Announcements

  • HCONS Board of Directors Nominations NOW OPEN!

    HCONS 2022 Board of Directors Nominations NOW OPEN!
    • President (1 year term) - Must have previous BOD/Committee experience
    • President-Elect (2 year term) - Must have previous BOD/Committee experience
    • Treasurer-Elect (2 year term)
    • Secretary (1 year term)
    We welcome any current members who would like to run for a Board of Directors position or participate on our committees to support HCONS. 

    Please contact Colleen Jernigan at cjerniga@mdanderson.org if you are interested or have questions.

    Nominations open until 11/1/21.
    Voting 11/8/21-11/29/21.​
  • Fall Academic Student Scholarship Now Open

    The Houston Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society is pleased to announce we are offering six $1,000 competitive scholarships for nursing students interested in the care of patients with cancer. The scholarships will be awarded to two undergraduate and four advanced nursing degree students.

    Two (2) BSN
    Two (2) MSN
    Two (2) Doctoral (i.e., DNP, PhD, EdD)

    Please note: Individuals cannot receive the same award more than once. However, as you advance in your educational journey you can apply to receive a scholarship at the next level.

    Scholarship awardees will be recognized at the December HCONS Membership Meeting.

    Please submit the following:

    • A paragraph describing your interest in oncology nursing;
    • One letter of Faculty support from the program where you are currently enrolled using this link https://communities.ons.org/houston/new-item2/faculty-letter-of-support.

    Submissions are due by close of business day on Friday, November 19, 2021

  • HCONS Nurses Appreciation

    Happy Oncology Nursing Month! Please join us in celebrating all of the work that you do as an oncology nurse with a drive by event!

    What: Swag Bag pick up! Please fill out a ‘Ticket to Swag’ to claim your swag bag. You can print or show electronically your ticket. 100 swag bags available while supplies last.

    When: Saturday, May 22, 2021, 9am – 12pm

    Where: Memorial Park’s Eastern Glades Parking Lot Look for the HCONS blue flag! https://goo.gl/maps/QLNfP5reaKisY5pD9

    Please wear your masks. We will be wearing ours.
    • We will also be collecting donations for Adopt-a-Family. If you’d like to donate, please bring cash or donate via Venmo @ElleA88.
    • We will also be collecting personal care items & toiletries for our Community Outreach Committee. We hope to see you there!

    With kind regards,

    Joylyn Estrella
    President
    Houston Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society (HCONS)
    PO Box 301150, Houston, Texas, 77230
    www.hcons.org
    jestrella@mdanderson.org

    Event Map.pdf
    Flyer - 2021 HCONS Member appreciation.pdf
    Ticket to Swag - 2021 HCONS Oncology Nursing Month Appreciation.pdf

  • Nursing Legislative Action Coalition Update

    This legislative session is moving slowly due to COVID precautions and the restrictions on meeting in groups. These restrictions make it even more important for nurses to support legislation related to nursing and health care by responding to alerts by text, email, or mail. The Texas Nurses Association website at https://search.myway.com/search/GGmain.jhtml?p2=%5EUX%5E%5E%5E&n=&ln=en&si=&tpr=hpsb&trs=mv3&brwsid=43B40866-F64A-4023-9961-3649179FE8A3&o=1468618&searchfor=Texas+nurses+association&st=tab provides the Nursing Legislative Agenda and resources for you to use in contacting your legislators and supporting bills related to nursing and health care. TNA leads and provides secretarial support for the coalition (NLAC) of which HCONS is a member.

    Under Legislative Resources you will find information on the legislative process and the standing committees for the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    2021 Texas Legislative Process
    2021 Key Senate-House Committees

     

    Under Spotlight, you will see the list of bills that NLAC supports and those that the group opposes.  The description provided includes the general focus of the bill, the House and Senate sponsors, and a one-pager of talking points. One example is the COVID bill for nurses making them eligible for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.

     

    HB 396 - Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) / SB 433 - Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and SB 439 - César J. Blanco (D-El Paso)

    Would create a legal presumption that, if a nurse contracts COVID, it was contracted during the course of employment.

