About Oncology Nursing Society

ONS is committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has created and cultivated a thriving community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, advanced oncology nursing research, and advocated for patient care, all to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.

About Oncology Nursing Society
Coronavirus Response and Business Continuity

Coronavirus Response and Business Continuity

The COVID-19 global pandemic changed so much for so many practically overnight, particularly for those in oncology care. ONS quickly went to work to develop resources as well as training and advocacy programs to help ease the challenges experienced by its nurse members.

The pandemic impacted how ONS provided some of its educational events. For the first time in its history, ONS canceled its in-person 45th Annual ONS Congress™ to protect the health and safety of its members and staff. That decision left an educational void, so the Society rapidly pivoted to reassess its 2020 priorities, which led to the launch of the Society’s first virtual conference, ONS Bridge™, and to the development of resources that oncology nurses desperately needed within the new healthcare landscape in which they found themselves.

In response to the pandemic, ONS created and released interim guidelines about shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as content-rich podcasts, webinars, and learning libraries. The Society also deepened its advocacy efforts. In March 2020, ONS CEO Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, joined a nursing delegation visiting the White House to advocate for nurses and discuss COVID-19, cancer, and PPE shortages.

ONS’s physical home was not exempt from the incredible new realities of 2020. ONS shifted immediately to a remote workforce in the spring, yet fortunately, investments in technology infrastructure for the better part of the last decade ensured the transition was highly successful.

ONS will continue to evaluate the impact of the fundamental changes caused by the pandemic, providing the resources and education that oncology nurses need to guide their practice.

Inclusivity at Oncology Nursing Society

Inclusivity at the Oncology Nursing Society

Oncology Nurses are as Diverse as the Communities They Serve.
We Support Them All.

At ONS, we achieve our mission by engaging and serving the oncology nursing community, a population composed of a wide variety of individuals who have many differences. As a membership organization, we are committed to respecting, accepting, and embracing the diversity of all our members, their employers, volunteers, employees, and other stakeholders. We empower everyone to succeed by promoting inclusive environments and equitable treatment through our chapters, events, resources, and workplaces.

The Year of the Nurse

In 2020, ONS celebrated the World Health Organization’s International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. As part of the celebration, ONS joined the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate Quickfire Challenge in Oncology that invited nurses from around the world to submit pioneering concepts aimed at improving oncology care, including prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for cancer survivors.

Two nurse innovators and ONS members, Micah Skeens, PhD, RN, CPNP, and Janet Van Cleave, PhD, were named awardees to the Quickfire Challenge. They shared a $100,000 grant and access to the JLABS Ecosystem, which they will use to help bring their concepts to reality.

Micah Skeens, PhD, RN, CPNP
Micah Skeens, PhD, RN, CPNP
Janet Van Cleave, PhD
Janet Van Cleave, PhD
Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

Certifications through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) help nurses stand out among their peers by exhibiting their excellence in oncology nursing practice. These nationally accredited certifications validate nurses’ specialty knowledge and enhance professional credibility, while signaling a dedication to the science and craft of nursing to their institutions, patients and their families.

Inclusivity at the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

Oncology Nurses are as Diverse as they are Knowledgeable. We Attest to That.

At ONCC, we achieve our mission by engaging and serving the nursing community, a population composed of a wide variety of individuals that have many differences. As a credentialing organization, we are committed to respecting, accepting, and embracing the diversity of all our candidates, certificants, and their employers; volunteers; vendor partners; employees; and our other stakeholders. We support individual success by supporting inclusive environments and unbiased treatment through our credentialing processes, events, recognition programs, and workplaces.

Stats at a glance:

Certifications in 2020
Certified Nurses

Breakdown by Title:


ONCC Awards and Grants

Roberta Scofield Memorial Certification Awards
Certified Nurse of the Year Awards
Employer Recognition Award
Chapter Grant

Like so many other corporations, ONCC was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and responded quickly to support candidates and certificants. ONCC achieved reaccreditation of all its examinations by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, signifying that ONCC programs meet nationally recognized standards for high-quality certification.

Because of the pandemic, in-person testing sites were closed, for several months making it difficult for nurses to obtain their desired certification. ONCC quickly responded by implementing key strategies:

  • Obtained essential program status when testing centers were temporarily closed because of state mandates; as a result, hundreds of displaced candidates could reschedule their testing appointments sooner when test centers reopened.
  • Extended the testing period from 90 days to up to 180 days for candidates affected by test center closures and waived transfer fees for those who could not reschedule in 2020.
  • Extended renewal and reinstatement deadlines to provide nurses with greater flexibility in maintaining their certification.

ONCC also launched digital badging for all eight of its certifications. These digital badges enable ONCC-certified nurses to conveniently share, display, and verify their certification achievements online, providing a visual representation of their dedication to their professional development and enhanced skill set.

Badges issued
Views of badges on social media platforms such as LinkedIn

Emeritus status was introduced in late 2020 so that, even after retiring from practice, ONCC-certified nurses can be recognized for their specialized knowledge and commitment to oncology nursing.

Nurses hold emeritus status

ONCC expanded consumer awareness of the value of certification in cancer care in an article that appeared in a supplement to USA Today in September 2020. “Ask for Oncology Certified Nurses” described the meaning of certification and how to know whether nurses are certified.

