There are several types of nursing industries available nowadays, and being a nurse in the field of cancer is just one of them. This is considered to be a clinical specialist or a practice nurse. Educational training is more advanced than the typical nurse training, and you are going to have a more supportive job description to patients as well as families and friends of the patient. You are going to have a more teaching and management role in patient care, and there is also going to be some research skills involved. As a clinical oncology nurse, you are going to be focusing on one specified field or industry, such as breast cancer. Oncology is the medical term for cancer and is more specialized than the basic cancer training. There are basic prep classes as well as more advanced and focused classes and training that focus on cancer.


What Is an Oncology Nurse?


An oncology nurse is a medical professional who is responsible for taking care of patients who are suffering from cancer. The realization that cancer is a significant chronic health issue made the health professionals feel that there is a need of developing oncology nursing which will focuses on cancer treatment. The work environment of these nurses mostly is in regular hospital but most of them are found in hospitals that has specialized in cancer treatment. Sometimes, these nurses also work in the medical offices, ambulatory healthcare, or even inside the patient’s home. They work with all people regarding their ages since cancer can affect any individual at any age.

The Duties and Responsibilities of Oncology Nurses


Radiation Oncology nurses are in high demand and available all over the world. The top hospitals in the US have openings for physicians that have specialized in Radiation Oncology. Accreditation from top medical universities plus work experience can pretty much assure a qualified physician of working wherever they desire.

The oncology nurse is responsible for all patient data and keeping information current. They interact with the Radiation Oncologists with the calculations of the dosages needed according to the treatment plans. They also work with custom shields, compensators, and beam modifiers for the optimum treatment. These nurses work hands-on with the treatment and verify that the correct and proper dosages were implemented. They assist in all aspects of radiation safety and documentations and handle inventory control. Other Radiation Oncology jobs are the following.

In the field of the oncology nurse, you are able to choose just like the chemotherapy-the biotherapy, the breast oncology-hematology/oncology, palliative attention, etc. These nurses jobs are care of the individual endures from cancer. In addition, they give the education and support not simply for the patient nevertheless also the family’s affiliate. The chemotherapy effect generally occurs to the individual, in fact, it can be the oncology nurses to handle it.

What Is Patient Navigator Oncology Nurse?


Radiation Oncology jobs not only include the Oncologist physician, the Dosimetrist and the Therapists in Radiation Oncology departments, there is also a Radiology Oncology job called the Patient Navigator. This job entails being a member of the entire radiologic team guiding the patient through their treatment plan. They must have at least three years experience in Oncology, preferably as a registered nurse (RN), be state licensed and have current CPR accreditation. The Navigator provides education to the patients, keeps them informed as to progress and manages their treatment. They are the important clinical resource for patients and can serve as a mentor. They offer information, follow up for support group and committees, and track the overall progress. A Radiation Oncology Navigator will develop direct relationships with all surgeons, oncologist, and support staff of the department.

What Does a Radiation Oncology Nurse Do?


Radiation Oncology nurses are also involved in therapy. The Radiation Oncology Therapist works directly under the Chief of Radiology Oncologist, and they oversee the actual running of the treatment machines. They help with setting up treatment programs, perform dose calculations, and apply the correct radiation doses per the physicians prescription plans. They must know how efficiently linear accelerators, CT scanners and all radio-surgery units run. Radiation Oncology Therapists must be AART certified, state licensed, have knowledge of math and physics and basic nursing skills.

How Do You Become an Oncology Nurse?


  • Apply to a school or college that is accredited

The first step is applying to a school or college that is accredited. You will have to complete and pass some basic classes including theory, medical ethics, pharmacology, and other nursing classes that you will be responsible for taking. You are going to have to earn your Bachelor’s degree in nursing as well before you can become trained in oncology.

  • Take National Council Licensure Exam

You are going to have to take the state exam known as the National Council Licensure Exam which is a combination of basic competency. This test must be taken in the state you plan on practicing and it must be passed as well. Before you can become licensed this is needed. This test is going to be given by the National Council of State Board of Nursing.