    HB 396 - Substitute passed House Business & Industry Committee,  4/14/21. It was sent to the Calendars Committee, 4/20/21.

    Both companion bills SB 433 and SB 439 were referred to Senate Business & Commerce Committee, 3/9/21.

    HB 396 1-pager

    You can participate in the process and support the NLAC agenda and other bills that the coalition is following by registering for alerts on the Texas Nurses Association website. Under Policy,  Click on the Nurse Action Center and then register in the box labeled Sign Up for Alerts. You can support bills by entering your name and address. Entering your address allows the system to select your legislators. A text will be sent with the talking points for the bill to your respective legislators. The bills in the NLAC agenda are the bills you may be asked to support in alerts from the Action Center.

     

     

     

    Oncology Nursing Society

    At the national level, ONS has resources and opportunities for nurses to be involved in advocacy. On the webpage, select Make a Difference and click on ONS Center for Advocacy and Health Policy. Policy Priorities, Position Statements, and Advocacy Webinars and Podcasts are listed for your use. You can join the national Capitol Gang to participate in national events, find your legislators under Make Your Voice Heard, and read Alec Stone’s updates under Latest ONS Voice Advocacy News. To get started, you can enroll in the ONS free seminar: Advocacy 101: Making a Difference and earn 4.7 contact hours.
  • NLAC Update February 4

    NLAC Update February 4, 2021

    Current Status of Bills Related to the NLAC Agenda

    Legislators have filed the following bills related to the Nursing Legislative Action Coalition agenda for the 2021 legislative session.  Nurses are encouraged to contact their legislators to support these bills.  The full practice NP bill is still in review by the Legislative Council which drafts all bills.

     

    HB 1384                                              Thierry, Shawn(D)      Relating to required suicide prevention training for certain health care practitioners.

    General Remarks: This bill would require physicians, nurses, PT/OTs, CDCs, LPs, LPAs, LSSPs, LPCs, LMSWs, and LMFTs to complete one hour of suicide prevention training.

     

    Bill History:

    01-26-21 H Filed

    HB 1446 

    Ashby, Trent(R)

    Relating to the expansion of broadband services to certain areas.

     

    Companions:

    SB 506         Nichols, Robert         (Identical)     1-28-21 S Filed

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would create a broadband development office within the comptroller's office. The office would be charged with developing a map to display areas with and without broadband and the number of service providers in each area. Finally, the bill would create an account that can be used for awards grants, low-interest loans, and other financial incentives to expand access to broadband.

     

    Bill History:

    01-28-21 H Filed

    HB 1524 

    Lucio III, Eddie(D)

    Relating to the prescribing and ordering of Schedule II controlled substances by certain advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants.

     

    Companions:

    (Refiled from 86R

    HB 2250    Lucio III, Eddie

    Session)

    (Refiled from 86R

    SB 1308    Buckingham, Dawn

    Session)

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would allow physicians to delegate the prescribing and ordering of CSIIs to APRNs and PAs in any setting.

     

    Bill History:

    02-02-21 H Filed

    HB 1559 

    Howard, Donna(D)

    Relating to Program.

    the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance

     

     

    Companions:

    SB 358

    Hinojosa, Chuy

    (Refiled from 86R

    Session)

     

     

    SB 575  

    Hinojosa, Chuy 2- 3-21 S Filed

    (Identical)

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would make part-time faculty eligible for the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program and would allow THECB to determine loan amounts based on the number of hours worked.

     

    Bill History:

    02-03-21 H Filed

    HB 1566 

    Middleton, Mayes(R)

    Relating to the requirements for a junior college district to receive approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer baccalaureate degree programs.

     

    Companions:

    (Refiled from 86R

    HB 1749    Wray, John

    Session)

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would remove the taxable property valuation requirement for community colleges to offer baccalaureate programs.

     

    Bill History:

    02-03-21 H Filed

    SB 412 

    Buckingham, Dawn(R)

    Relating to telemedicine, telehealth, and technology-related health care services.

