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Nursing Careers: A Career Working With Cancer Patients

 

            Registered nurses often choose to specialize in specific areas of medicine.  One such area is oncology – the branch of medicine that works with cancer patients.  Nurses who are trained in oncology can participate in a variety of procedures.

 

            Responsibilities of oncology nurses include administering chemotherapy, caring for patients who’ve been treated with radiation, and working in other areas of cancer treatment. As you can imagine, oncology nursing requires the ability to provide comfort emotionally as well as physically.  You’ll often be working with people 


who have life-limiting illness and are dealing with the emotional issues that surround their illness.  You’ll also need to be able to deal with issues around death and grieving.

 

            In order to become a certified oncology nurse or OCN, you’ll have to meet several requirements once you’ve become a registered nurse.  You’ll have to work for at least one year as an RN.  In addition, you’ll have to log 1,000 hours in an oncology setting within three years prior to applying for your certificate.

 

            You’ll also have to take 10 hours of continuing education in oncology.  Finally you’ll have to take an exam in oncology nursing before you can be certified.  Once you earn your OCN, you’ll have to continue to take education courses to keep it.

 

            This is a field that is in demand.  With the baby boomer generation growing older, there will be more incidence of cancer in the population.  Specially trained nurses will be needed to keep up with the demand of patient needs.

 

            With an OCN, you’ll be able to work in a hospital setting, private doctor’s office, cancer treatment center, or hospice.  You’ll be more attractive to these employers when you’ve achieved certification in oncology.  Financially, you’ll also be compensated.  Nurses who are certified in oncology can command a higher salary than those who aren’t. 

 

            Certification also prepares you to be a competent professional.  You’ll receive more training and education than those who aren’t certified.  You can get more information about the Oncology Certificate in Nursing with the certification agency online or through many specialty websites. 

 

            Becoming an advanced practice nurse in the field of oncology can be very rewarding.  As you comfort and care for your patients you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a real difference in the life of someone who’s dealing with a serious illness.  It takes a special person to be an oncology nurse, but if you have what it takes, what are you waiting for?  Find out what you need to do to achieve this credential and get started in a rewarding profession.

 

 

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