Catch 22 to get certified or get a job in Oncology

  1. 0
    I've been interested in Oncology from the beginning; I've been looking at the jobs, and most require one type of certification or another from ONCC - I knew this and am not surprised. I've been working medsurg to gain experience in general since you can't certify as a new grad.

    However, every hiring manager I've spoken to (three so far) have required the certification to start. But to even be eligible to certify, I have to have "A minimum of 1,000 hours of oncology or hematology nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application," according to ONCC.

    I can't qualify to certify without the job, and I cant get the job without the certificate. How do I solve this?

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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 1
    I think it all depends on where you're applying. Our hospital hires oncology GN's straight out of school. Though I think that a lot of places are looking to hire experienced oncology RN's. Don't give up!!!
    JenHallRN likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from bmt nurse
    I think it all depends on where you're applying. Our hospital hires oncology GN's straight out of school. Though I think that a lot of places are looking to hire experienced oncology RN's. Don't give up!!!
    I had the same problem. I just kept applying over and over and just got a job in peds onc (put out over 15 resumes for this job over a 2 year period
  5. 1
    Are you sure they want certification s in specialty certification ("OCN") or chemo certification (which is actually not a certification, it's a chemo provider card). A lot of jobs want you to have the chemo provider card prior to starting. You don't need any work experience to take the chemo provider course to get your card; it's a 2 day class much like ACLS.

    If you want to know more about it go to Oncology Nursing Society and you'll get more answers.
    RescueNinja2013 likes this.
  6. 0
    Hi OCNRN63, I am a new RN, still waiting for my license and seeking an oncology position in or near Chicago. Do I need to be employed for six months to obtain a chemo provider card? Do you know how much this two day course costs? If you're specialty certified in oncology, do you still need to obtain/maintain a chemo provider card? I guess I'm kind of confused with the ONS and ONCC and OCN names. Could you clarify? Thank you so much.
  7. 0
    Alright I have been an oncology nurse for over 12 years. You need to get chemo therapy certifided to handle and administer chemo therapy. Most hospital will require you to obtain certification within 6 months of hire. Chemo certification is different than Oncology nurse certification. ONS is an professional organization. ONCC is a coporation that provides certification for oncology. OCN is your title once you get certifide so you would sign your name, RN, OCN. In terms of getting OCN certified, most would like for you to get certified after you are hired. Like I said I have been an oncology nurse for over 12 years, I have worked at many places, and most ask their employees to be certified at some point after hire. If it is a requirement for hiring, they are probably trying to wean out their applicants but if you show your interest, I am sure, they will pass it by. I just got OCN certified myself. I hope this helps you.
  8. 0
    Thank you for responding RainieRN! Is this the book I need to obtain a chemo provider card? Would it be possible for me to obtain one before I get hired anywhere? This way I can add it to my resume.Name:  image.jpg
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  9. 0
    Yes that is the book to get chemo cert. There is a 2-day course you have to take and pretty much everybody passes. If you don't, they go over the test with you and give you another test so you can pass the same day. The best way to learn chemotherapy is by doing it so it will make more sense when you are handling chemotherapy. When you start studying for the OCN cert. get the "green Core Curriculum" study guide and question book, in addition to using the chemotherapy book above.
  10. 0
    ​JMO, I would suggest getting the "Core Curriculum" to anyone who is going into oncology nursing. It's a great way to help build your foundation of knowledge, not just a guide for certification.
  11. 0
    It is my understanding the 2 day course will cease as of December 31, 2013 and 2 get the card you will need 1,000 hours plus the new online course.

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