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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.
ONS has committed to creating and fostering a culture of safety in oncology nursing, and we know our members are doing amazing work to keep themselves and their patients safe in practices throughout the country. Now, we want to hear your stories.
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.

Do you know a fellow ONS member who deserves recognition for his or her outstanding work and dedication? Perhaps you know a nurse who continuously goes above and beyond, or an employer who takes care of its employees. ONS recognizes oncology nurses, researchers, and employees each year who go above and beyond the call of duty. These awards celebrate individuals and teams in a variety of specialties. Learn more about each award and how it may apply to you, your institution, or someone you know.

Zika disease (ZIKV) is a viral infection spread to humans primarily through the Aedes species of mosquito. ZIKV can also be passed through sexual conduct and vertical transmission from mother to fetus during pregnancy. In February 2016, the World Health Organization declared the spread of ZIKV to be a public health emergency, citing clusters of neurologic-related conditions and birth defects corresponding with geographical outbreaks of the illness.


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