Connecting Virtually at ONS Bridge™

Susan Weiss Behrend, RN, MSN, AOCN®
Content Planning Team Chair
August 4, 2021

The events of the recent past and present have given new meaning to the concept of “making connections.” Normally, we would be planning to attend a national meeting by securing lodging accommodations, arranging a mode of travel to our destination, and packing our suitcases. Excitement focused on seeing colleagues and friends and connecting with a meal following in-person educational symposiums would be filling our thoughts and our schedules.

We have come full circle with this scenario, which is now a treasured memory of how things used to be. The challenges and triumphs of morphing into virtual meeting platforms initially may have left some of us feeling forlorn, flat, and yearning for in-person educational and social venues. The realization that we have lost—even temporarily—the chance to reunite with professional associates near and far has been difficult. 

Fortunately, though, we have successfully pivoted during this time, and done an amazing job thanks to the support and creativity of ONS. We have not lost the essence of our quest for knowledge. ONS has provided us with a stellar virtual meeting platform that gives us the opportunities to learn more about oncology care during a global pandemic, connect with one another to ensure that our questions are posed and answered, and support us as we continue rendering care to our patients during a time of unprecedented stress and uncertainty.

Our ability to connect virtually has not and will not replace our desire to connect in person. Don’t worry: ONS Congress™ (held annually each spring) will return to an in-person format in the future! ONS Bridge will be held as a virtual meeting each fall, providing oncology nurses with even greater opportunity to network and learn conveniently. As you prepare to attend ONS Bridge this year, consider strategies to support virtual connections with other attendees. Opportunities will be available for you to plan an enriching experience linking you with others and providing invaluable networking so you can build new relationships to solidify your professional oncology nursing practice.

Here are some of the specific ways for you to connect virtually during ONS Bridge:

  • Participate on the discussion board to support conversations with other attendees. This platform will facilitate information sharing and continue conversations about innovative sessions, the impact of content on practice paradigms, and the promotion of collaboration about our specialty. 
  • Another not-to-be-missed virtual networking opportunity is the question-and-answer sessions, which occur during and following each session. You can interface with speakers and participants to clarify content and delve deeper into presentations. The Q&A feature facilitates sharing professional contact information, enhancing resource networks long after the conclusion of the conference. 
  • Daily emails and welcome sessions. Be sure to check your email each day of the live conference and watch the morning welcome sessions put on by the Content Planning Team members. Both avenues will provide information on sponsored networking opportunities and focus on sessions in Updates in Therapy and Care Coordination. 

Our ability to adapt and face extraordinary circumstances is the backbone of our professional selves. Think about our individual and collective courage and strength as we faced such tremendous change in our professional and personal lives recently. True, some elements of our past will never return; however, our desire to be the best oncology nurses will remain. We have faced the challenge with grace, and now we are being supported by ONS with this virtual conference, which will provide us with the opportunity to meet with and learn from esteemed faculty as we gather to create future alliances. 

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to earn NCPD contact hours, connect with your colleagues, meet industry experts, and more–register today!