Roswell Park Nursing Teams Present New Research at Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress

  • More than 10 Roswell Park teams took part in Oncology Nursing Society meeting
  • Several Roswell Park nurses gave presentations about their research
  • Topics ranged from job satisfaction to the role of community liaisons

BUFFALO, N.Y. — More than 10 nursing teams from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center were invited to present their research at the 42nd Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) May 4–7, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.

“This prestigious meeting is an opportunity for Roswell Park nurses to showcase their research and their insights on everything from clinical oncology care to nurse retention,” says Shirley Johnson, MBA, MS, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services at Roswell Park. “Our nurses are highly accomplished in research as well as clinical care, and it’s nice to see those threads come together at this important gathering of oncology nurses.”

Among those nurse teams that presented research at the ONS Annual Congress are the three groups whose projects are outlined below.

Anna Foster, BSN, RN, OCN, presenting research on a tool to predict risk for pressure injuries at ONS 2017.

For their presentation “Developing a Predictive Risk Tool for Delineating Hospital Acquired Pressure Injuries (HAPI) at End of Life and Further Defining the Unavoidable HAPI” (abstract 22.3), Anna Foster, RN, BSN, OCN, and Jennifer Lindemann, MS, RN, of the Department of Nursing at Roswell Park investigated risk factors associated with the development of hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) at the end of life with the goal of creating a predictive risk tool. Working in collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Pressure Ulcer Prevention Team at Roswell Park, they collected and analyzed data from 37 patients treated over 19 months. Deep-tissue injury was the most frequent condition they observed, with 54% of the HAPIs occurring in the buttock/sacrum area. Leukemia, lymphoma and diseases treated by blood and marrow transplant (BMT) were the most common diagnoses. The most prevalent risk factors the team observed were respiratory failure and low levels of albumin in the blood. The authors concluded that additional research is needed to clarify which factors correlate with unavoidable HAPI.

Toulon O’Connor, RN, AAS, of the Department of Ambulatory Services at Roswell Park, is first author of “Weathering the Storm: Efforts to Increase Nurse Job Satisfaction, Retention, and Patient Care During Turbulent Times” (abstract 7.5). This study reports the efforts of a unit-based council to address job satisfaction concerns and facilitate problem-solving in an ambulatory clinic. By implementing such changes as increases in nurse staffing, introducing a new template for monitoring patient-to-staff ratios and initiating shift selection by nurses to support work/life balance, the unit council successfully improved both staff and patient satisfaction. The analysis also documented that unit nurses had more time available to spend with patients, greater availability for breaks and increased influence over their scheduling and assignments as a result of these changes.

“Keeping Patients Connected: The Role of the Community Liaison” (abstract 9.5) explores the benefits of appointing a community liaison nurse practitioner and/or registered nurse to address the challenges faced by providers and patients when patients are admitted to a community hospital for both cancer-related and non-cancer-related health issues. For this research project, Katie Wigdorski, MSN, FNP, RN, Community Liaison Nurse Practitioner, and Lisa Garvey, MSN, RN, OCN, Community Liaison Nurse, highlighted ways their unique positions have helped them to improve communication and facilitate continuity of care for those patients. In addition to providing care within the outside hospitals, the team facilitates interfacility transfers to Roswell Park as appropriate. The team reports that this pairing of a nurse practitioner who has provider privileges at many community hospitals with a registered nurse who serves as a bridge between the care providers, patients and families has supported multidisciplinary care, expedited interfacility transfers and provided peace of mind to those patients admitted to outside hospitals and to their family members.

“May is Oncology Nursing Month, and this week, May 6–12, is National Nurses Week, so this is a busy but also special time of year for our team,” adds Johnson. “We’re going to be celebrating with an awards presentation, nacho bars just for our nursing staff and a number of other themed activities and offerings.”


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-Roswell Park (1-866-559-4838) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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