How Can I Become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?

Research what it takes to become a pediatric oncology nurse. Learn about education requirements, and licensure and certification requirements to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?

Children with cancer receive nursing care from pediatric oncology nurses. These nurses specialize in cancer treatments and work with children who are diagnosed with cancer. They may perform a wide range of tasks. Some pediatric oncology nurses may focus on education, and may be involved in explaining to patients how their illness affects them or how the treatment they're going to receive will help. They also educate and support the child's family members. Pediatric oncology nurses may also be involved in performing treatments. They might give a patient chemotherapy or other prescribed treatment.

Degree Required Associate's or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Nursing
Key Responsibilities Administer medication and treatment; take vital signs and maintain patient records; observe patient status and report changes; assist physician with examination and treatment
Licensure and/or Certification All states require RNs to be licensed; board certification is available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 16% for all registered nurses*
Median Salary (2015) $67,490 for all registered nurses*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?

You must be a registered nurse (RN) to work as a pediatric oncology nurse. This requires you to earn an associate's degree in nursing or registered nursing (ADRN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), as well as a state-issued license. A certified nursing assistant or practical nursing license may be required to enter an ADRN program. Prerequisite courses typically include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, medical terminology, psychology, microbiology, statistics and chemistry. Other prerequisites could include cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and current vaccinations.

You can enter most traditional BSN programs with a high school diploma. Colleges may require that you have a certain number of high school credits in social sciences, English, math and a foreign language. BSN courses include reproductive health, child and adolescent health, psychology, biochemistry, pharmacology, statistics and leadership.

How Can I Obtain Licensure?

Licensing requirements vary by state. You can apply for licensing through your state's board of nursing. Currently, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American-Samoa, the Virgin Islands and all 50 U.S. states require that nurses pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to gain licensure as a registered nurse (www.ncsbn.org). The NCLEX-RN is developed and maintained by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Pediatric Oncology Nursing Certification

Certification for pediatric oncology nurses is voluntary. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) offers a certification (CPHON) for pediatric oncology hematology nurses. (www.oncc.org). Certification candidates must be licensed RNs and have at least one year of experience and ten hours of approved continuing nursing education in oncology within the last three years. You must also have 1,000 hours of nursing practice in hematology or pediatric oncology during the last 30 months to be eligible to take the CPHON exam.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Healthcare social workers and physician assistants work in the medical field, like pediatric oncology nurses, and they perform some duties that are similar to those of a pediatric oncology nurse. Healthcare social workers may be involved in educating and supporting patients and their families, which is something that pediatric oncology nurses may also do. Physician assistants may be involved in ordering or administering tests to diagnose a patient. They may also prescribe treatment. A physician assistant may work with a pediatric oncology nurse to ensure that a patient they diagnose has an appropriate treatment plan put in place. Healthcare social workers need a bachelor's or master's degree. Physician assistants need a master's degree.

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

  • The George Washington University

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

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    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

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Arizona: Phoenix
    • Florida: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie
    • Indiana: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis
    • Ohio: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls
    • Pennsylvania: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton
    • South Carolina: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia
    • Tennessee: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia, Nashville
    • Utah: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia, Nashville, Salt Lake City
    • Virginia: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Norfolk
  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    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

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »