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Education required to be an oncology nurse

by Cush63 Cush63 (New) New

I am currently finishing my last semester of an ADN program and will take the NCLEX-RN in June. I have been a LPN for about a year now and a massage therapist for 10 years. I am VERY interested in becoming an oncology nurse and need to know how much more education is required. Is it a must to have a BSN or a MSN? I will be continuing on to get my BSN, but would really like to start in oncology if I can when I graduate in MAY. Does anyone out there know if this is a possibily for me or am I just dreaming. Any input would be great! Thanks:cry:

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

We have ADNs on my floor. The only requirement is that you're an RN and that you get chemo certified through the ONS within your first year.

flygirls2, BSN

Specializes in ER/Forensics/Disaster. Has 13 years experience.

I just graduated nursing school this fall(RN-Associate's) and have been hired on for an inpatient Oncology unit. I am being hired for a nurse intern program my hospital offers, which offers positions all over the hospital(and good training/education at that).

I would think a good starting point for you would be to look for an intern type program like this, as your chances of being hired into specialties as a new grad are higher. Plus, it gets your foot in the door on that unit.


Specializes in Peds Heme/Onc. Has 3 years experience.

You usually just need to be an RN. Once you are hired the hospital will offer a Chemo cert. class. You can usually give chemo once you have passed that class.


Specializes in Oncology, Palliative care.

Hi Blondy2061h :)

I think your personal attributes are more important than actual oncology training or experience as it can be a highly emotional area to work in with a lot of clients experiencing many psychosocial issues. The only requirement is usually that you are a registered nurse.

We have newly qualified RN's who do not yet give chemotherapy and probably wont for at least 6 months until they settle in, but they are at least working (and learning) in an oncology setting and are considered valuable members of the team.

It's hugely rewarding Blondy2061h and as I said at the beginning, your personal attributes in my opinion are far more important - you can learn clinical skills but a caring and compassionsinate demenour are innate.

Hope that helps and good luck! ;)

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