Oncology Nurse Nursing School and Program Information
Oncology nurses specialize in caring for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Supporting those fighting through radiation, surgeries, and chemo therapy to fight their disease can be a stressful and trying, but rewarding nursing career. The oncology nurses work under the supervision of an oncology physician to administer treatment and care for the patient, managing any pain and discomfort or other problems they may be struggling with as the go through or recover from treatments.
Oncology Nursing Qualifications, Education, & Training
This field can be both stressful and rewarding for nurses. Caring for cancer patients can cause emotional strain, and nurses in the oncology field will need a great deal of patience and compassion to care for and be supportive of their patients and the families depending on them for most of their daily care and information.
All oncology nurses first go through the education and training to become Registered Nurses (RN). There are several paths to becoming an RN. Some nurses will get a bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) degree at an accredited four-year college or university. Others will pursue an associates degree in nursing at a junior or community college. Still others will get a registered nursing diploma through a vocational or technical school, but diploma programs are less common. After completing the level of education you choose at an approved nursing program, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. At this point, you will want to become certified specifically as an oncology nurse. You can do this at a basic level through a nursing school, or you may go on to get your master's degree to become an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner specializing in oncology.
Oncology Nursing Job Outlook
Sadly, there are more cancer patients every day needing care and demand for oncology nurses is high. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a registered nurse was $62,450. Those with more education or certification will stand to make more. The top 10% were making over $92,000 annually. Advanced practice oncology nurses will of course stand to make more than their basic oncology nursing counterparts.
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