You will then have to take a graduate record exam which is another form of a competency exam that is required before getting into grad school. However, check with the school before taking this test as not all places require students to take it. The school you are interested in will tell you whether they do or don’t.

  • Obtain reference letters and recommendation letters

Obtain reference letters and recommendation letters as well to submit with your college application. Some schools require this to be done, and some great places to go are any past professors or teachers/ Healthcare providers you work with can also be a great choice for getting a recommendation.

You are also going to need a personal statement explaining why you are interested in enrolling in the school and include your reasoning for wanting to be in the oncology nursing career. Breast cancer is more advanced and you may need strong emotional abilities as many women are going to be looking to you for support emotionally.

  • Class work

The class is going to be about 500 hours and all of these hours are required. You are going to be eligible for doing an intern to complete some of your hours. There are going to be some institutes that are not going to mandate 500 hours towards the clinical aspect, and you should look into this before getting started.

There is an Oncology Exam that you are going to need to take as you are going to need to know every aspect of oncology and how to deal with people who are suffering from breast cancer. This field is rewarding for so many people and can be a great change of career for those interested in making a difference.

Average Oncology Nurse Salary


Oncology health care worker salary is between $46, 253 and $90, 621, while using median pay is about $63, 443. Their on an hourly basis rate ranges from $21. 52 to $41. 46 with an overtime give off up to $78. 14 from some good employers.


According to a website that ranks the salaries, Salary.com, the average salary for oncology nurses $66,393. Another report from PayScale survey reports has revealed that oncology nurses that has less than 4 years of experience may earn between $38,974 and $78,886. The report suggests that the average of the lowest paid oncology nurses take home about a minimum of $41,217. Nurses who have experience of 5 – 9 years take home a maximum of $90,803. Oncology nurses who have been around for a period of more than 20 years can get a salary of $71,216 to $88,827. Certified Oncology Nurses take home about $49,146 to $88,158. Those oncology nurses who have Advanced Cardiac Life Support training make $58,900 to $87,456.

What Is the Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner Salary Range?


The pediatric oncology nurse salary selection nationwide is about $40, 000 to $140, 500 per year. This is certainly a fairly broad range, nevertheless it reflects that that there are a number of nurses who have degrees, others are licensed or certified , and to deal with the pediatric cases . In addition, salaries may vary simply by state or metropolitan location, by specific job information, through the setting the particular nurse is functioning in. Salaries whatsoever amounts have gone up in the previous few years and will probably continue to rise.

Requirements of Becoming an Oncology Nurse


To become a great oncology nurse, you need to be a registered nurse. You might choose your education simply by getting 2-year link degree or 3 years diploma. But it is definitely even better in the event you receive the BSN degree or perhaps Bachelor of Science found in Nursing. Not only having that, you also want to learn the particular cancer care skills. Following fulfilling those requirements, you can take the OCN or Oncology Certified Doctor test.

You will want the cancer knowledge past the essential nursing program. The oncology nurses also become a member of the professional role expansion such as the continuing education, top quality improvement, as well as the review of the clinical application of exploration finding.

The job of an oncology nurse is definitely quite varied. It supplies administering chemotherapies, managing cancer-related symptoms, and treating individuals (those who are afflicted by the disease). The role of the oncology registered nurse plays a vital component in the whole method of treating the Tumor patients and thus requirements great courage and good personal beliefs. The work also demands the capacity to manage death and yet to maintain healthy and balanced relationships with patients. Experience of new treatment methods and coping with difficult situations of the patients are two of the most imperative characteristics required to become a successful oncology health professional. Oncology nurses can get attached with specialty hostipal wards, ambulatory care centers, medical homes, private homes, or perhaps regular hospitals.

Oncology Nursing Certification Courses


Various Oncology nursing certification courses will be around for specialization in the concerned area beginning from basic certification to advanced certificate courses. These types of courses can help the nurses in keeping their particular educational qualification update and are entitled to entering a niche area. In order to obtain certifications, nurses happen to be required to have a great RN (registered nurse) certificate, clear various multiple-choice assessments, and meet specific qualification criteria. Several nursing organizations have also shown up to improve quality by getting excellence in education, exploration, patient care, and government in the area of oncology nursing.

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