International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) 2015 Just Around the Corner!

June 25th, 2015 in Conference Features

by Linda Krebs, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, United States. ISNCC Conference Management Committee Chair, ISNCC Finance and Audit Committee Member.

ISNCC is thrilled to hold the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) 2015 from July 8 – 11, 2015 at Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver, Canada!  The theme for ICCN 2015 is Cancer Nursing Research: Global Strategies and Implications for Evidence Based Practice.  The conference was planned in partnership with the Asian Oncology Nursing Society (AONS), European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS), Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) USA and ISNCC individual members.  ONS USA is our Regional Conference Partner and AONS, EONS, IPOS and MASCC are our International Conference Partners.

More conference information can be found here:

The ICCN 2015 program includes exciting preconference workshops; plenary, abstract, poster, and instructional sessions; networking opportunities, and corporate tutorials, symposia and focus groups.  The Keynote Address ‘Gender-Sensitive Approaches to Cancer Prevention:  Promising Directions for Promoting Health’ will be presented by Joan Bottorff (Canada).  Plenary Session speakers include: Sandra Mitchell (USA), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research in Cancer Care: Leveraging Insights Derived from Big Data; Barry Bultz (Canada), Screening, Assessment, and Management of Distress Among Cancer Patients; Wendy Lam (China), New Insights in Psychological Distress Experienced by Cancer Patients; Karin Olson (Canada), The Etiology and Management of Fatigue in Individuals with Cancer:  An Update; Theresa Wiseman (United Kingdom) and Sema Erdem (Turkey), Patient and Public Involvement in Cancer Research; Swapna Satish Joshi (India), Educational Preparation for Indian Nurses in Advancing Cancer Nursing Research: Opportunities and Challenges; and Kuei-Ru Chou (Taiwan), The Use of Randomized Controlled Trials in Advancing Cancer Care Research in Taiwan.

Over 400 abstracts were submitted for presentation at ICCN 2015.  All accepted abstracts will be published in Cancer Nursing, as an addendum to the July/August issue.  ISNCC is looking forward to this excellent publication and the ability to showcase the content of ICCN 2015!

Whether you are able to make ICCN 2015 in Vancouver or not, ISNCC hopes to see you at ICCN 2016, to be held September 4-8, 2016 at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers, Hong Kong, China.  ICCN 2016 is sure to be another successful conference!

Board in Action: Policy and Advocacy Committee

June 10th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Yael Ben Gal, Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Petach Tikvah, Israel. ISNCC Policy and Advocacy Committee Chair.

Writing my first blog as the chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee, I cannot ignore ongoing changes of the society, politics, economics, environment and health. These changes challenge oncology nurses to involve in cancer control in their daily work.

I would like to share with you about my personal story that happened in my workplace when I was a pediatric oncology palliative nurse there. Ron, a 3-year-old boy, was diagnosed with metastatic brain tumor. He was admitted to my hospital and no curative treatment was offered to him due to terminal stage of his disease. After the doctor broke the bad news to Ron’s family, I talked to his family about an alternative approach of treatment — palliative care — which is different from curative approach. Ron’s family was informed Ron is still moving towards end-of-life, but we’d work hand-in-hand together.  We started to create another reality that gives the meaning of life to Ron and his family. During the last 6 months of Ron’s life, he received palliative care which aimed to provide him with comfort and to help him find possible solutions for improving his nutritional status and symptom control (pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue and emotional distress).

From my personal story, I noticed a question nurses or other health professionals commonly ask when they encounter similar situations is about policy. I see my role of being an oncology nurse as important, as I am not only delivering day-to-day care, but also advocating for policy in my oncology nursing organization in Israel.

The Policy and Advocacy Committee is a new committee of ISNCC which aims to educate oncology nurses about health policy and cancer control, how to influence these policies, and how to advocate for change in their country.  The two areas —policy and advocacy — are vital and influential for the promotion of issues related to cancer control and the role of the oncology nurse.

The committee started from a small group and then expanded to a total of fourteen members, who are all an excellent nurse from all over the world.  Brenda Nevidjon (USA), Greta Cummings (Canada), Jane Marsh (Australia), Rebecca Doherty (Switzerland), Stella Bialous (USA), Margaret Fitch (USA), Georgie Cusack (USA), Cathy Glennon (USA),Anne-MarieDewar (AUSTRALIA), Jane Phillips (Australia), Eva Gallagher(USA), Farhan Abdul Rauf (Afghanistan), and Virginia LeBaron (USA).

