What Is Oncology Nursing?

The proper care of cancer patients requires a team of specially-trained and knowledgeable doctors and nurses. Oncology nursing is a vital facet of this team; it provides support and care for cancer patients. Read on to find out more about oncology nursing careers. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Oncology Nursing

Oncology nursing refers to the many aspects of administering care to a cancer patient. The responsibilities of such professionals include helping patients with chemotherapy procedures, educating them about their treatment options and managing the pain associated with cancer. These specialty nurses can be found in hospitals, health care clinics, and home health care agencies.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Mean Salary (2019) $74,292 (for oncology nurses)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% (for registered nurses)
Key Skills Medical knowledge, ability to provide supportive care
On-the-Job Training Internships, working one-on-one with patients

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Salary.com


Hospital-based oncology nurses can take on several roles from cancer research to patient support and care. Oncology nursing departments might be found in hospital research centers or in both inpatient and outpatient cancer-care centers. Those who work in hospital settings might assist with radiation treatments. They also help manage cancer symptoms and the side effects of treatments. In some cases, oncology nurses might work with researchers in the development of new treatments.

Health Care Clinics

As a growing number of cancer patients are surviving for five years or more, ongoing care must be provided for these individuals. Oncology nursing can offer continued care through health care clinics. Patient support, education, screening and the administering of medications are all a part of oncology nursing at health care clinics.

Home Health Care Agencies

The number of individuals who are receiving oncology services is expected to increase by 20 million over a 15-year period ending in 2020, according to the news magazine Oncology Nursing News. As such, there could be an increased need for in-home oncology care. This would enable patients to be monitored, assisted with medication regimens, given blood tests and educated about cancer in their own homes. Nurses might also provide information about community organizations that could offer additional support to these patients.

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