Society Focus - December 2013
Oncology Nursing Association of
the Republic of Turkey (TONA)

Logo of the Oncology Nursing Association of the Republic of Turkey

The Oncology Nursing Association of the Republic of Turkey was established in 1989, so will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.

How activities are planned and carried out

The Association draws up five-year strategic plans at its national oncology congresses. Nurse participants at the congresses are involved in creating these plans.

The elected executive board members are expected to carry out the Association’s activities according to the current strategic plan. The vision of the strategic plan for the years 2010-2015 is “to become a national and an international leader through a continuous nursing education”. The mission of this strategic plan is “to empower and to strengthen oncology nursing, to promote individual and public awareness of cancer and to increase the quality of care”.

Committees support the executive board in accomplishing the tasks set out in the strategic plan. There are five committees: education, communication, research, guidelines, and advocacy.

Working groups complement the work of the committees. These groups are divided into seven areas of clinical need: breast cancer, psycho-oncology, paediatric oncology, hematology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, palliative care, radiation oncology and gynecological oncology nursing. The Association is privileged and lucky to have active, motivated, and qualified members who have volunteered to be part of the working groups.

Each committee and working group is expected to plan an individual or a joint activity each year. For example, the communication committee publishes the Association’s Bulletin and also plans some social activities for members; the education committee holds TITAN and TARGET programs regularly and plans the national oncology congress’s nursing sessions covering the topics that nurses expressed their needs for as well as the latest developments in oncology nursing.

The education committee is also responsible of organising the chemotherapy certificate programme. This is a biannual programme established in 2005 which has been approved by the Ministry of Health. This programme has both theoretical and practical parts which include a total of 56 hours of study (comprising 40 hours of theory and 16 hours practical training) and it is based on EONS’s core curriculum. It is very popular among nurses as well as among the institutions that are submitting for accreditation and/or renewal of their certificates. A total of 22 certificate programmes have been held so far.

The research committee is presently involved with the nationwide need assessment study of patients having chemotherapy in outpatient units. The nurses’ advocacy committee keeps track of the new governmental procedures for the nurses. Each of the seven working groups either organises at least one education program or contributes to a session in the national oncology congress.

While the activities of committees take place mostly in Ankara where the Association is located, the activities of working groups are planned wherever in the country the Association finds the chance to out reach locally to several oncology nurses.

One important point to emphasise is the activities at which Association awards are given. One of the Association awards is named after the founder of the Association and given to a nurse in recognition of the “difference s/he has made in oncology nursing.” Four such awards are presented every two years. The second award is intended to motivate and attract the attention of nursing students to oncology nursing. Studies submitted by students related to oncology nursing are evaluated and first, second, and third place awards are issued during the national nursing student congress held annually.

The Oncology Nursing Association of the Republic of Turkey is a member of EONS and ISNCC and works in collaboration with MECC (Middle East Cancer Consortium). The Association works with and serves to 531 members, 75% of whom are clinicians and 25% academicians.


By Nurgen Platin and Sultan Kav

20th Anniversary of TONA in November 2009
20th Anniversary of TONA in November 2009

TONA members planting trees for the future of oncology nursing

TONA members planting trees for the future of oncology nursing
TONA members planting trees for the future of oncology nursing