Update on the Institute of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
What Is ONS Doing?
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has developed a number of tactics that address the key messages identified in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on the Future of Nursing, which was published in October 2010.
The IOM report outlines eight recommendations for nursing; the first states that “nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.” ONS’s Position on the Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Oncology Care, Oncology Nurse Practitioner Competencies, and Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist Competencies support this recommendation. In addition, ONS’s certification affiliate, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC), participated in the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Consensus Work Group in 2004, and ONS continues to support this model. ONS also participates in the Coalition for Patients Rights (CPR) and has presented information on the role of the nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist in cancer care to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s workforce committee. In the legislative arena, ONS supported the Medicaid Advanced Practice Nurses and Physicians Assistants Access Act of 2009 (S. 63), designed to improve access to these services.
The IOM report calls for expansion of “opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts.” ONS is currently developing and testing two sets of quality measures focused on the care of breast cancer survivors. These initiatives will eventually expand to include additional diagnoses, with feedback and education programs designed to ensure widespread implementation. ONS’s Research Priorities Survey, Research Agenda, and ongoing research funding through its charitable affiliate, the ONS Foundation, also support quality cancer care goals. ONS recently became a member of the National Quality Forum (NQF).
Health policy work has included promotion of the “Assuring and Improving Cancer Treatment Education and Cancer Symptom Management Act of 2009” (HR1927), which will be reintroduced into Congress this year. The legislation is just one of several efforts to increase funding for cancer patient treatment education from nurses.
ONS has seven ongoing formal mentoring programs, which highlight, among other areas, the development of leadership, advocacy, and diversity skills. ONS also continues to advocate for federal funding for oncology nursing and research.
To support increasing “the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020,” the ONS Foundation offers a number of academic scholarships. In addition, ONS collaborates with schools of nursing and supports the National Student Nursing Association. Curriculum support for nursing programs is provided in a variety of media formats. The IOM report calls for a doubling of “the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020.” In addition to ONS Foundation doctoral scholarships, a number of research doctorate and grant-writing mentorship opportunities are available. ONS’s Putting Evidence Into Practice program, as well as the ONS Foundation Institute for Evidence-Based Practice Change provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to facilitate evidence-based practice change.
ONS also endorses the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Cultural Competencies for Master’s and Doctorally Prepared Nurses and supports multicultural diversity and cultural competency among healthcare providers.
ONS supports lifelong learning through all of its education programs, and ONCC offers basic, advanced, and subspecialty oncology nursing certifications. These certifications require ongoing demonstration of continued competence through continuing education and professional development activities.
Recognizing that cancer is a chronic disease and more non-oncology nurses are caring for cancer survivors, ONS will launch a web-based educational portal in 2011 to provide a complete resource for oncology-related informationThe IOM recommendations call for the profession to “prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health.” ONS developed (through funding obtained by the ONS Foundation) a Leadership Development Institute, through which nurses developed new and creative ways to respond to these challenges. The Society also educates, informs, and encourages people interested in healthcare issues to become knowledgeable about the legislative process and involved in health policy advocacy. ONS also sends oncology nursing leaders to the annual Nurse in Washington Internship meeting to learn how to influence decision makers about nursing practice and education.
ONS encourages and supports nurse leaders to serve on a wide variety of boards and advisory panels. ONS works with the Coalition for Patients’ Rights, One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), and The Nursing Community to further the oncology nursing specialty. Additionally, ONS participates in Congressional briefings by actively engaging federal agencies such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The Society also sponsors IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum and has nominated several members to serve on a variety of committees and advisory groups created by the Affordable Care Act.
ONS, in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration, is advocating to include data related to specialty practice to “build an infrastruction for the collection and analysis of interprofessional healthcare workforce data.” ONS has also been involved with C-Change on their workforce initiative, which includes a Framework Workgroup and a Policy Workgroup. The Framework Workgroup was established to create a plan to sustain the cancer workforce from recruitment through training, licensing, and retention, as well as inclusion of non-oncology health professionals and consumers. The Policy Workgroup is charged with identifying policy and regulatory opportunities related to healthcare reform.
ONS’s work toward advancing the profession of oncology nursing is constantly developing as we work together with our nursing colleagues to address the needs of our changing healthcare environment and support quality nursing care.