Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, shares her vision for ONS.
Home—it’s where we grow, where we are nurtured, and where we give back to the next generation. I have been extremely fortunate to call ONS my professional home as an oncology nurse for more than 35 years. But what does it mean to identify with a “professional home” in this time of increasingly specialized care?
I thought about that recently when I met a brand-new oncology nurse and a nursing student at a local chapter meeting. Allyssa just started her oncology nursing career as a nurse on a bone marrow transplant unit. Katie is a senior nursing student looking to start her career in our nation’s capital to be close to where actions that impact her patients’ cancer care are happening.
Both joined ONS at the recommendation of a favorite nursing faculty member who is an avid advocate for patients with cancer and an oncology nurse researcher and leader. These young professionals have found their professional home—a place where they will grow in their career. They have found evidence-based resources that will guide their practice, and they have found colleagues who will nurture and support them in their leadership journey.
They get it. They know that’s what ONS is all about. It’s why we exist and why it is important that oncology nurses choose ONS as their professional home.
As a membership organization, our mission is to advance excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. Our vision for the future is to lead the transformation of cancer care. And our core values are very close to our hearts as members: We innovate to create better care, we define excellence through oncology nursing research and promote practice based on the best available evidence, and we advocate for people throughout their cancer journey at the chairside, bedside, board room, and policy-making table.
When ONS and its members speak, people listen. Not just in Washington, DC, but in state capitals and in roundtable discussions such as the Biden Cancer Summit and in collaboration with other cancer specialty organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research. Advocacy is all about finding your voice and helping others to find theirs. ONS has used the strength of 39,000 voices to advocate for national funding for symptom management research and for improved palliative care. ONS partners with other specialty nursing organizations to advance our profession.
As you know as members, we receive so many benefits from our ONS membership such as the outstanding ONS journals and news magazine, conferences, online courses, and publications. You’ll find details about the benefits of membership in this professional home described in the resources located throughout this website. The benefit that has mattered the most to me, personally, has been the opportunity to develop my skills as a leader—at the chapter level, on project teams, and as a member of the ONS Board of Directors.
The challenges in health care in our near and distant future will require passionate and well-prepared nurses to lead the transformation of cancer care. My vision for ONS is that all nurses who care for people with cancer—like Allyssa and Katie—will recognize the strong foundation of this professional home. If you’re a nurse in oncology, let us know how we can better meet your needs—and engage with ONS as an organization that represents your passion for quality cancer care at every table.