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Certification: CPON vs BMTCN?

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant.

Hi There! I posted this the Oncology section but also thought I'd post here:

I work on a pediatric BMT unit and am looking at testing for one of the specialty certifications: either CPON (Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse) or BMTCN (Bone Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse) which covers both adults & peds. Any advice which might be better?

I had a manager say CPON would be more useful if I ever wanted to work at another hospital and it's more focused on Peds. She also noted it's the professional standard for nurses working in the pediatric oncology specialty.

A RN colleague of mine who holds both certifications thinks I should do BMTCN since "you're a BMT nurse...that's what you do."

Another RN colleague said it really doesn't matter which certification I site for. Just holding a specialty certification shows professional growth & specialization either way.

Thoughts on this?

Thanks for you insight!

I think this is a personal decision. I would recommend doing the CPON. The reason being that if you do decide to look for another position...many organizations have pediatric hem/onc but there are not a lot of BMT units unless you look at free standing children's hospitals. Even for organizations who do not have a large volume of hem/onc patients...they are likely seeing some of these patients when their counts are low and your expertise would be valued. Unless you are on a unit that is providing BMT...its unlikely that there will be much "perceived" value in that particular certification. Again, this is my personal opinion...and I think its great that you are getting certified regardless of what you choose. Thank you for being a professional nurse!


Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant.

Thanks for your response, jrtaylor4, after talking to a number of different folks I've decided CPHON is the best option at this point in my career. I like that it's peds focused and covers Heme/Onc/BMT together. One of our travel RNs pointed out the same thing you did: that other units are usually combined rather than just BMT. If I ever want to move to another hospital or try travel nursing CPHON would be the most useful.

Thanks again for your thoughts, I really appreciate the feedback!


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