Position Statements

We take a stand on the healthcare issues that affect oncology nurses. Each of our position statements is spurred by member interest and developed by a diverse, unbiased committee of experts, including the ONS Board of Directors. We don’t seek or accept commercial support for writing, printing, and/or disseminating these positions.

Health Care Policy and Consumer Advocacy

  • Access to Quality Cancer Care

    Addresses the provision of comprehensive, affordable, and accessible care to everyone—regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity—and especially for at-risk and underserved populations

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  • Use of E-Cigarettes and Vaping

    Urges nurses to educate the public, particularly parents and children, about the adverse effects of e-cigarettes and vaping. 

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  • ISNCC Tobacco Position Statement

    Supports the active role that nurses play in reducing tobacco use and protecting all patient populations against its harmful effects

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Nursing Practice

  • Fertility Preservation in Individuals with Cancer

    A joint position statement from the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, and the Oncology Nursing Society.

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  • Cancer Nursing’s Potential to Reduce the Growing Burden of Cancer Across the World

    This is a joint position statement from Oncology Nursing Society with four other nursing organizations—the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, Asian Oncology Nursing Society, and European Oncology Nursing Society.

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  • Infusion of Antineoplastic Therapies in the Home

    The principles of antineoplastic administration require additional training and specialized knowledge, which apply in the home setting as well as healthcare facilities.

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  • Cancer Pain Management

    Outlines expectations for clinicians and institutions in the care of patients experiencing pain from cancer or its treatment

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  • Ensuring Healthcare Worker Safety When Handling Hazardous Drugs

    This is a joint position statement from the Oncology Nursing Society and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

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  • Palliative Care for People With Cancer

    Differentiates between palliative care and hospice care, defining palliative care as a service provided at the time of diagnosis and continuing through bereavement

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  • Role of the Oncology Nurse Navigator Throughout the Cancer Trajectory

    Defines the role of the oncology nurse navigator to facilitate informed decision making and timely access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout the cancer continuum

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  • Rehabilitation of People with Cancer

    Outlines best practices for cancer rehabilitation and puts forth that cancer rehabilitation care is a right for all people with cancer.

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  • Staffing of Ambulatory Treatment Centers

    Appropriate nurse staffing levels contribute to the delivery of safe quality care and optimal patient outcomes.

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  • Principles For Nurse Staffing

    The 2019 American Nurses Association Principles for Nurse Staffing, Third Edition, identifies major elements needed to achieve appropriate nurse staffing, which enhances the delivery of safe, quality health care. 

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  • The Oncology Nursing Specialty

    The oncology nursing specialty seeks to reduce the risks, incidence, and burden of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyles, promoting early detection, improving the management of cancer symptoms and side effects throughout the disease trajectory, and leading the coordination of complex care needs.

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  • Oncology and Cancer Nursing Care for Older Adults with Cancer and Their Caregivers

    This joint position statement from the International Society of Geriatric Oncology Nursing, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, and the European Oncology Nursing Society has been endorsed by the Oncology Nursing Society.

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Education, Certification, and Role Delineation

  • Education of the Registered Nurse Who Administers and Cares for the Individual Receiving Antineoplastic Therapies

    Outlines the types of evidence-based content that RNs who are administering chemotherapy and biotherapy should receive, during both introductory and annual competency programs 

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  • Oncology Certification for Nurses

    Expresses strong support for oncology nursing certification and for the rigorous credentialing offered by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation 

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Ethics and Human Rights

  • Guidelines for the Role of the Registered Nurse and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse When Hastened Death is Requested

    People living with advanced illnesses who want to hasten death or avoid prolongation of dying have various options available to them.

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  • The Nurse’s Role When a Patient Requests Medical Aid in Dying

    The purpose of this position statement is to provide guidance on ethical decision-making in response to a patient’s request for medical aid in dying. This statement offers assistance with understanding nurses’ ethical obligations in the context of this end-of-life option, which is legal in an increasing number of U.S. jurisdictions.

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These position statements may be reprinted without expressed written permission from ONS providing that the original source is credited appropriately. For additional information, contact pubpermissions@ons.org.