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From the Editor

Annual Rite of Spring

Ellen Carr
CJON 2018, 22(2), 129 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.129

Some consider spring the preparation for summer, a dress rehearsal for the primary season of high expectations to recharge. But spring for oncology nurses means coming together at the annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress.

Some consider spring the start of a much-heralded and welcoming thaw from an isolating winter. Some consider spring the preparation for summer, a dress rehearsal for the primary season of high expectations to recharge. But spring for oncology nurses—prompted by a winter of abundant Congress flyers and announcements—means coming together at the annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress. Congress prompts anticipation and then delivers with a fervor, providing opportunities to step up our professional game.

I have been fortunate to be an enthusiastic Congress attendee for many years, thanks to strategy and financial support. I see Congress as a special time for ideas to take hold, blossom, and spread, often in unexpected ways. This year’s engaging Congress is the 43rd in the history of ONS and will take place in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC, from May 17–20, with about 4,000 attendees coming together to find inspiration.

However, as with any professional conference, colleagues who cannot attend Congress are in the majority; this is often related to the cost of attendance (Cook et al., 2011; Olen, 2016). Fortunately, Congress ideas generated from energetic sessions and omnipresent networking can still influence your practice back home. If you are one of many who cannot attend Congress this year, here are a few ways to get that spring lift, compliments of the dedicated Congress planning team and ONS staff.

•  If you know a colleague who plans to attend Congress this year, take a look at the Congress website ( before that colleague leaves for Washington, DC. Then, with a heads-up from you, your colleague can attend sessions you have tagged and bring back highlights and insights, and perhaps even have a conversation with session presenters on your behalf.

•  According to chairperson Lenise Taylor, MN, RN, AOCNS®, BMTCN®, representing the Congress 2018 planning team, live streaming will be offered so you can attend many Congress sessions remotely, including all clinical practice and advanced practice sessions ( Highlights of the clinical practice track include learning more about disseminated intravascular coagulation and viewing a grand rounds session about designing and managing multimodality treatment plans. In the advanced practice track, hear about progress being made in comprehensive genomic testing and learn about alternatives to opioids for pain control.

•  Take time to preview the 2018 Congress abstracts (poster abstracts:; podium abstracts: The poster and podium abstracts indicate the latest in how colleagues are refining clinical practice. The abstracts are a gold mine of information, anchored by innovative strategies that can change practice.

•  As an extension to streaming Congress sessions, some selected sessions will be archived and available to view in early fall 2018. In addition, some will be the focus of regional conferences later in the year. Check out the ONS website for details about those conferences, which will spur plans for the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, California, in April 2019.

Congress is a special time for oncology nurses, and I highly recommend attending. However, if you cannot attend, use some of the strategies presented in this article. From the vantage and advantage of your office or home easy chair, you will join your oncology nursing colleagues experiencing this special oncology nursing rite of spring.

About the Author(s)

Ellen Carr, RN, MSN, AOCN®, is a clinical educator in the Multispecialty Clinic at the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center. The author takes full responsibility for the content of the article. No financial relationships relevant to the content of this article have been disclosed by the editorial staff. Carr can be reached at



Cook, D., Hatala, R., Brydges, R., Zendejas, B., Szostek, J., Wang, A., . . . Hamstra, S. (2011). Technology-enhanced simulation for health professions education: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 306, 978–988.

Olen, H. (2016). Finding a golden ticket: Attending conferences can help your business soar—or drain your bank account. Inc. Retrieved from