Is oncology right for me?

Specialties Oncology


I'm ready for a change! After 20 years of ER and PACU, I'm thinking about applying for a position in Oncology. I want to try something new, and I miss having that nurse/patient relationship that you don't really develop in my current specialties. My concern is that the two hospitals I'm considering applying with have MULTIPLE jobs in oncology posted, day and night shift, with sign on bonuses and two positions for outpatient oncology infusion nurses. Is this normal across the board everywhere, or should I consider it a red flag? I imagine oncology can be high stress, but this seems like a lot of job vacancy for two major healthcare systems in my area. Thanks!

Shan, RN

72 Posts

Specializes in Oncology.

Hi! I worked inpatient oncology for nearly two years (part as a PCT and part as an RN) and have recently switched to outpatient chemo/immunotherapy infusion. If you're looking for quality nurse-patient relationships, oncology is a great specialty for that. You see the same patients repeatedly and for long periods of time, so you really get to know them and their families. It can be emotionally taxing--especially inpatient, wherein you will likely deal with a lot of end-of-life patients transitioning to hospice. That was very common on my unit. Chemotherapy administration is a fascinating topic, and I've really enjoyed cultivating that skill as an infusion nurse. As for the multiple vacancies, I would wonder if maybe the leadership or work environment is to blame, more so than oncology as a specialty. Most of the nurses I've worked with have been in oncology for many years and have no plans to leave. It's not for everyone, to be sure, but a lot of people discover a passion for these patients that they weren't expecting to find. Best of luck to you!

Specializes in general surgery/ER/PACU.

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate your response!

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