Pediatric Oncology Nurse: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in pediatric oncology nursing. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and licensure information. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?

Pediatric oncology nurses are medical professionals who work with children who have cancer. They may help with patient treatments and perform tasks such as giving a patient chemotherapy. Pediatric oncology nurses also provide support to the child's family. They may inform the family about the treatment their child is receiving and explain how the treatment will help their condition and what some of the side effects are. Within the field of pediatric oncology there are several areas a nurse can specialize in. They may work in research, treatment or may focus on educating patients and their families. Those who work as nurse practitioners may be involved in diagnosing patients, prescribing treatments and ordering tests.

Registered NurseNurse Practitioner
Degree Required Associate's degree or bachelor's degree Master's degree or doctoral degree
Education Field of Study Nursing Nurse practitioner
Key Responsibilities Monitor patient status and vital signs; administer medications and treatments; assist physician with examination and procedures; use and maintain medical equipment Examine patient and make diagnosis; order diagnostic tests and evaluate results; prescribe and administer medication and treatment; perform procedures and assist physician with procedures
Licensure and/or Certification Licensure as RN is required; board certification is available Licensure as RN and NP is required; board certification is available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 16% for all RNs* 35% for all nurse practitioners*
Median Salary (2016) $55,161 for pediatric nurses** $84,578 for pediatric nurse practitioners**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Are the Responsibilities of a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?

As a pediatric oncology nurse, your responsibilities could vary and include serving as a patient-care consultant and assisting in or supervising the administration of chemotherapy, radiation and drug treatments. Additionally, you might provide follow-up monitoring, participate in research studies, develop educational materials and conduct evaluations. You could provide these and other services in any number of environments, including acute-care hospitals, oncologists' offices, ambulatory care facilities, radiation therapy clinics or community centers. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of oncology nurses work in hospitals.

What Education Do I Need?

Pediatric oncology nurses are registered nurses (RNs). To become an RN, state regulations require that you complete a formal education program in nursing. Many schools offer diploma and certificate programs as well as associate and bachelor's degree programs that can qualify you to earn an RN license. In these programs, you'll take life science courses, such as chemistry, anatomy and microbiology and participate in clinical coursework conducted in classrooms, laboratories and health care facilities.

Though many undergraduate programs include classes in pediatrics and oncology, to specialize in the field, you could pursue master's-level studies. Some schools offer master's degree programs in nursing with an emphasis on pediatric oncology, though many focus on either one or the other. Within either specialization, you could arrange your coursework and clinical practicums to include both or participate in a postgraduate residency in pediatric oncology. Completing a master's degree program could also qualify you to practice advanced nursing care as a nurse practitioner with additional licensing.

How Do I Become Licensed or Registered?

After you graduate from a nursing program, you'll be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). If you earn a master's degree and specialize in pediatric oncology, in addition to your RN license, you'll need to meet state requirements to become a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. You'll need to pass a separate state exam for this level of nursing, and you might require additional licensing or endorsements in order to prescribe medication to patients.

Will I Need Any Other Certification?

Aside from licensing, you don't need additional certification, though you could demonstrate your knowledge and expertise by obtaining specialized credentials. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) offers five certifications for oncology nurses, including the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) and Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) credentials. Eligibility requirements for both credentials include an RN license, 12 months of nursing experience, 1,000 hours of oncology nursing experience and ten hours of continuing nursing education. Other credentialing organizations include the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses, the Oncology Nursing Society and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

What Salary Could I Earn?

Your salary depends on your specialization and your level of practice. As of 2017, PayScale.com reported that the 10th-90th percentile of nurse practitioners specializing in pediatrics had a salary range of $69,138-$113,315. The median salary for pediatric RNs was $55,161.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A physician assistant performs many duties that are similar to those of a pediatric nurse practitioner. They see patients, assess their condition, order tests, diagnose patients and develop a treatment plan. These are all tasks that a pediatric nurse practitioner may perform. Like nurse practitioners, physician assistants need a master's degree to work in their field. Healthcare social workers perform some tasks that pediatric oncology nurses may perform. Healthcare social workers work with patients and their families to help them understand a diagnosis. They also help them process how the diagnosis and treatment will affect them, and changes that may need to be made to help the ill family member have the best chance for recovery. Healthcare social workers need a bachelor's or master's degree to work in their field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Delaware

    University of Delaware responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Delaware:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »