ONS Congress Showcases Practical Tools and Peer-to-Peer Insights


The 39th Annual ONS Congress opens in Anaheim May 1 with an array of presentations and interactive programs aimed at offering attendees practical tips and tools they can use right away in their practices.

Carol Cannon, RN, BSN, OCN

The 39th Annual ONS Congress opens in Anaheim May 1 with an array of presentations and interactive programs aimed at offering attendees practical tips and tools they can use right away in their practices.

“Nurses will be able to take the lessons they learn from the sessions and apply them back at their organizations,” said Carol Cannon, RN, BSN, OCN, a member of the 2014 ONS Congress planning team and a blogger for ONS. She added that the meeting’s practical focus stems from the feedback planners received from evaluations by attendees of last year’s event.

“Another huge value of the conference for me is the camaraderie with the other oncology nurses,” said Cannon, the oncology program specialist at the Nurse Oncology Education Program, a nonprofit organization under the Texas Nurses Association/Foundation. She added that she is always recharged by the energetic and inspiring opening ceremonies which have become a trademark of each year’s Congress. “It’s like getting a much-needed massage.” Another highlight for Cannon is the keynote speaker, who this year is three-time Olympian Devon Harris. He will be addressing attendees on cultivating personal leadership skills and developing a shared sense of purpose in their organizations.

Oncology nurses also have expressed a lot of interest in receiving more information about integrative medicine, Cannon noted, and there are sessions focused on how holistic nursing modalities can be merged into everyday practice and on understanding the uses and benefits of complementary therapy for patients with cancer

One of the new initiatives debuting at this year’s Congress is “Get Up, Get Moving.” Cannon explained that this program is part of a larger campaign ONS will be launching this fall with educational activities on the important role that physical activity plays in improving patient outcomes in such areas as psychosocial distress, fatigue, and lymphedema.

The campaign is being previewed with a clinical chat led by Katrina L. Fetter, BSN, RN, OCN, at the ONS Booth . Fetter is discussing the evidence supporting physical activity and how the campaign will help nurses to make safe and effective recommendations to cancer patients and survivors.

The “Get Up, Get Moving” campaign is threaded throughout activities at this year’s Congress, including a pedometer challenge and exercise demos offered by a personal trainer in the Exhibit Hall. The trainer is using case-based scenarios to demonstrate how specific patients can be physically active to improve their overall health and quality of life.

Symptom assessment and management are at the heart of oncology nursing practice, and among the Congress highlights this year is, “Are We There Yet? Symptom Management in Oncology Nursing,” the Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award lecture by this year’s recipient, Susan C. McMillan, PhD, ARNP, FAAN.

McMillan, the Lyall and Beatrice Thompson Professor of Oncology Quality of Life Nursing at the University of South Florida in Tampa, is presenting results of key symptom assessment and management studies, with a focus on pain and other symptoms that are the most prevalent, intense, and distressing in the oncology setting.

This year’s Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lecture is being given by Susan Leigh, BSN, RN. A Breast Cancer Survivorship Navigator with Arizona Oncology in Tucson and repeat cancer survivor, Leigh is discussing the challenges of long-term cancer survivors and key components of survivorship care planning.

The seven-member 2014 ONS Congress planning team, led by NonnieKaye Shelburne, CRNP, MS, AOCN, program director of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, worked closely with ONS staff in shaping the agenda for the conference.

The 2014 Congress, the largest annual gathering of oncology nursing professionals in the United States, continues at the Anaheim Convention Center through Sunday, May 4.


View more from the 2014 ONS Annual Congress

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