This past weekend, thousands of oncology nurses gathered in New Orleans for the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 37th Annual Congress. Nurses from across the country traveled to “The Big Easy” to network and share valuable clinical insights. Here is a recap of our coverage:Oncology Nursing Society Elects New President
At this year’s conference, Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN, associate chief nursing officer at Emory Healthcare’s Crawford Long Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, officially took over as the new ONS president. Gullatte spoke with us just before the conference to talk about the importance of addressing challenges in the workplace—from a potential oncology nursing shortage to finding ways to improve infrastructure—and determining how to address the potential challenges of the future before they have a chance to become problematic.Oncology Nurses Need to Enhance Their Genetics and Genomics Competency
While genetics and genomics have become an important part of understanding the development and progression of cancer, research has shown that many nurses have a limited knowledge of this field. Georgie Cusack, MS, RN, AOCNS®, and Jean Jenkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the National Institutes of Health, discussed the resources that nurses can take advantage of to bring them up to speed in their respective practices.Talking to Prostate Cancer Patients About Sipuleucel-T: Nurses Assure Smooth Sailing During Treatment
Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) has caused excitement after promising studies showed improved survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Allison Tyler, RN, BSN, OCN, CCRP, clinical research nurse at the Cleveland Clinic, discussed how nurses play a vital role in providing patients with the education and care associated with this revolutionary new treatment option.Oncology Nurses Can Help Mitigate Treatment-Related Side Effects in Head & Neck Cancers
Patients treated for head and neck cancer often experience a number of side effects that can impact a patient’s well-being during and after treatment. Jean Holland, MSN, RN, AOCN, Clinical Nurse of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, discussed how nurses can monitor these patients and help manage these troubling side effects.Treating Patients Enrolled in Clinical Trials
Oncology nurses in clinical practice settings are increasingly expected to be able to handle the needs of patients enrolled in clinical trials. Denise Friesema, MS, RN, OCN, University of Chicago Medical Center, Illinois, discussed the importance of documentation, following protocol, and monitoring progress during these trials.Identifying Appropriate Patients for HER2-Targeted Therapies
HER2-targeted therapies are promising agents for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, a form of the disease often associated with poorer outcomes. Kristine Abueg, RN, MSN, OCN®, Kaiser Permanente, Roseville, California, discussed testing for HER2 and the criteria associated with eligibility for HER2 targeted therapies.ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Safety Standards Updated to Include All Delivery Settings
While the majority of patients receiving chemotherapy are adult outpatients, this does not necessarily reflect all patients receiving chemotherapy. Martha Polovich, PhD, RN, AOCN, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Duke Oncology Network, Durham, North Carolina, discussed the updated ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Safety Standards, which now reflect the proper method of delivering chemotherapy to patients in all delivery settings.