Applying Nursing Civility in Oncology With Susan Rux, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC®, CNE®

At the recent 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress in San Antonio, Texas, Susan Rux, Director of Professional Development & Practice Innovation at Temple University, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sat down with Oncology Data Advisor® to talk about nursing civility and its applications for both nursing sustainability and patient care.  

Oncology Data Advisor: Welcome to Oncology Data Advisor. Today we’re here at ONS Congress and I’m joined by Susan Rux. Thanks so much for coming on today.

Susan Rux, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC®, CNE®: Thanks so much for having me.

Oncology Data Advisor: Would you like to introduce yourself and share what you do?

Dr. Rux: Sure, sure. I’m Dr. Susan Rux. I am one of the Associate Vice Presidents and I work at Temple University Health System. I’m in charge of nursing education, professional development, and practice innovation.

Oncology Data Advisor: Great. You presented a poster today titled Nursing Civility: Applying Lessons Learned from the Field to the Oncology Setting. Would you like to give a brief overview of the presentation?

Dr. Rux: Sure, absolutely. I feel that we are called upon to explore topics that reach out to us, and nursing incivility has been in the literature for over seven decades. Many professional organizations have had some call to action, and yet we’re still talking about it. So, I oftentimes say I loathe that it still exists, but I love that the awareness is out there and that we are making some advancements towards squashing the incivility, especially now.

Oncology Data Advisor: In your poster, I believe you mentioned suggestions for further research in this field. Where is it heading in this area?

Dr. Rux: Beyond the awareness, we need to make sure that we’re equipping nurses with something such as a cognitive rehearsal or reframing a scripting in order to dig deep into those self-efficacy variables that could address the incivility, and instead of allowing it to perpetuate, they can stop it in its tracks.

Oncology Data Advisor: Right. How can these findings be used for nurses to use in their practices?

Dr. Rux: I think there are many ways. It would focus on the span of nursing practice, nursing education, nursing science, and research—certainly nursing practice. As nurses, we are all things about the patient, making sure the patient has safe, quality, effective care, and that requires colleagues that communicate really well and function really well as a team. So, really imparting some of the lessons learned about communication and that interprofessional collaboration would be one strategy, and then also looking at nursing education and what the nursing students are learning in the classroom and clinical settings, the faculty role modeling and then applying those principles, those civil principles, and showing the student nurses how it’s done. And then there is a space for more nursing research.

One of the things that I had in mind was looking at nurses that had maybe chosen to leave the profession altogether or that had resigned. Where are they now? What’s their new role looking like? Are they still having issues with incivility or has there been a transformation? Also, I’m really interested in identifying if social structures and gender, if those sorts of things make a difference in how one has an impact or an encounter with incivility and manages through that.

Oncology Data Advisor: Right. Finally, are there any take-home messages from your poster that you’d like to share with nurses?

Dr. Rux: I want to say thank you to everybody that stopped by and really was engaged in conversation. It was really evident that this is a topic that’s gaining not only national attention, but international attention, and it does take a village. I think if we all are focusing on that one thing that we could do to improve the patient experience, to improve nursing retention, we are, as nurses, unstoppable.

Oncology Data Advisor: Absolutely. Well, this is so interesting to hear about. So, thank you so much for sharing it all.

Dr. Rux: Thanks so much. Have a great day.

About Dr. Rux

Susan Rux, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC®, CNE®, is the Director of Professional Development & Practice Innovation at Fox Chase Cancer Center and a member of the task force for the American Nurses Association Professional Panel for Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence. She holds numerous professional certifications in the practice, administrative, and educational settings.

For More Information

Rux S (2023). Nursing civility – applying lessons learned from the field to the oncology setting. Presented at: 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress. Available at:

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor. 

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