Georgie Cusack, MS, RN, AOCNS®

Georgie Cusack, MS, RN, AOCNS®

Beltsville, MD

Audio Recording

Position: Director-at-Large

Georgie Cusack, MS, RN, AOCNS®
Director of Education and Patient Safety National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Beltsville, MD

ONS member: 32 years

1999, MS in Nursing, University of Maryland Graduate School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
1984, BSN, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

ONS PARTICIPATION (national and local):
2017-ONS Governance and Leadership Projects-participated in development of online Governance Course and revisions to ONS Leadership Course.
2013-2016 and 2005-2008-Member ONS Nominating Committee.
Chair -2007-2008 and 2015- 2016-participated in recruiting members for ONS leadership positions 2008-ONS/MECC Leadership Course-Larnaca, Cyprus. Participated in three-day conference educating 50 nurses from 13 different countries on Leadership Development and use of PEP cards for symptom management
2004-Served as member of advisory panel for development of Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) initiative.
2001-Graduate-Leadership Development Institute-Year-long course focusing on leadership development. Co-developed Ambulatory Intensity System (AIS) for Oncology Ambulatory Care Nurses
1985-present-Member Oncology Nursing Society.
2014-2017-Member-Capital Area Oncology Nurses.
1985-2013-Member, Potomac Area Oncology Nurses. Served as President, PresidentElect, Secretary, Treasurer, Nominating Committee Chair, Membership Chair.

2012-2013 and 2015-present-Director of Education and Patient Safety, NHLBI-provide regulatory, good clinical practice and disease-specific education to clinical trials nurses working with hematology, cardiology and pulmonary disorders Provide patient safety oversight for institute in collaboration with Clinical Center Patient Safety and Quality Committee. Codeveloped Genetics and Genomics in Healthcare Introductory and Intermediate Courses.
2013-2015-Director of Research Nursing and Education, NHLBI-led team of 23 Research Nurses in support of over 120 active and follow up clinical trials. Led three teams of research nurses to reclassify position descriptions, develop orientation and competency program and identification of workload indicators.
2011-2012-Nurse Educator-Clinical Center Nursing Department (CCND)-Provide oversight of all oncology education programs in CCND. Provide oversight for Oncology Nursing Internship 1st and 2nd year Programs.
2007-2011-Clinical Nurse Specialist for Outcomes Management-First Site and Survey Coordinator for National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators. First Project Coordinator for Acuity Plus-Workload Intensity System for defining inpatient, day hospital and ambulatory indicators. Led team of nurses to develop nursing sensitive outcome indicators for Clinical Center Nursing Department. First Project lead for Clinical Nurse Specialist Length of Stay indicators to define reasons for length of stay for our clinical trials participants
2001-2007-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist-provided clinical leadership and mentorship for ambulatory hematology/oncology and radiation oncology nursing staff. Co-developed oncology nursing workload system for day hospitals and radiation oncology at NIH. Co-developed NCI/NHLBI/CCND Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium. Codeveloped "Fundamentals of Clinical Trials" and "Clinical Trials-What Nurses Need to Know" education courses.
2000-2017-Principal and Associate Investigator on several OHSRP exempt research initiatives around Genetics/Genomics, Clinical Trials and Oncology Bone Marrow Transplant Quality of Life initiatives.

2010-present, International Association of Clinical Research Nurses-member;
2016-present, International Association of Clinical Research Nurses, Chair, Membership, Marketing and Communications (MMC) Committee;
2015-present, Member, MMC Committee, MemberResearch Committee
2008-2017, Member, International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care,
2010-2014-Co-Chair Scientific Planning Committee-2010 Conference in Atlanta,
2012 Conference in Prague, Czech Republic,
2014 Conference in Panama City, Panama,
2013-2014-Management Committee Liaison and Scientific Planning Committee member. 2014-2017-Member, Policy and Advocacy Committee
2007-2017-Associate Faculty, University of Maryland School of Nursing-Mentor CNS/NP students, provide education on role of Advanced Practice Nurse
2000-2012-All-Ireland/NCI Consortium-Provide mentorship for oncology research nurses working in clinical trials from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Host nurses for onsite experiences and provide education in the U.S. and in Ireland.
2001-2010-NCI/Middle East Consortium-Provide mentorship to oncology nurses working at the King Hussein Cancer Center. Provided intense 6 month education program in oncology nursing and continued mentorship up for development of policies and procedures in oncology nursing and career development.

