Society Focus - May 2013
The Dutch Oncology Nursing Society

Members of the Dutch Oncology Nursing Society

The Dutch Oncology Nursing Society (V&VN Oncologie) was established in 1985 as the Society for Oncology Nurses (VvOV). In 2006, our society merged with 36 other nursing societies to become part of the national nursing society of the Netherlands (V&VN). The V&VN Oncology is a not-for-profit organization that stands for and promotes excellence in care for patients with cancer. We would like to help to connect oncology nurses with other health care professionals working in cancer care. This is achieved by professional development of our members and by nurses working collectively to strengthen our role within the field of oncology care. Our society currently has over 2,500 members.

Our President is Erna Elfrink, who is a nurse manager in a university hospital. Our board consists of seven members. They work as managers, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and nurse scientists in oncology care.

We hold our annual national congress every November which enables us to update our members on recent national and international developments in cancer care. With approximately 1200 participants, it is one of the largest nursing conferences in our country.

Besides our congress, our society has 4 committees; oncology journal (Oncologica); guidelines; website ( and professional development. In every multidisciplinary oncology guideline, one of our members is involved.

In addition, we have six Special Interest Groups (SIGs): SIG immuno/ target therapy; SIG hematology; SIG mammacare; SIG psycho social care; SIG pulmonary oncology; SIG gastro oncology.

Special themes for 2012 and 2013 are medication prescribing authority for both nurse practitioners and oncology nurses. How to implement these changes in national legislation is a challenge for our society.