Oncology nursing

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An oncology nurse is a specialized nurse who cares for cancer patients.

Certification in the United States[edit]

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) offers several different options for board certification in oncology nursing.[1] Certification is a voluntary process and ensures that a nurse has proper qualifications and knowledge of a speciality area and has kept up-to-date in his or her education.By keeping up-to-date you can improve your level of knowledge and will later help you throughout the job.

The ONCC offers six options for certification:

  • Basic
    • OCN: Oncology Certified Nurse
    • CPON: Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
    • CBCN: Certified Breast Care Nurse
  • Advanced:
    • AOCN: Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse
    • AOCNP: Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner
    • AOCNS: Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist

Certification is granted for four years, after which it must be renewed by taking a recertification test or by earning a certain number of continuing medical education credits.

To become certified, nurses must have an RN license, meet specific eligibility criteria for nursing experience and specialty practice, and must pass a multiple-choice test.

For the advanced AOCNP and AOCNS certifications, a nurse must have a master's degree or higher in nursing and a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice of oncology nursing. The AOCNP certification also requires successful completion of an accredited nurse practitioner program.