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 oncological nursing.[1] Certification is a voluntary process and ensures that a nurse has proper qualifications and knowledge of a specialty area and has kept up-to-date in his or her education.

The ONCC offers eight options for certification:[2]

  • Basic:
    • OCN: Oncology Certified Nurse
    • CPON: Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
    • CPHON: Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse
  • Specialty:
    • BMTCN: Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified 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 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.

Oncology Nursing in Morocco[edit]


The demand for oncology nurses is enormous in Morocco. Statistics of the Moroccan Ministry of Health indicate that the death toll of malignant neoplasms mounts to 17 thousands a year.[3] The number of patients with cancer is believed to be three-times the number of annual deaths. A recent study of the European Institute of Health Sciences (Institut Européen des Sciences de la Santé) projected that the need for oncology nurses in 2025 is estimated at 5 thousand nurses.[4] Yet, the number of qualified oncology nurses in the country is equal to nil. The reason is obviously the absence of a formal educational program in oncology nursing.

Oncology nursing training in Morocco[edit]

Currently there currently exists only one educational program in oncology nursing that is being offered by the European Institute of Health Sciences. It has been approved by the Ministry of Higher Education as well as the Ministry of Health in 2014. The duration of this Bachelor of Science program in Oncology Nursing is 3 years and encompasses a total of 6 thousands hours, equivalent to 120 semester credits in the US educational system and 180 ECTS in the European system. The program attracts a large number of students from African countries.[5]

Certification requirements in Morocco[edit]

In Morocco, there exists no system for certification of oncology nurses. However, graduates of the oncology nursing program of the European Institute of Health Sciences can set for certification exams abroad, particularly in European countries.


  1. ^ Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation website
  2. ^ http://www.oncc.org/TakeTest/Certifications
  3. ^ Ministère de la santé. "Etat de s anté population marocaine 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Institut Européen des Sciences de la Santé. "Infirmier en Oncologie". IESS Maroc. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Institut Européen des Sciences de la Santé. "Licence en Sciences Infirmières - Soins Oncologiques". IESS Maroc. Retrieved 1 August 2014.