ONS was officially incorporated on July 17, 1975, in Illinois. We began with a charter membership of fewer than 500 members and have since become a driving force in cancer care, with more than 39,000 members. The timeline below highlights some of the significant events which have shaped the Society’s history. 


ONS is incorporated in Illinois. By 1977 we are accepted into the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations.


The Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF), our first journal, is indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and in the International Nursing Index. In 1990 it will also be accepted in Index Medicus. In 2014, ONF is ranked first for impact factor from among 106 journals in the nursing category.


ONS conducts its first research priorities survey. The first ONS chapters, Chicago and Cleveland, are chartered. By 2014, there are more than 220 chapters.


The Oncology Nursing Foundation, later renamed the ONS Foundation, is established.  Three years later, the Foundation funds its first oncology nursing research grant after being awarded funding from Mead Johnson.


ONS hires Pearl Moore, RN, MN, FAAN, as its first executive director (CEO). She is the first of only three CEOs in our history. Paula Rieger, RN, MSN, CS, AOCN®, FAAN, is hired in 2006, and Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, is hired in 2014.


The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC), an independent affiliate, is incorporated. ONS publishes our first set of chemotherapy recommendations, Cancer Chemotherapy Guidelines. These guidelines are later revised nine times The most recent revision is in 2014 with Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations For Practice (Fourth Edition).


The Oncology Nursing Press, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of ONS, is incorporated. With the adoption of new bylaws at the annual business meeting at Congress, it is decided that future bylaws will be voted on by mail, allowing members not present at the business meeting to participate.


ONS becomes an American Nurses Association-accredited approver and provider of continuing education. ONS continues to be reaccredited every year, and in 2013 we are awarded Accreditation with Distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education, the highest recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Accreditation Program.


Eighteen ONS special interest groups (SIGs) are established. By 2014, there are 27.


Meeting a longstanding goal of the Society, an ONS member is appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by the presidential appointment of George H.W. Bush.


With recommendations from the Work Analysis Working Group, ONS undergoes significant reorganization. Committees are disbanded and project teams are formed. The ONS steering council is established to develop and oversee the projects. Oncology Education Services, Inc. (OES) is incorporated. Under the leadership of the Oncology Nursing Press, the ONS website is officially launched.


The first issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) is published and the Oncology Nursing Press, Inc. publishes its first two commercial books.


After years of planning and saving, ONS moves into its new national headquarters at 125 Enterprise Drive in Pittsburgh, PA. This same year, online voting is introduced.


ONS:Edge is introduced as a new for-profit subsidiary. Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) makes its debut in the form of cards. PEP continues to evolve, publishing A Pocket Guide to Cancer Symptom Management in 2014. This same year, ONS and ASCO develop the first national standards for the safe administration of chemotherapy drugs, updated in 2013. ONS also debuts a new branding and logo. 


ONS receives a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to test new strategies for improving the quality of cancer care. ONS releases oncology nurse navigator competencies, adding to core competencies for leaders, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and clinical trials nurses. This same year, we implement the universal chapter membership model approved by the Board of Directors in 2012.