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

Let’s challenge ourselves to think outside the box. In the past 18–24 months,

  • Have you been a part of implementing evidence-based practice changes?
  • Have you implemented or modified assessment tools, products, bar coding, alert systems, or algorithms to improve patient outcomes?
  • Have you implemented or modified new staffing models, assignment models or tools, scheduling software, or lunches or break coverage models to support colleagues?
  • Have you implemented or modified new hand-off communication processes, isolation-monitoring guidelines, or signage or posters to support patient care?
  • Have you implemented or modified new patient education tools or classes, assessment forms, patient portals, or social media to support patient access to information and education?
  • Have you implemented or modified orientation plans, online learning for nurses, ways to improve education uptake by nurses on all shifts, or systems or awards to encourage nurses attending conferences or obtaining certification?
  • Has your local ONS chapter implemented a new approach to meetings, educational offerings, use of social media, or processes for restructuring the way you meet the needs of local oncology nurses?

If so, we all want to hear about it. Tell us why and how you made it happen. What were the successes and failures? What do I need to know before trying to do the same in my work environment?

You’ve asked the question of why we practice the way we do, why that policy exists, and what the evidence says. You’ve most likely even helped change the way we practice oncology nursing. Yet when we hear that it’s time to submit abstracts for the ONS 40th Annual Congress, our minds go blank and we can’t think of anything to write. Why is that?

ONS is accepting general abstracts for the ONS 40th Annual Congress from now until October 20 at midnight EST. If you want help preparing your abstract, use the ONS Mentorship Program for Abstract Writers, in which you are partnered with experienced mentors. Contact the ONS Education Department at absquestion@ons.org to learn more or participate.

I wrote my first abstract with a lot of encouragement from my clinical nurse specialist. When she returned her edits on my first draft, there were more changes than original text. But that was a part of the process of learning how to organize my thoughts and get my message clearly stated within a short word limit. But I did it. I learned, and the next abstract I wrote didn’t have as many changes (still plenty, believe me!). Now, I have the pleasure of helping others write abstracts, and once accepted, develop posters and podium sessions.

What words of wisdom do you have for those who are considering writing an abstract or are afraid to do so?

This article originally appeared on the ONS Connect site at http://connect.ons.org/ons-connect-blog/submitting-an-abstract-for-ons-congress-doesnt-have-to-be-scary.


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