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ICU to Onc, how to get the hours?

Oncology   (224 Views | 4 Replies)
by keitamuso keitamuso (New) New

75 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Current ICU RN (7+ years) looking to get my oncology certification and work infusion.  My understanding is that the hours I need must be in direct oncology nursing.  How do I do this without the certification?  Could any of my ICU hours count given a percentage of our patients are cancer patients?  How do others get these hours?  Thank you for an advice!

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4 Posts; 75 Profile Views

Me again.  So, I can get certified to give chemo by taking the courses and passing the exam.  That way, I could get a job on an oncology unit (in theory).  However, I need the 2000 hours on said unit before I can get my OCN certification which establishes me as an "expert" (like the CCRN for ICU nurses) bedside oncology nurse.  Do I understand this correctly?  Thank you!

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Swellz has 6 years experience and specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

1 Follower; 715 Posts; 10,033 Profile Views

On 5/18/2020 at 9:14 PM, keitamuso said:

Me again.  So, I can get certified to give chemo by taking the courses and passing the exam.  That way, I could get a job on an oncology unit (in theory).  However, I need the 2000 hours on said unit before I can get my OCN certification which establishes me as an "expert" (like the CCRN for ICU nurses) bedside oncology nurse.  Do I understand this correctly?  Thank you!

You are correct. You cannot get the OCN without the patient care hours, but you can get the "chemo card" aka ONS/ONCC chemo/immunotherapy certificate. If I remember correctly, they have an introductory course if you are new to cancer care/chemo in general, which might be more appropriate for you and show potential managers your interest. I would think any infusion center would help you obtain your chemo provider card and OCN certification after hiring you, so I don't know that you need to do this independently.

Edited by Swellz
my inability to type in English

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OncologyCat has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Medical Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplant.

101 Posts; 894 Profile Views

I think the hands-on experience in onc is very helpful in passing the OCN exam. It also makes it easier when you sit down and study for the test. Many onc positions don’t require OCN certification upfront (unless you’re applying to a more competitive position in a well-known hospital, then OCN is preferred). There’re couple of courses on ONS that are helpful for nurses new to onc as well (Cancer basics, Fundamentals of onc, Bio/Chemo course).

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4 Posts; 75 Profile Views

Thank you both!  OncologyCat, I was thinking of delving into that info anyway because it seems so interesting.

Swellz, you are right and I will follow that advice.  Thank you!

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