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Oncology Certified Nurse - What they do and how to become an OCN?

Training required to become an Oncology Certified Nurse

Oncology being the study of cancer, oncology nurses specialize in treating and education cancer patients.

A Registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can begin to specialize. Cancer treatment and cancer patients need specific medical treatments which require specialized doctors and specialized nurses.

Once a RN has completed the coursework require for the oncology specialization, they can complete a certification exam offered by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. Certification is optional and is only valid for 4 years, but it provides assurance to the patients and medical centers that the nurse has kept up with their qualifications and knowledge in their area of specialty. Other specific jobs the nurse would be eligible for are Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse and Certified Breast Care Nurse, depending of the coursework completed.

For nurses wanting to grow in their careers, they can obtain a Master of Science in Nursing and take the necessary exams to become an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse, or an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner or an Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist depending on the courses and degree of specialization course taken.

What do Oncology Certified Nurses do?

Specializations in nursing often come after nurses try out many different areas of the medical field. To get started as a nurse, a normal RN certificate can get you in the door. Once working, most nurses find a particular area of interest. This is where the continuing education credits help to guide nurse towards a specialization. Each specialization will require course work, on the job learning or supervised training and examinations.

Within Oncology or Cancer treatment, nurses can specialize even more to a specific type of cancer or a specific age group or stage. There are many different jobs within this field to help patients of all ages and stages. The courses that oncology nurse complete help them to better understand the patients, the treatments and the new advancements in care. As with most certifications in the medical field, licensing is required and specific job tasks allowed are guided by the levels of certifications and licensing.

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