Assignment: Changing Workforce Demographics
development of resources, partnerships, and products to meet the clinical needs of ONPs in cancer care settings. Recommendations by the participants will direct the development of resources and policies to address the identified needs of ONPs.
Advocacy ONPs are key to improving the quality of care for patients with cancer through advocacy, both within their institutions and in legislative offices at the state and national levels. ONS’s Center for Advocacy and Health Policy held a policy summit (Policy Barriers and Opportunities to NPs in Oncology) in April 2018, in Washington, DC. The summit brought together more than 50 healthcare experts, ONPs, advocates, industry leaders, and patient groups. Sessions featured speakers from federal agencies, includ- ing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as AANP and NCI. The panels discussed topics such as the variability in NP scope of practice by state and institution, the contributions of NPs to primary and oncology care, concerns about reimburse- ment for services, and the disparate availability of cancer care in rural and underserved populations that affects cancer outcomes. The findings from the policy summit reinforced the need to edu- cate the public and policymakers about the role and contributions of NPs to affordable, accessible, and quality cancer care.
Conclusion As the need for cancer care in the United States continues to grow with advances in treatment options, aging of the population, changing workforce demographics, and new cancer care deliv- ery models, ONPs will be integral to the delivery of high-quality care. Efforts to promote their practice at the fullest extent of the license and across various cancer care settings are imperative. Resources should be devoted to ONP education, onboarding, and retention to ensure that they not only are able to effectively inte- grate themselves into the healthcare system, but also establish themselves as leaders of the interprofessional team. ONS has led efforts to support and promote ONP practice and remains com- mitted to the growth of the profession.
Heather Mackey, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, is a nurse practitioner (NP) of cancer
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