Online Chemotherapy Certification

Learn about certifications for oncology nurses who administer radiation and monitor patients during chemotherapy. Find out about online education options and topics of study. Learn about certification exams and how to prepare for them. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do I Need to Know About Online Oncology Certification?

Oncology certification is granted by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC). There are six oncology certifications you can earn if you do not already possess a certification. These exams are designed to test different levels, such as clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners. Some test for specific fields, such as pediatric oncology and breast cancer. You may register for these exams online through the ONCC, but they are taken at a nearby test center. In addition to the exam, each level has its own specific eligibility and experience requirements, which generally cannot be completed online.

Certification Exams6 certification exams testing different areas; exams cannot be completed online
Online OptionsSome oncology certification programs available for those already working in the field
Common TopicsEffects of chemotherapy drugs, cancer detection, patient care, assisting families with daily struggles
Exam TopicsResearch, emergencies, survival issues, treatment methods, disease prevention
Exam RequirementsVaries based on the particular exam, but could include a bachelor's or master's degree, RN license, related work experience, and a certain number of continuing education classes
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% (for all registered nurses )
Median Salary (2018) _ $71,730 (for all registered nurses )

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are the Programs Available Online?

Some oncology certification programs are available online. The certificate programs don't have the practicum requirements, but they assume you're already working with oncology patients. Some schools have residency requirements, so you'd have to meet on campus and take seminars. Other course requirements can be fulfilled by accessing an e-learning platform like Blackboard or Angel for course lectures, assignments and to interact with your classmates.

What Topics Will I Study?

Through oncology nurse practitioner and adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist with a minor in oncology programs, you work with patients to gain experience providing support and care. You could study the effects of chemotherapy drugs to observe and research the effects of radiation. You may learn to detect cancer early and study prevention methods. Some classes focus on healthcare management techniques, including patient care, ethics and financing options. In clinical practicums, students work with children and adult patients, as well as assist doctors in treatment and families in daily struggles.

Certificate programs cover similar topics, but are shorter and more intensive. Topics include administering care and managing disease symptoms. You may study treatment options so you can discuss them with your patients. Some classes cover how cancer affects your patient's psyche so you can anticipate emotional reactions during and after treatment.

What is the Certification Exam Like?

Each test is made up of 165 multiple-choice questions that you have three hours to complete. The exam covers several areas, which vary slightly depending on the certification you're seeking. The basic oncology nursing certification exam covers these topics:

  • Screening and early detection
  • Disease prevention
  • Treatment methods
  • Research
  • Managing symptoms
  • Emergencies
  • The psyche
  • Sexual side effects
  • Survival issues
  • Grief

What is Required to Sit for the Exam?

Each credential level has its own requirements. For example, to be eligible for the basic oncology nurse certification exam, you must have a current RN license and at least a year of nursing experience. Within the three years prior to taking the exam, you must have taken at least ten hours of continuing education credits in oncology. You also need to have logged at least 1,000 hours of oncology nursing practice within two and a half years prior to the exam.

Three credentials - the Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN), Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP) and Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS) - require a master's degree or higher from an accredited school. To be admitted to these programs, you must have at least a bachelor's degree and a nursing license. Graduate-level educational programs to choose from include:

  • Master's degree programs
  • Doctoral degree programs
  • Graduate certificates
  • Oncology nurse practitioner programs
  • Post-master's certificates

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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