Beginning this year, the Oncology Nursing Society has consolidated its Annual Congress and the “Connections: Advancing Care Through Science” conference into one national meeting. Through 2014 and 2015, ONS will transition the current Congress format to cover programming for all levels of oncology nurses (from novice to expert) on advanced specialty practice, management, education, and research.
The changes are being enacted to focus on better engaging all ONS members, and foster more collaboration, a news release noted.
“The Board's vision is for ONS to hold one annual meeting that will feature interactive educational experiences, peer-to-peer learning, networking opportunities, and a Learning Hall that serves as an attendee hub,” ONS President, Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN, FAAN, explained in an email message. There will be some changes in 2014, including a new look and feel for the conference itself. We'll then build on these enhancements for 2015 before premiering our new national conference experience in 2016.”
Some activities and features will be moved into the Learning Hall for this year's meeting, including the ONS store, the volunteer lounge, and a redesigned ONS booth (which will continue to host clinical chats after being well-attended last year when those programs launched).
The layout of the poster session is also being updated—posters will be displayed in “pods” rather than rows, which is intended to make the experience more interactive. And Special Interest Group posters will be incorporated into the main poster area to raise their visibility.
Finally, the awards and workshops that had been part of the “Connections” meeting will now be added to the Congress schedule, along with other advanced-content and research podium sessions.
“Historically, ONS has offered annual national conferences twice a year,” ONS Chief Executive Officer Paula Rieger, MSN, RN, CAE, FAAN, said via email.
“While both conferences have been successful, ONS was lacking one event that would bring together all oncology nurses, from novice to expert, in general and advanced specialty practice, management, education, and research.”
This year's Congress will be held May 1 to 4 in Anaheim, Calif. A “Preconference” session will be held the day before, which will includes hands-on skills workshops as well as lectures—all of which attendees can earn Continuing Nursing Education contact hours for participating in.
The full meeting schedule is now available online at congress.ons.org/education/schedule.