ons connect logo

ons connect

ONS Connect Blog

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has announced an upcoming free webinar, “Understanding the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and Other National Strategies,” for September 22, 2016. This free educational session will outline the changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) opioid prescription guidelines. This webinar comes at a time when healthcare professionals are looking to address the burgeoning opioid epidemic in the United States.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) recently published three webinar courses that provide free CE to RNs, APRNs, and psychiatric-mental health nurses. The courses focus on the opioid epidemic that has taken hold in the United States. These courses aim to answer the question, “What can nurses do?” ONS was asked to review the series and provide feedback on content and applicability to practice.
From the day you began your career as an oncology nurse, it is quite likely that two main principles were ingrained into every aspect of your training and practice: infection prevention for our very susceptible patient population and using safe handling to reduce the risk of exposure to chemotherapy and other hazardous agents.
There is no doubt in the mind of oncology nurses that infection prevention is paramount to providing safe, quality cancer care. Neutropenic precautions have long been integrated into the plan of care for patients whose immune system are compromised due to cancer or cancer treatment.
In 1965, the monthly cost of cancer care was $100. By 2013, that number had risen to nearly $10,000. The skyrocketing cost of cancer drugs has, in part, played a major role in limiting access to care for patients with cancer. But money isn’t the only barrier: Location of treatment centers, lack of transportation, socioeconomic challenges, along with myriad cultural differences can play into the ways patients do—or don’t—access care.
Sequencing of cancer treatment regimens is based on multiple factors, including the pharmacokinetic properties of the agents in the regimen and their effectiveness based on cell-cycle specificity. Because of potential interactions and effects, some regimens have critically important administration sequencing.
Congress is full of opportunities to learn, explore new advancements in oncology, listen to experts in the field, and meet with numerous like-minded colleagues from across the country. For some oncology nurses, Congress is a place to teach as well. This was the case with ONS member Yvette Rosa, BS, OCN®, of St. Anne’s Regional Cancer Center Fall River, MA, when her group’s abstract submission was selected to become a podium presentation. In the blink of an eye, Rosa found herself and her group members preparing to take the stage.
The deck frequently seems stacked against oncology nurses who are striving to avoid central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Consider the potential for immunosuppression, the need for prolonged central access, and the potential for poor nutritional status among our patient population, and it can seem nearly impossible to be CLABSI-free.
I was elated when I received an invitation to attend the Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, DC, on June 29, 2016. I was pleased with the fact that nurses were viewed as real stakeholders in this initiative. After all, we are the ones who are closest to the patients and understand what they need. We understand what stumbling blocks they encounter throughout their cancer journey and how it changes their and their families’ lives.
One of the most common questions we receive in the ONS National’s clinical email box,, is from people wanting to know how to become an oncology nurse. While each nurse’s career path is different, there are some frequent ways nurses enter our specialty.


Subscribe to RSS - ONS Connect Blog