What is Oncology Nursing?

Oncology nursing involves caring for patients diagnosed with cancer and many nurses work in cancer treatment centers or hospitals.

How Someone Begins a Nursing Career

Are you interested in a rewarding health care career working directly with patients? Then, you should attend a community college or university to earn a nursing degree. Each geographic region licenses nurses to ensure they have an associate or bachelor’s degree that meets certain criteria. Students enrolled in nursing programs receive a basic education in courses such as English and mathematics. However, they also take specialty courses to understand human anatomy and pharmacology. In addition, students spend a lot of time in hands-on training in medical facilities. They work in hospitals, physician’s offices, and also assisted living homes.

Master’s Degrees and Oncology Nursing

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After graduating from a nursing program, a registered nurse is prepared to work in many health care environments. However, many hospitals or cancer care facilities want to hire specialists with additional training or experience to assist patients. Oncology nursing is fast becoming one of the most popular specialties in this profession. The increase in popularity ensures patients receive the best care. Many registered nurses work in cancer units after gaining practical experience. Others, enroll in specific courses to learn about the condition and its treatments. As a part of earning certification in oncology nursing, a student may also want to earn a master’s degree.

Advancing in Nursing with Specialized Training

There are great reasons why a registered nurse may want to specialize in caring for patients with cancer. In today’s modern world, cancer treatments are more advanced. They vary depending on the specific type of cancer a patient has along with their age. Furthermore, there is a lot of information that medical professionals need to know about the special needs of cancer patients. Many nurses also become case managers, educators, or consultants in their nursing careers, rather than working directly with patients. Additionally, someone working as an oncology nurse can supervise other RNs in a cancer unit or hospice situation.

Why Nurses Need to Learn New Information

Anyone earning a nursing degree should join professional organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Nurses Association, or Oncology Nursing Society. Professional organizations are a fantastic way to learn about new medical advancements, enroll in continuing education courses and meet with other nurses at sponsored events. Researchers are developing new treatments for cancer constantly, and it is the responsibility of anyone working in oncology nursing to understand the latest information.

There are Different Types of Oncology Nursing Certificates

In the past, nurses took care of patients in hospitals after the surgical removal of cancerous tumors and tissues. There were few treatments available to prolong life. Additionally, professionals working in nursing were responsible for caring for patients at the end stage of life. Today, there are many treatments available for different ages of patients with cancers of the skin, internal organs, or blood. Cancer treatment is a complex process that requires knowledgeable individuals with oncology nursing training. Anyone earning a nursing degree today can choose to specialize with certification in oncology or cancer care.

Earn Specialty Certificates

Nursing careers are now highly lucrative with many medical facilities needing specialists instead of generalists. The need for nurses is expected to increase by over 9 percent through 2030 with salaries as much as nearly $75,000 a year. For nurses already working in medical facilities, there are online educational programs that lead to certification in oncology nursing. Within certification for cancer care, there are also subspecialties to work with patients with breast, bone, or blood conditions. Nurses can learn more about caring for pediatric, adult, or senior cancer patients with specialized certificates.