Global Initiatives

The World Health Organization predicts that more than 70% of the world’s total new annual cases of cancer will occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, which illustrates the need for ONS members to get involved globally.

ONS Global Strategy

ONS Global Vision: To lead the transformation of cancer care 

ONS Global Mission: To advance oncology nursing excellence around the globe, by collaborating with oncology stakeholders, engaging ONS Members, and deploying ONS Resources. 

ONS Global Strategy 

By combining member expertise, organizational experience and evidence-based educational resources, ONS has the unique ability to help nurses build the capacity to influence change in their own regions and to improve cancer care through professional development. 

ONS’s global efforts are driven by clearly identified needs in areas of the world where we have:

  1. The opportunity to make an impact
  2. The capability to provide the necessary resources and logistical support to succeed
  3. Partners that have regional knowledge and expertise.

Global Volunteering Opportunities

Interested in volunteering? 

Check ONS volunteering opportunities or share your knowledge by joining Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO). As an ONS partner organization, HVO focuses on sustainable development in global health. It is dedicated to improving the availability and quality of health care through the education, training, and professional development of the health workforce in resource-scarce countries. 

Want to hear more about volunteering globally? Download this podcast, Episode 35: Getting Involved in Global Oncology Nursing.

ONS Global Activities
Global Activities Through ONS


ONS is grateful for the members that volunteered their time and expertise to organize 44 educational programs in 27 countries in the last three years. 

I am so grateful that I had this opportunity last year and I would like to share these thoughts with you.  I was inspired to finally take the leap into continuing my education, and started my Master’s Degree in January!  I am more motivated to complete and seek continuing education opportunities and attend conferences, and further involve myself in the community in addition to my previous involvement.

I am also so glad for the valuable friendships that I was able to make through this experience.  Paz is traveling to Pennsylvania for the PeP ONS meeting in Pittsburgh and we are arranging to meet during her time in PA to spend some time together.  Also, an RN Manager Cynthia from Oncosalud in Lima Peru is traveling to Pennsylvania as part of her rotation for her Master’s Degree program and is surprisingly coming to a local University in my region, with a hospital visit to the institution where I work, so we are planning to meet up and I will also arrange for a visit to the Cancer Center to meet members from my team.

It really changed my outlook on the power of nursing and the impact locally, nationally, and globally.  Many thanks for the opportunity and I hope to be able to do this again!

-Raiza R, ONS Speaker at Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Course in Lima, Peru 2018



Global Partners

ONS has an official Memorandum of Understanding and partnerships with several international organizations, expanding our reach as we work to improve care for patients with cancer. 


Share Your Stories

If you have an international volunteering story to share, please contact  

Lilongwe, Malawi, 2019 

“Building the nurse’s clinical capacity by integrating content about cancer care into their nursing curriculum—which they don’t currently have—is vital. These nurses are hungry for that information. They’re aware of the global cancer burden, but they lack the oncology experts and resources to allow them to teach that content to students. Furthermore, we found common misconceptions about cancer care, like it’s only about treatment, side effects, and those who are dying.” 

- Ashley Leak Bryant, PhD, RN-BC, OCN® 

Read Ashley's full story » 


Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2018 

"During our time, we found that oncology nurses in Brazil face unique challenges. Brazil has a public healthcare system where resources are scarce, yet nurses find ways to provide the best care possible. There’s also a private healthcare system of independent institutions that have state-of-the-art facilities. However, those resources aren’t available to everyone. 

Oncology nurses from both systems are finding their voices and roles in advocating for patient care and developing new methods for meeting patient needs. For example, one Brazilian oncology nurse described her desire to provide better care to women who have no options left for active treatment. She wants to better support patients and their families during the transition from active treatment. Oncology nurses in Brazil are also exploring new nursing roles such as care coordinator and patient navigator to see how they fit into the context of care in their country."

- Julie Ponto, PhD, APRN, CNS, AGCNS-BC, AOCNS® 

Read Julie's full story » 


Baku, Azerbaijan, 2018 

"We were happy to see so many disciplines represented, and have nursing recognized and involved in this event. There are more similarities than differences in our respective practices. Even though in many instances we do not speak the same language, similarities in the way we care for our patients were readily communicated. We are hopeful that nursing is included in future interdisciplinary presentations in Azerbaijan, and that ONS will have ongoing opportunities to collaborate on exchanging information and experiences with the nurses there.” 

- Jeanie Rosiak, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®, CBCN 

Read Jeanie’s trip summary » 


Lima, Peru, 2018 

" This experience gave me plenty to learn from in my own work as an oncology nurse. I’m grateful for the opportunity, both professionally and personally, to have had the chance to visit Peru, develop sessions for our nurse colleagues, and work to improve cancer care for patients around the world."

- Paz Fernández Ortega, PhD, MSc, RN, BPsych 

Read Paz's story » 


Manila, Philippines, 2018 

" It was apparent that the section of the building where we were presenting was historic in appearance. The facility was bustling with staff, patients, and families. We were told that access to care often begins in the early morning hours with patients and families queuing up at 3 am for a clinical slot."

- Susan Weiss Behrend, RN, MSN, AOCN® 

Read Susan's story » 

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.  

There are numerous ways you can help with this initiative. 

  • Follow the official World Cancer Day Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

  • Add your event, activity or World Cancer Day activity to their Interactive Map of Impact

  • Your chapter or institution can host a screening of LIFE Before Death, an intimate, hopeful and life-affirming story of living well and dying better, advocating for making the most of every moment in our life before death. 

  • Sign the World Cancer Declaration as an ONS member. 

  • Volunteer to translate World Cancer Day resources. Materials are currently available in English, French, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Send an email to if you would like to translate materials into other languages.