Chemotherapy Certification for Nurses or RNs

Certification in chemotherapy isn't available, but courses on administering radiation treatments to oncology patients are. Read on to learn what courses are offered, certification requirements, the curriculum of these courses, and job duties. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Chemotherapy Certification for Nurses?

If you are an oncology RN and you wish to administer chemotherapy, you can take the Oncology Nursing Society's (ONS) chemotherapy and biotherapy course. Completion of this 2-day class and a subsequent exam results in a chemotherapy provider card. However, this card should not be mistaken for certification. Only your employer can decide whether or not you have the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to administer chemotherapy. Your provider card is good for two years, and you'll be able to renew it by taking an online course and test.

Chemotherapy Courses Offered ONS chemotherapy and biotherapy course, rendering a chemotherapy provider card
Certification Preparations Short classes that cover various topics from drug administration techniques to proper handling of chemotherapy drugs
ONCC Certification Requirements Having an RN license, being employed for one year, and completion of ten continuing education hours
Job Duties Monitor patients during and after chemotherapy, administer treatments, and act as an educator to patients and their families

How Can I Prepare for Certification?

There are schools that offer courses designed to help you prepare for ONCC certification. These courses cover recent drug developments, drug administration techniques and safe handling for chemotherapy drugs. You'll also learn about side effects of cancer medications and the correct use of medical equipment. Some programs may include instruction on patient follow-up and record keeping.

What Certifications Can I Earn?

If you're an RN, you can become a certified oncology nurse or certified oncology nurse practitioner by meeting eligibility requirements and taking an exam offered by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC). Oncology certifications attest to your comprehension of oncology nursing, but these certifications do not establish your eligibility or ability to provide chemotherapy to patients.

The ONCC offers many levels of oncology certification. If you've been employed for at least one year as an RN and meet all other professional requirements, such as experience in an oncology department and completion of ten continuing education hours, you'll be able to sit for the ONCC's Oncology Certified Nurse exam. This certification must be renewed every four years. In fact, you can meet some certification renewal requirements by completing the ONS chemotherapy and biotherapy course.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As an oncology nurse, you'll provide care to patients afflicted with cancer. You'll monitor patients during and after chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In some cases, you'll administer these treatments as well. You may be trained to work in pediatric oncology and work exclusively with children who have cancer, or you may specialize in adult care. You may also act as an educator or answer questions from patients and their families.

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:

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