     

    Companions:

    HB 974         Price, Four     (Identical)     1- 5-21 H Filed

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would expand Medicaid telehealth reimbursement, and expressly includes audio-only behavioral health services and home tele monitoring services.

     

    Bill History:

    01-25-21 S Filed

    Companions:

    HB 396      Moody, Joe                      (Identical)

                 11- 9-20 H Filed

    SB 439      Blanco, Cesar (F)              (Identical)

                 1-26-21 S Filed

    General Remarks:

    This bill would create a legal presumption that, if a nurse contracts COVID, it was contracted during the course of employment.

    Bill History:

    01-25-21 S Filed

    SB 433                                               Zaffirini, Judith(D)      Relating to the eligibility of nurses for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.

     

     

    SB 439 

    Blanco, Cesar (F)(D)

    Relating to the eligibility of nurses for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.

     

    Companions:

    HB 396      Moody, Joe                      (Identical)

                 11- 9-20 H Filed

    SB 433      Zaffirini, Judith                 (Identical)

                 1-25-21 S Filed

     

    General Remarks:

    This bill would create a legal presumption that, if a nurse contracts COVID, it was contracted during the course of employment.

     

    Bill History:

    01-26-21 S Filed


    SB 575                                               Hinojosa, Chuy(D)      Relating to the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

    Companions:

    (Refiled from 86R

    SB 358      Hinojosa, Chuy

    Session)

    HB 1559    Howard, Donna                (Identical)

                 2- 3-21 H Filed

    General Remarks:

    This bill would make part-time faculty eligible for the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program, and would allow THECB to determine loan amounts based on the number of hours worked.

    Bill History:

    02-03-21 S Filed

    Total Bills: 9

  • Join "Team HCONS" for the March for Marrow 5K Run & Walk

    Join Team HCONs for the 12th Annual March for Marrow TX 5K and 2021 March for Marrow TX Walk. Help us raise awareness for bone marrow failure disease! 


  • 2021 Advanced Practice Providers Oncology Summit APPOS Virtual Conference

    Earn up to 10 CE/CMEs.  Early Bird deadline is March 2!  Register at apponcologysummit.com
  • NLAC Action Alert

    Action Alert: NLAC requests that nurses contact their legislators to request approval of the budget request from the Texas Board of Nursing. The board is asking that legislators restore the 5% cut from their budget during the last legislative session. 

    Talking Points:  Why is restoring the 5% cuts so important for the next biennium?

     The Board of Nursing was required to reduce its budget by 5% in the current biennium.  The two main strategies used to achieve this reduction were to delay filling open positions and to eliminate use of temporary staff during peak graduation times (May, August and December).  These measures affected all essential functions of the agency including licensing, school of nursing approval and enforcement.

     In particular, the following performance measures were revised to absorb these cuts:

    • Days to issue a LVN/RN license by renewal increased from 10 business days to 15-20 business days.
    • Days to issue a LVN/RN license by endorsement increased from 10 business days to 30 business days.
    • Days to issue APRN licenses increased from 15 business days to 20+ business days.
    • Days to retrieve and process background checks increased from 10 business days to 30 business days.
    • Days to deem students eligible to take the NCLEX increased from 7 business days to over 30 business days during our peak graduation time in May and June.

     These delays have increased time to issue licenses and deem students eligible for the NCLEX and ultimately delay the availability of nurses to provide care.  During the pandemic, delays impacted the delivery of health care services to respond to surges in COVID-19.   Qualified licensed nurses must be available to protect public health.

    During fiscal year 2020 customer service phone line calls doubled from same period in 2019 and webmaster emails to the agency tripled over 2019.  This demand was created by delays in application processing timelines. 

    Without the 5% restoration, the Board anticipates eliminating up to 9 staff positions and requesting revision of performance measures to reflect longer processing timelines.

  • Membership Appreciation Event

    Please join us on Saturday 12/12/20 so that we can appreciate you, our wonderful HCONS members! Please check out the Events tab for more information. Check your emails for the TICKET TO SWAG, it was sent on 12/2 within the email attachment.