by: Roselyne Anyango Okumu
ISNCC Travel grant scholarship recipient (2023)
President - Oncology Nurses Chapter- Kenya
The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) was founded in 1984 with a vision to lead global nursing communities in cancer control. ISNCC works towards improving the health and well-being of people at risk of living with cancer through leadership development, supporting the development of cancer nurses around the world, and promoting nurses' role in improving cancer care delivery. The Executive committee included Prof Winnie So- President, Patsy Yates -- Past president, and Linda Watson - Secretary/Treasurer.
The ISNCC Nominations and Awards Committee granted me a full travel scholarship to participate in the International Conference on Cancer Nursing 2023 (ICCN 2023) in Glasgow, UK, 29 September– 2 October 2023. The scholarship program was established to further the mission and vision of the ISNCC to foster the development of cancer nursing internationally. The planning process was smooth air travel and accommodation organized by the ISNCC secretariat, my stay in Glasgow was very interesting. I enjoyed the sumptuous dinner themed on Scottish culture and the dance.
The experience at ICCN was unmatched as I followed the proceedings, I learned a lot from the research, best practices, and experiences of nurses across the globe. It was also exciting to learn about progress made in nursing education across the globe as well as to identify gaps and explore possibilities of continuous improvement in cancer care. Indeed, these aligned very well with the conference theme of Building Global Nursing Excellence for Tomorrow’s Cancer Realities. Additionally, the networking with colleagues was very exciting accompanied by meeting some people that we have depended on reading their research papers and articles to inform practice in my home country was very inspiring.
I also attended the ISNCC General meeting where I got great insights, especially on what it takes the leadership to manage operations at such a high-level institution. I was also delighted to know that the Oncology Nurses Chapter Kenya (ONC-K) has now become a member of ISNCC. I also learned a lot about what is happening around the globe and the need to have ISNCC global citizens. We were pleased to meet some of the ISNCC board members and the leadership and to learn from them. As I come back home, I am thrilled to know that we have an organization that we can look up to for mentorship in order to prepare ourselves to better handle future challenges in cancer care across the continuum.
I am very grateful for this opportunity to participate in this year's presentation on the status of cancer in Kenya; and the role of oncology nurse. It pleases me as the ONC-K leader that one of our mem- bers was granted the past president award in line with her contributions to cancer care. We look forward to building the relationship further as we learn and empower the nurses.
It was such a pleasure attending this conference and am continually indebted to ISNCC for this. I will endeavor to share the knowledge gained with my colleagues as we seek to improve the quality of cancer care. I will be willing to take up any role assigned to me by ISNCC in furtherance of its agenda. Please allow me to invite you to come and visit Kenya and see what we are doing at various institutions and at ONC-K as we seek opportunities to collaborate.