- An oncology nurse assists patients who have cancer or are at risk of developing it. Oncology nurses conduct required examinations, deliver therapies, and communicate with other patient care providers in order to build a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Oncology nurses tend to build close and lasting ties with the people they care for, as well as their families, due to their regular one-on-one time with them.
- Oncology Nurses are trusted by cancer patients and their loved ones to answer important inquiries, provide emotional validation, and manage any symptoms they may be experiencing.
- These connections are critical in developing a therapeutic strategy that goes beyond the illness itself. Oncology nurses understand what their patients require intellectually and emotionally to help them face their diagnosis full-on, as well as to provide a pillar of stability for them to lean on when the physical and emotional demands of cancer therapy begin to wear them down.
What Does It Take to Become an Oncology Nurse?
- An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required to work as an oncology nurse, but a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Nursing (BSN) will give you a competitive advantage with potential employers.
- Following completion of your chosen degree, you must obtain your Registered Nurse licensure and complete at least 1,000 hours of contact experience, 10 of which must be in oncology. Because there are so many different types of cancer and therapies for them, prospective Oncology Nurses must have a broad understanding of the field before becoming certified specialists.
How much demand is there for oncology nurses?
- Because the number of cancer patients in the United States is growing every year, Oncology Nurses are always in demand.
- Beyond technical expertise, hospitals and cancer care centers need Oncology Nurses who are empathetic and clear communicators, as well as those who can bear the emotional toll of a job in which many patients are terminally sick.