Cancer is a widespread disease that requires specialized care, making cancer nurses an essential part of the healthcare industry. Oncology nurses are responsible for providing care to patients with cancer, and they can specialize in different areas such as pediatric oncology, breast care, and blood and bone marrow transplants. To become an oncology nurse, you need to have a nursing license and experience, although many nurses choose to pursue a postgraduate education in oncology nursing. Oncology nurses work in hospitals, independent cancer treatment centers, palliative care centers, and doctor's offices.
They help with treatments and operations, update health records with primary care providers, educate patients and their families, and prepare patients for discharge. Cancer nurses also provide emotional support to terminally ill patients and administer palliative care. The salaries of oncology nurses are often above national averages, making it a rewarding career choice. To become an OCN (Oncology Certified Nurse), you need at least two years of experience as a registered nurse.
You can also become a cancer nursing professional by earning an MSN degree and passing the OCN exam. The first step to becoming an oncology nurse is earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You can also enroll in an accredited RN to BSN program if you already have some experience in clinical care. After completing your BSN, you can pursue a postgraduate education in oncology nursing or enroll in continuing nursing training courses to become certified as an oncology nurse manager.
Due to the growing demand for cancer care, there is a strong need for cancer nurses who help the patient's family understand the medical condition and treatment procedures and provide comfort to patients with a life-threatening illness. Oncology nurses must work well in a medical team environment while demonstrating leadership skills.