Oncology nurse but my heart is not in it.

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I've been working on a oncology floor for about 8 months. I've discovered at this time, emotionally it is not a good fit for me so I am looking to move on to something else. I've yet to be chemo certified and wouldn't even begin that process until September or October. I've been told by a family member who is in management (in business) that I should stick it out and get the certification because it would look good on my resume. What is your opinion on this? Is it really something that would improve my resume despite the fact that it wouldn't be put to use?

    Dear Chemo is Not a Good Fit,

    With all due respect to your family member, it is not the best use of your efforts to become certified in a specialty you don’t love.

    The Chemo Certification exam is difficult, and then you have to maintain clinical hours (stay in the specialty), or you’ll lose the certification.

    As far as an employer being impressed with a Chemo Certification- yes, if you were applying to an oncology area. Otherwise, not so much.

    It’s time to branch out and find your nursing niche. That’s the beauty of nursing, there are so many opportunities. From there, pursue further education and certifications as feels right for you.

    When it’s the right thing for you, you’ll enjoy your work and find your emotional fit.

    Readers, do you think it’s wise for the OP to get her/his Chemo Certification? or just move on?

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,314; Likes: 3,921


  3. by   Iheartglamping
    If it were me, I would find my niche in another speciality. Then, get a certification in that speciality. Because you are currently employed, that is great & you can just find another position. Being currently in the workforce makes that a piece of cake.
  4. by   Steffy44
    Having the same problem. I'm coming up on my 2 years on an ortho floor so they are pimping me to become certified. I am holding them off for now because I'm working on my BSN. I have zero desire to be an ortho nurse forever and made it clear in the interview...I want to be a hospice nurse. Sigh...
  5. by   TheCommuter
    To be totally honest, I have not found my niche after 11 years of being a nurse. At this point in my career, I will remain with a job that has a tolerable work environment and pleasant coworkers.

    I am certified in rehabilitation nursing (CRRN), but started to become burned out after 8 years in that specialty. I now work away from the bedside. It is what the doctor ordered. I plan to remain in this role until management tires of me.

    My point is that my heart has never really been into any nursing position I have ever held. However, I have been able to find a happy medium by turning lemons into lemonade and making the best of potentially dismal situations.
  6. by   Carol Bush
    I agree with your advice, @NurseBeth. The time commitment for chemo/bio certification is significant and there will only be ROI in the oncology space. What about taking that time you might have spent studying for chemo/bio and beefing up existing skills (or learning a new skill) which you can apply to any nursing opportunity? Like...take language classes, or a grant writing course, or beef up your public speaking skillset! Or...what about ramping up tech skills? These are all things which will set you apart from others when exploring nursing career opportunities. One of the most interesting jobs I have held in my career was working as a float nurse for a multi-specialty physician practice! I gained exposure to multiple specialties, developed close relationships with nursing & physician colleagues...AND never was bored!