You can click here to learn more about us.

We asked ourselves three questions to kick off:

  1. What is the role of cancer nurses in cancer control?
  2. What are the main concerns from a nurse’ perspective?
  3. How would ISNCC address these concerns?

We conducted a focus group at ICCN 2014 in Panama to discuss these three key questions focusing on policy and advocacy. We also made use of this platform to work collaboratively with nurse leaders to develop and implement policy for cancer control.

Topics used for discussion were: (1) Palliative Care (2) Pain management (3) Standards of care (4) Chemotherapy services (5) Educational requirement for oncology nurses (6) Timely access to oncology care (7) Access to appropriate drugs for cancer care (8) Work with nurse leaders from both high and low resource countries to identify strategies for policy development and implementation (9) Global cooperation of sharing knowledge and (10) Promotion of cancer prevention programs.

We prioritized palliative and supportive care as the first topic to start with. We are now in the process of developing a position statement on palliative and supportive care.

I and my team believe that our work is only the first step of a long and exciting road but we are going in the right direction.

ONS 40th Annual Congress

June 2nd, 2015 in Conference Features

by Julia Downing, African Palliative Care Association, Kampala, Uganda. ISNCC Corporate and Philanthropic Development Committee Member, ISNCC Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee Member.

It was early in the morning on Thursday 23rd April 2015, the jet lag had caught up with me and I had not had much sleep – however it was time to make my way over to the opening ceremony of the Oncology Nursing Society 40th Annual Congress. I was not sure that I would know many people and could not initially see any familiar faces, however I followed others who looked as if they knew where they were going, found the conference venue and registered. There were hundreds of people milling around, talking to each other, greeting friends they had not seen since the last conference, and the atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation. I found my way to the main plenary room, was greeted with a smile from ISNCC friends and found my seat. The conference had begun!!

As the opening ceremony begun it was clear to see what an important role the ONS has in cancer care in the USA and the respect that members have for each other. As the ONS council were introduced, cheers went up around the room, and then the international participants all paraded in waving their flags and cheering – I had not realised that this happened, else I would have been in that parade waving my Ugandan flag! Being the 40th ONS Annual Congress it was a special one and time was taken to look back at where ONS began, how it has developed and to pay respect to those involved along the way. It was then time to present the many different awards that the ONS were giving out to individuals playing a key role in oncology nursing, with the lifetime achievement award being given to

Deborah Mayer – a worthy recipient. The opening ceremony key note address was then given by Kevin Sowers on the topic of Transforming our Future – he looked back at what ONS has achieved but also looked forward anticipating where ONS needs to go and what we will be doing in the future. It was indeed an inspirational talk, and one that I hope will have encouraged many of the people there – however not only did he inspire us through his talking, but also through his singing!

Throughout the conference there were a wide range of sessions to attend, people to meet and networking opportunities. Whilst a lot of the sessions were rightly focused on the US, there were important messages and themes that could be applied to different settings, and it helped me to think more about my practice. As I looked around at the people attending, some of them who had attended many ONS conferences in the past, others for whom this was the first time – the first timers were eager to learn and get the most out of their experience and they reminded me of the first ever conference that I attended, back in the UK in Brighton over 20 years ago, when I can remember soaking in the atmosphere and being overawed by the speakers.

Whilst I attended many different sessions, the one that stood out for me was the presentation by Deborah Watkins Bruner who received the Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award – I was amazed to find the session was completely full and ended up sitting on the floor – but it was worth it – another inspiring session, and one that showed her passion, not only for research, but for oncology nursing and the development of the profession as a whole. She wanted us to understand alternative paths to career success as a nurse researcher and to look at how we measure success including research, funding, publications, leadership and the impact that we have – indeed many of us will not follow a ‘normal’ career pathway, and that would certainly be the case for myself, and she encouraged participants to think creatively about their careers and to focus on the things that they have a passion for – as it is through these that we will have the greatest passion.

So for me, it was a privilege to be able to attend the ONS 40th Annual Congress – to be there when they were celebrating the past but looking to the future was an honour, and I would like to thank ONS for inviting me, and for all the hard work that went into the congress – it really was a success, and a meeting which I hope has inspired many of the future leaders in oncology nursing in the US.

Julia Downing at ONS 40th Annual Congress.

Julia Downing at ONS 40th Annual Congress.

ICCN 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Save the date!