this magnitude off the ground and the resources needed to keep it moving forward, providing context behind the frustration of why this treatment option remains so expensive.

Don’t let your background or work experiences define your future learning opportunities. When you attend ONS Congress this spring, explore all the topic areas across all five tracks and find the sessions that peak your interest the most!

Radiation track:

Trey Woods, MSN, RN, NP-C

Do you have a good understanding of radiation oncology?

Do you have feel comfortable talking to your patients about radiation? 

Are you intimidated just thinking about radiation? 

If any of these questions resonate with you, you should consider stepping outside of your comfort zone, or specialty, and attending one (or more) sessions in the Radiation track during ONS Congress. 

There is an amazing slate of sessions planned in the Radiation track, with topics that will appeal to a variety of interests and skill levels ranging from the radiation novice to the seasoned veteran.

“Radiation: Who, What, Where, When, and Why?” will provide an overview of exactly what happens when your patient is referred to radiation oncology and will help to decipher some of the radiation jargon that seems so confusing. 

Maybe you are looking for a deeper dive into the world of radiation oncology. If so, you should check out “Emerging Therapies in Radiation From a Medical Physics Perspective.”

These two sessions are just a small sample of what is in store for the 2021 ONS Congress. Regardless of your skill level or area of expertise, there are plenty of educational opportunities available with ONS Congress. 

The Radiation track is one of five tracks offered at ONS Congress, along with the Clinical Practice track, Research track, Advanced Practice track, and Leadership/Management/Education track. These tracks were developed to offer a variety of educational opportunities to each respective specialty, but they are not exclusive. As an attendee, you are free to check out any session in any track and you are encouraged to step outside of your respective specialty and explore other tracks. 

Research track:

Nonniekaye Shelburne, MS, CRNP, AOCN®

The Research track at the 46th Annual ONS Congress is designed for those interested in, working with, and conducting research within the oncology population. All attendees are welcome to attend and engage in the sessions. This year’s conference will focus on PhD–DNP collaborations, study enrollment, disparities, symptom science, and remote study implementation.

Start your ONS Congress on April 20, 2021, with an exciting and unique dual-track session on PhD–DNP collaboration, highlighting two successful teams and describing their process, facilitators, and barriers to meet the goal of translating scientific research into practice. For those pursuing National Institutes of Health funding for research projects, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will provide updates on their initiatives and tips for managing the grant application process.

April 27, 2021, will dive deep into innovative study enrollment methods to reach targeted study participants and improve inclusion for underrepresented populations, with the goal to improve the translation of findings. Two sessions will explore the move from in-person to remote/virtual study management experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers will highlight challenges and innovations around remote consent, study visits, and biometric collection and discuss how these new methods can be integrated into studies going forward.

April 29, 2021, will focus on symptom science, providing a state of the science talk highlighting topics from the recent NINR, NCI, and ONS colloquium and the latest in precision health across nursing science. Research abstract oral presentations are included throughout ONS Congress, including the top scoring abstracts, live critiques by leading experts, and late-breaking research topics. As with all tracks, the online posters can be viewed at your leisure through the on-demand library.