Distributed to more than
print and one million digital readers

In addition, ONCC conducted role delineation studies for the OCN®, BMTCN®, and CBCN® certifications. These studies used input from thousands of oncology nurses to identify the state of oncology nursing practice and help to establish the framework for future certification examinations.

Oncology Nursing Foundation

Oncology Nursing Foundation Highlights

Since 1981, the Oncology Nursing Foundation has provided more than $28 million in support of awards, grants, scholarships, and educational initiatives, investing in the idea that improved patient care and outcomes result from dedicated, well-trained, and fully appreciated oncology nurses.

Oncology Nurses Build Careers as Diverse as They Are. We Provide the Foundation.

At Oncology Nursing Foundation, we achieve our mission by supporting the oncology nursing community, a population composed of a wide variety of individuals who have many differences. As a philanthropic organization, we are committed to respecting, accepting, and embracing the diversity of all oncology nurses, their patients and employers, as well as our employees, and other stakeholders. By providing funding that supports our three mission pillars of education, research and leadership, we empower everyone to succeed by promoting inclusive environments and equitable treatment.

In 2020, the Oncology Nursing Foundation’s Board of Trustees increased funding for oncology nurse scientists to provide greater impact, awarding seven, two-year project grants that ranged from $100,000 to $150,000. Awarded research proposals addressed the following:

  • Symptom science in immunotherapy and targeted therapies
  • Implementation science
  • Cancer health disparities

The Oncology Nursing Foundation continued to provide funding for oncology nurses across its three mission pillars of education, research, and leadership.

  • $461,000 was awarded to support academic scholarships for 102 aspiring oncology nurses:
    • 28 BSN scholarships
    • 52 MSN scholarships
    • 16 DNP scholarships
    • 6 PhD scholarships
“Receiving the Oncology Nursing Foundation Doctoral Scholarship will provide me with the tools and opportunities needed to reach my goal of conducting, disseminating, practicing, and teaching best clinical practices in pediatric oncology. In order to do this, I need to conduct my own research and learn from research that other nurses and advanced practice nurses have done, specifically with the aim of improving quality of life for pediatric oncology patients.”

Jennifer Nance, RN, BSN, CPN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • The Oncology Nursing Foundation also awarded 11 leadership and career development awards:
    • 8 for bone marrow transplantation (BMT) career development
    • 3 for leadership development

From individual to corporate supporters, donors continue to make a difference in the lives of oncology nurses by providing generous gifts throughout the year. The Foundation is grateful for the ongoing support it received in 2020 from many, including:

  • Jean Moseley, MN, RN, now a member of the Oncology Nursing Foundation’s Legacy of Care Society, committed to providing master’s-level scholarships and ONS Congress stipends for future generations of oncology nurses through the Jean and Steve Moseley Fund.
  • The Gottheil family increased its giving to $12,000 for the Josh Gottheil Memorial Fund. Since 1995, the family and fund have supported the Josh Gottheil Memorial BMT Career Development Awards for more than 100 nurses caring for patients undergoing BMT.
  • The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation renewed its $26,000 annual support of the Foundation’s academic scholarship program, while also funding a $1,200 scholarship award for an emerging oncology nurse leader.
  • Incyte Corporation and Merck both made charitable contributions of $110,000 in support of the Oncology Nursing Foundation’s nursing research grants programs in cancer health disparities.
  • Bristol Myers Squibb awarded the Oncology Nursing Foundation $275,000 to fund cancer nursing research projects in symptom science addressing the adverse effects of immunotherapy and emerging therapies in patients with cancer and in cancer health disparities.
  • The Oncology Nursing Foundation’s Annual Parade of Chapters celebrated its 10th year and raised more than $47,000 from 67 ONS chapters. Answering the call to support oncology nurses during the Year of the Nurse, the Chicago Chapter of ONS, which also celebrated its 45th anniversary, made a $10,000 contribution and the North Carolina Triangle and Boston chapters of ONS each made a gift of $25,000.

In 2020, a total of 100 oncology nurses from various settings and locations volunteered their time to review scholarship applications, research grants, and career development awards.

Margaret Rosenzweig, PhD, CRNP-C, AOCNP®, FAAN

“Volunteering for the Oncology Nursing Foundation as a grant reviewer and for the research intensive is an uplifting experience. It is wonderful, particularly in this isolated COVID time, to see and interact with other oncology nurse researchers. The best part of my participation is the realization that oncology nursing research is well cared for. The next generation of oncology nurse researchers are smart, passionate, and committed to the care of patients, families, and communities with cancer.”

Margaret Rosenzweig, PhD, CRNP-C, AOCNP®, FAAN, mentor on the Foundation’s research-intensive faculty and chair for a research grant

The Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lectureship, supported by Pfizer Oncology, has been a popular lecture at ONS Congress™ for decades, inspiring its attendees every year. The lectureship continued to encourage and connect with its attendees in 2020 within a virtual format. Susan Childress, MN, RN, former director of nursing at Huntsman Cancer Center presented “Compassionate Care and Resiliency in Oncology Nursing” and emphasized the importance of self-care during stressful times.

For the first time, the Nurse Scientist Research Intensive was conducted virtually. Senior research scientist faculty provided mentorship to eight aspiring early-career nurse scientists in a mock study section and working sessions aimed at refining participants’ grant proposals.

13 ONS chapters participated in the second annual Giving Tuesday Chapter Challenge in December, raising more than $15,000 from chapter members and friends of the Foundation.

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