The oncology nursing specialty draws a special breed of nurse. Working with cancer patients engages RNs on all levels—you must be able to provide care in many instances for patients with life-threatening cancers and deal with both patient and family end of life issues. Cancer is one of the major threats to human life. RNs, particularly Advanced Practice nurses, are on the cutting edge of patient care and wellness in all areas of healthcare and they are facing increasing demand in oncology specialties as well.
So where do you get the oncology education you need to function as a highly skilled RN working with cancer patients?
Before you work in the oncology specialty you will most likely need at least your BSN. Some hospital oncology floors welcome new grads wet-behind-the-ears from their undergraduate nursing Bachelors. Here you get plenty of hands-on training and orientation to the particular unit in which you’re working.
University schools of nursing are the best places to search for the following oncology nursing education:
Optional practice specialties include Genomics/Oncology, Gerontology/Oncology, Pediatric/Oncology concentrations.
Coursework within the oncology specialty for an MSN RN could include the following:
Both the Oncology Nursing Society and the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses are popular professional organizations among RNs working with cancer patients. A handful of oncology nursing certifications are currently in use and recommended for RNs working in the various specialties. Contact the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation for more information and exams.