The Importance of Oncology Nursing in the 21st Century

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Professional Nursing Organizations are the various platforms which work at representing the needs and the interests that pertain to the nursing profession. Such organizations also ensure that the professional culture of the nursing profession is upheld, and also ensure the provision of quality care to the patients at all times. There are quite a number of nurses’ organizations and they continue to grow as the fields in the profession become wider. Some of those organizations that were founded very early include National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association and International Council of Nursing. The factor of time and major developments in medicine has led to the emergence of speciality nurse organizations. Examples of these speciality organizations include Oncology Nursing Society and Emergency Nursing Society (Halstead, 2017).

An Oncology nurse deals with cancer patients in all the levels in the hospital, that is, from the diagnosis stage, at the bone marrow transplant unit and as they become members of the community of the cancer patients. The main responsibility of an oncology nurse is to take care of cancer patients, to enlighten them about their current state. While enlightening them, the nurses must ensure that the patient gets to understand the treatment procedure, his/her state before and after the chemotherapy sessions, the intended side effects of the various types of treatments that the patient has been exposed to, and supporting the patient throughout the walk with cancer. Aside from that, the nurses ensure that the patients get the necessary tests run on them while also keeping track of their progress in good recording files (Halstead, 2017). An oncology nurse has the responsibility to assess and manage both the physical and emotional pain of the patient.

The Oncology Nursing Society is an organization that has advocated for the provision of proper care to the patients and provided essential materials to enlighten the patients on their conditions. The ONS is a great nursing society since it has been able to help various cancer patients walk through their journey with cancer, and has provided them with essential care while also ensuring that the patients' families are well taken care of. The organization has not only worked to help the cancer patients but also to spread awareness on the need for a healthy lifestyle. The ONS deals with one of the current dilemmas that man is facing in the 21st century, that is the emergence of lifestyle diseases. The process of creation of awareness among the cancer patients, through the patients’ lives, through those whose symptoms are identified early and also through the public could go a long way in reducing the cases of cancer, not only in America but also in other parts of the world.

The Oncology Nursing Society was formed in the year 1975 and it has been providing effective healthcare to the cancer patients and awareness to the non-cancer patients since then. The organization’s mission is to advance excellence in nursing oncology and quality cancer care. This statement is what outlines the primary purpose of the organization and seems to fuel the development of the strategic plan of the organization. The main aim of the ONS is to ensure the provision of excellence in all they do. All the oncology nurses need to give the best of their care to the various patients they meet in their daily practice. This amount of excellence is what translates to the development of high standards of practice which all nurses ought to have. In providing quality cancer care, the organization seeks to provide accurate results through thorough research which in return brings convincing data to the table. In so doing, the organization will be advancing the quality of cancer care, not only for the patients but also for the rest of the people.

The organization’s main vision is to lead in cancer care transformation. This vision goes hand in hand with the mission statement which intends to provide excellent care to the people affected by cancer. This is the word that guides the efforts of the oncologist nurses as they carry out their obligations towards their patients. The strategic objective is to lead in the transformation of cancer care and the only way they can possibly gauge this is by ensuring that their services towards to patients as they carry out their obligations are geared towards giving them the best that they can. The organization aims at fostering high levels of patient care and great impact on the outside world and this is why they only accept excellent nurses to join them. Their main goal is to be an excellent organization when it comes to care provision to the cancer patients and this can only be done if the nurses can put into practice broad perspectives gained from learning.

The society was incorporated in the year 1975 after the first National Cancer Nursing Research Conference. The organization is non-profit and only aims at making the standards of service to cancer patients better. The organization has by far grown with over 37,000 members, who consist of oncologist nurses, oncology researchers and other medical administrators. To add on to that, the organization has chapters and communities in various states. Due to the large number of oncologist nurses who want to make to make a change, the ONS came up with chapters in states and so far, they are about two hundred and thirty-one in number. The nurses from one particular state are all under one chapter albeit there are some chapters which serve more than one state (Itano & Miller,1990). The member communities are more of virtual platforms which enable the oncologist nurses to interact with their fellows who share similar interests as theirs. These communities enable them to consult with one another regarding issues related to cancer and also work together to improve the quality of service of the ONS at large.

The members of this organization receive various benefits which go a long way in enhancing their nursing profession. The organization offers additional course to the already qualified oncologist nurses and provides them with reference books t their own discretion. The young nurses who are still new to oncology are provided with foundational education which goes a long way in equipping them with substantial knowledge for their profession. The participants in the ONS are also able to spread the expertise across to other continents for instance, the Middle East, Latin America and Russian countries. By spreading the knowledge, the nurses are able to also learn since they get to network and build connections with different practitioners who might be knowledgeable in various aspects. In addition to that, the nurses who are already practicing in other cancer facilities get a chance to volunteer in the organization and to impact the lives of the cancer patients positively.