Position Statement: As a nurse since 1984 and a member of ONS since 1985, I have developed several leadership qualities that will benefit the ONS Board. I have an indepth understanding of the mission and vision of ONS and feel confident that I can represent the members of this organization to lead the transformation in oncology nursing through innovation, excellence and advocacy. I have served in several leadership positions at the local, and national level for ONS and other professional organizations. I have had the opportunity to present at several ONS conferences and initiatives nationally and internationally, and published in several oncology nursing books and journals. I am a staunch patient and staff advocate and am not afraid to ask questions and explore new opportunities. I enjoy acquiring new knowledge, and promoting change using best practices and new ideas from my oncology colleagues. I love the nursing profession and believe that every nurse is a leader at the bedside and in each of our individual workplace roles. Through collaboration in our workplace, professional organizations, and the community, we can all make an impact for the profession. If elected, I would be honored to serve on the ONS Board.

How have you advanced excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care? Advancing excellence in oncology nursing is a passion for me. As the former chair of the Nominating Committee, I had the opportunity to assist in leading the transition to the current Leadership Development Committee (LDC). The Nominating Committee worked diligently each year to select a wonderful ballot for the ONS leadership. However, the new LDC provides an opportunity to step forward with providing formal mentorship for our ONS colleagues, inspiring each nurse to become the next leader of the organization. I had the opportunity to participate in developing the ONS Governance course and revisions for the ONS Leadership Development course. The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care supports oncology nurses around the world. Serving as the Co-Chair of the Scientific Planning Committee provided me with the opportunity to provide education and best practices to nurses from more than 50 different countries. I have also been fortunate to participate in the leadership of several other national and international organizations which has affodred me the opportunity to learn from others and to lead the transformation for all nurses. I strongly believe that these opportunities will strengthen each individual, our professional organization and the nursing profession.

Provide a recent example of how you used innovation in your leadership experiences. To me, an innovative person is able to incorporate new ideas to create sustainable changes. As an oncology nurse for more than 30 years, I have always tried to be innovative. I am constantly reviewing the literature to identify best practices. I also surround myself with colleagues who are creative and think outside the box. I find that I have great ideas, but it sometimes takes a village to incorporate the strategies for change. I have a very collaborative relationship with several of my work colleagues who are oncology and clinical trials nurses. We created Introductory and Intermediate Genetics/Genomics courses and competencies for all of our colleagues at work to assist them to comprehend Genetics and Genomics. We use a variety of strategies to educate the nurses including, taste test strips, videos, interactive games, group exercises and automated response technologies. We are constantly reviewing the literature and our clinical trial protocols for new ideas and techniques in this expanding field. I am also a member of several professional organizations to stay abreast of the latest and greatest innovations in the field. Evaluations have been extremely positive and staff and research participants have a better understanding of our research endpoints.

Provide a recent example of how you used advocacy in your leadership experiences. In my position at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), NIH, I am the Director of Education and Patient Safety. I work very closely with the Clinical Director and the Nursing Supervisor to support the mission of NHLBI and NIH. I also collaborate with the Clinical Center (hospital) to assure that patient safety is the highest priority for our Research Participants (RP) on clinical trials. I advocate for the RPs every day with physicians and other departments. One of the most recent incidents involved a 7 year old critically transplant RP who had several separate incidents occurring over a two week period. The incidents occurred in different areas of the hospital and were reported through our safety reporting system. As part of my role, I investigate the incidents from an NHLBI perspective. I was very concerned about some of the incidents and served as an institute and participant advocate which prompted several meetings and changes in current practice resulting in positive outcomes for this and future RPs. I support all participants in clinical trials and the mission of NIH, but strongly believe that patient advocacy and safety is always first and foremost for all nurses.