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ONCC Board of Directors election opens February 18, 2014.

Get ready to cast your vote in the ONCC Election. Nurses who are ONCC certified as of February 1, 2014 are eligible to vote in this year’s election. Here’s how you can participate:

  • Review the information below to become familiar with the three candidates.
  • Check your email on February 18 for a message from the ONCC Election Coordinator for a link to your personalized online ballot. (Add “ONCC Election Coordinator <>” to your safe senders list, so your message won’t get trapped in a spam filter)
  • Click on the link to your ballot, follow the on-screen instructions, and cast your vote.

All voting will be online, but It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Make your plan to vote.

Denise Friesema, MS, RN, OCN®
Clinical Director
University of Chicago Medical Center
Chicago, IL

Leadership Experience:

  • ONCC OCN® Passing Score Task Force, Member, 2003
  • ONCC Oncology Nursing Certification Advocates Program, Member, 2003-Present
  • Oncology Nursing Society, Clinical Trial Nurses Special Interest Group, Coordinator, 2009-2012
  • Oncology Nursing Forum Review Board, Member, 2003-2009
  • Alliance (formerly Cancer and Leukemia Group) Oncology Nursing Committee, Member, 2007-2012, Conflict of Interest Committee, Member July 2009-November 2011
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Institutional Review Board Scientific Member 2004-present,  Cancer Research Center, Scientific and Accrual Monitoring Committee 2008-Present, and Clinical Trials Review Committee 2001-Present

Response to ONCC Mission Statement:
I knew in high school due to the death of an Aunt at the age of 40 from lung cancer that I wanted to be an oncology nurse. My passion for cancer culminated the summer before my senior year of college when a 2nd aunt was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. I cared for her that summer until her passing 3 days before classes started. In August of 1995, I began my career at University of Chicago Medical Center as a staff nurse on the autologous bone marrow transplant unit. To this day, I remember fondly the patients I cared for and the challenges they and their loved ones faced. I also highly value the collegial relationships I’ve developed with nurses across the country. Oncology Nurses are faced with a tough challenge to care for patients and their families yet they routinely give of their time and energy without concern for their own needs. In my role as Director, I consider it a privilege to advocate for oncology nursing. I am passionate about nurses pursuing professional development through education and certification. My staff went from 10% certification in 2000 to 74% in 2013. As a member of ONS since 1997, I have served on the ONCC Passing Score Task Force and as Coordinator for the Clinical Trial Nurses Special Interest Group. My family experiences have resonated with me throughout my career. In November of 2012, when my brother-in-law was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer I became his advocate, navigator, educator and translator of medical terms. I’ve been able to witness first-hand how oncology certified nurses provide outstanding care and support to a patient and family with endless questions and concerns. When he asked me “How do you deal with cancer patients all the time?”, the answer was quite simple: It’s my passion, it’s what I’ve been called to do in life. To promote the mission of ONCC, I would be your voice advocating for the professional meaningfulness that certification provides to each of you and your organizations.

Jeannine Arias, MSN, MBA, CBCN®, AOCNS®, CBPN-IC
Associate Director, Oncology Services and Navigation
Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals
Hinsdale, IL

Leadership Experience:

  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, CBCN® Passing Score Task Force, 2012
  • Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators,  Outcomes and Performance Improvement, Committee Member, 2013-Present
  • Rasmussen College, Advisory Board Member 2009-2012
  • Navigation Network, Chicago Land Chapter leader 2012-Present
  • Oncology Nursing Society,  West Chicago Chapter Member, 2010-Present
  • Adventist Midwest Hospitals, Oncology Administrative Team, Advanced Practice Nurse Committee , Regional Navigation Committee 2012-Present  

Mission Statement
Aligned with the ONCC’s vision and values, my goal is to live the ONCC’s mission alongside every member, every day. To illustrate the mission, my united energies are to ease oncology certification access, to enhance professional recognition and to expand oncology certification.

 To facilitate ease of access, the plan is to meet the oncology nurse at her dynamic motivation level; discerning her time line. One of ONCC’s many strengths is to provide review opportunities that capture the individual nurse’s motivational style. This access can be based upon her individualized needs that offer several multimedia options with various instruction module styles and sample test questions to encompass all learning styles. Advanced technological self-paced instructions can heighten customization to capitalize each candidate’s strengths while automatically polarizing the knowledge base necessary to elevate her weaknesses.

Promoting certification programs through advertisement and marketing are to be blitzed at the office, unit, and hospital: reawakening local, regional and national levels. My goal is to tap into the untapped proportion of healthcare services delivered in ambulatory settings.  Innovative redesign centers on the high performing nurses’ ability to effectively design and implement all types of progressive certification models. The overall cost of certification is to be reasonable and incentivized. For example, as the number of certified nurse’s rises, the cost proportionately decreases encouraging facilities to promote certification. Simply, certification builds nursing credibility, professional confidence and accredited oncology programs….better care for us, our children and our great grandchildren.
My plan is to fortify the national media push strategically partnering with all service lines and certification organizations. Integrating nursing certification programs can be the catalyst to professional and community partnerships.

Specifically, my two year plan is to expand the oncology certification programs to sister service lines beginning with oncology navigation programs. Navigation is a newer oncology service line gaining momentum. Boasting the unprecedented ONCC’s reputation for test reliability and validity, it is a natural fit. Within five years, my plan is to build an integrated matrix to involve additional services lines.

Together, we can strengthen the oncology nursing profession alongside every member, every day.
Thank you.

Diane Otte, RN, MS, OCN®
Director, Cancer Center and Dermatology
Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare
La Crosse, WI

Leadership Experience:

  • ONCC OCN® Test Development Committee, Chair 1990-1992, Passing Score Task Force 1991, and Item Writer
  • Oncology Nursing Society, Quality Campaign Project Team Chair, 2013; Board of Directors, Treasurer 2003-2006; Associate Editor, Oncology Nursing Forum, 2006-2009
  • American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, ONS Liaison 2006-2012
  • Association of Community Cancer Centers, Board of Directors, 1996-2000 and 2007-2011; Bylaws Committee 2011-Present
  • Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives, Program Committee Member, 2005-2010
  • Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare Cancer Committee, Division on Community Oncology Executive Committee, and Breast Care Steering Committee,2004-Present

Response to ONCC Mission Statement:
I have been a strong believer in the value of certification even prior to the initial OCN examination development. Working with colleagues to develop test questions and serving on the initial cut score committee only served to enhance my interest in this work. While some of my involvement and work on test development did occur a number of years ago, I have been in a position to support oncology certification in the workplace for more than 40 years. As a staff nurse I encouraged my colleagues to join me in becoming an oncology certified nurse. Since moving into various nursing leadership positions I have had the opportunity to coach and mentor other staff who care for patients/families experiencing cancer. I have also been able to establish policy related to certification requirements. I have advocated for financial resources to enable nursing staff to become certified initially and then to recertify as required. Even though there has been occasional resistance on the part of nursing staff, they are very proud of their certification. I have maintained my own certification consistently throughout the years as well. As resources become “tighter” and “quality” becomes a part of our vocabulary and an expectation of patients, it is critically important that we demonstrate our worth and value by our oncology certification. Through my daily work as a leader of oncology nurses I believe the work of ONCC to validate and continually promote certification practices and knowledge remains very relevant. Patients and families expect the best and I believe oncology certified nurses are essential to provide this care. If elected to this ONCC Board position I will work tirelessly to promote certification and its importance to the future of oncology nursing.