The ONS has a group of able leaders who represent their interests and also help the foundation run efficiently. These leaders are elected basing on their service to the organization and engagement with the affairs of the organization. The leaders include a president, a board of directors and a Chief Executive Officer. The leaders are elected to serve for a given period of time as they achieve the goals that have been laid down every six months. The current president of the ONS is Susan M. Schneider, she works with a team of nine members who form the board of directors, and with Brenda Nevidjan who is the current CEO. This whole team is full of people who are qualified and have a passion for bringing out excellence in the care of the cancer patients and creating awareness to the world at large. For better efficiency, the elections are usually supervised by a leadership development committee. The committee is responsible for ensuring that the able leaders are taken to the ballot and that the elections are free and fair. 

The Oncology Society is affiliated with various organizations which share the same goals and aspirations as theirs, these include, American College of Surgeons (ACOS), Canadian Oncologist Nursing Organization and the Middle East Cancer Consortium, just to mention but a few. In addition to that, the organization is also a member of other organizations such as Alliance for Nursing Informatics and C-Change. The organization also has various initiatives that help it create more awareness on the issue of cancer, to the patients and to people who have an interest of helping the foundation achieve the dream of providing better healthcare for cancer patients. These initiatives include Healthcare Quality Week which gives the oncologist nurses a chance to expound on their professional services and to speak to various people in order to gauge the areas that need improvement. There is also the People to People Ambassador Program which enables the oncologists to visit various countries and help the cancer patients there, while also learning new skills and imparting knowledge.

ONS works towards improving quality of cancer care, to improve symptom management and to make better the welfare of the oncologist nurses. There are certain policies under which the organization runs, some of them include, the need for proper education and certification from a good nursing school as an oncologist nurse, there must also be proper care when it comes to the patient satisfaction. The nurses owe all their patients a proper duty of care and in doing so, they should uphold high levels of ethics and respect the human rights of the given patients. To add to that, the nurses can only receive their information from specific sources and only these shall affect their nurses. Some of these public health resources include Food and Drug Administration (Itano et al., 2015). This is because this particular organ dictates the right types of food to administer to different kinds of patients and also the dosages that are most recommended for various cases. Another public health resource is National Cancer Institute which does extensive research on matters relating to cancer and disseminates information while ensuring that the cancer patients get the best care and the public at large is made aware of cancer.

There are also various health policy coalitions that the ONS has which help them deliver quality health services to those who need them and also create awareness to the public on various prevention measures of cancer. These policy measures include Campaign for Tobacco for Kids which creates awareness on the smoking of tobacco and its effects. The ONS ensures that there are fewer cases of tobacco smoking hence prevention of more victims who suffer from the negative effects of the habit. Another policy is also that of Coalition for Patients’ Rights and this ensures that the patients receive the best services from the doctors and that they are accorded proper care while receiving treatment. It also ensures that the oncologist nurses are up to the task to deliver their best to the patients and the public at large, therefore, improving the efficiency of care for the cancer patients (Itano et al., 2015).

Oncology Qualified Clinical Data Registry meets the standards required by the authoritative body for cancer treatment. This implies that the organization shows much potential in the delivery of its services to the patients. Reports show that the population of cancer survivors is greatly increasing in the US and most of this is attributed to the ONS since it puts to use what is known as evidence-based information and guidelines. There might be a few red flags for the cancer patients who have survived through their conditions but it is commendable that the organization has done a lot in improving healthcare provided to cancer patients in the US.


Halstead, J. A. (2017). Professional nursing organizations. Issues and trends in nursing:                                    Practice, policy, and leadership, 107-118.

Itano, J. K., Brant, J., Conde, F., & Saria, M. (2015). Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing-E-      Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Itano, J., & Miller, C. A. (1990). Learning needs of Oncology Nursing Society members.        In Oncology nursing forum (Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 697-703).

Jacobson, J. O., Polovich, M., Gilmore, T. R., Schulmeister, L., Esper, P., LeFebvre, K. B., &   Neuss, M. N. (2011). Revisions to the 2009 American Society of Clinical             Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society chemotherapy administration safety standards:        Expanding the scope to include inpatient settings. Journal of oncology practice, 8(1), 2-6.

October 13, 2023

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