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OCN versus ONS chemo biotherapy certified

Oncology   (6,019 Views | 12 Replies)

greenerpastures has 5 years experience .

5,840 Profile Views; 190 Posts

We've been having a debate at work. Several of the OCNs think that they shouldn't have to take the ONS chemo/bio cert every 2 years because "I have my OCN that I renew every 4 years, that's WAY more intense than the chemo/bio class." I have made the argument that you need both. OCN says you are certified in the overall oncology field, while the ONS chemo/bio cert shows that you are specifically competent in chemo/bio admin which is a piece of oncology. Anyone have any thoughts, EBP, or policies to throw out there?

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DatMurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Hematology/Oncology.

792 Posts; 19,148 Profile Views

We've been having a debate at work. Several of the OCNs think that they shouldn't have to take the ONS chemo/bio cert every 2 years because "I have my OCN that I renew every 4 years, that's WAY more intense than the chemo/bio class." I have made the argument that you need both. OCN says you are certified in the overall oncology field, while the ONS chemo/bio cert shows that you are specifically competent in chemo/bio admin which is a piece of oncology. Anyone have any thoughts, EBP, or policies to throw out there?

I have both. I think the biotherapy class is a joke(online). Atleast for me it is. It is good for the initial certification, but followups and learning the meds listed is kind of pointless sometimes. There are new meds every month and the only way to keep up knowledge is by reading into the new drugs prior to administration and ask your coworkers.

Now I was never a participant of the IN PERSON class. I heard those were very informative, engaging, and more effective. So I do not have an input on the old ones.

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52 Posts; 1,175 Profile Views

At our institution, everyone gets the biotherapy cert from ons initially,but we are not required to maintain it. Some have ocn, some are preparing, and some don't care about it at all.

Ocn is definitely way harder. But it does not seem to incorporate the whole biothetherapy scope. If your institution Will pay for it, both is definitely best!

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greenerpastures has 5 years experience.

190 Posts; 5,840 Profile Views

We were really trying to settle whether someone had to have the ONS Chemotherapy Biotherapy course to be considered "competent" to give chemotherapy, OR if having OCN showed you were "competent"?

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OCNRN63 is a RN and specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

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The OCN recertification does not cover administration of chemo/biologics like the Chemo/Biotherapy course does.

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DatMurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Hematology/Oncology.

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The OCN recertification does not cover administration of chemo/biologics like the Chemo/Biotherapy course does.

even then, there are so many new drugs that the chemo courses do not offer it.

competency relies on the nurse, not on a certification.

Rules of administering safe chemo,

chemo ordering rights if the doctor is allowed to,

knowing drug interactions and withholding parameters,

how to administer it, tubing etc.

chemo regimens, bsa dosing. Was it done properly? standing height/scale etc.

There are plenty of things nowadays with computers at our stations. looking up globalrph to see manufacturer recommendations.

The online class is a joke and I done it at 6 months of EXP.

I think it is dependent upon the nurse. Its like BLS or ACLS. just because you have the cert, does that mean you will function when the time comes? I know plenty of nurses that do and plenty that dont.

I would say OCN would show that you aqre more than competent imo.

ex of new drugs that are not on chemo/biotherapy.

Darzalex, they do not mention Campath for sure., trabectin, REPOCH is not on there either. Ninlaro, elotuzumab.

I think alot of it is up to the individual nurse. basic competencies of knowing contraindications of the big drugs are important for sure. Dox/etoposide/vin/cytoxan/ifex/arac/dauno etc.

but I am still a fresh nurse at near 3 years. I still havent seen anyone get near to lifetime dose of an anthracycline. Maybe its cause there are so many combo options nowawadays.

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

1 Follower; 679 Posts; 9,894 Profile Views

I like this question. I work on a tele/onc floor that's sorta also med-surg, so I could have a day like last week where I gave multiple chemos and I can go a week without giving any. I don't have my OCN or the chemo cert, but as I am planning on doing travel nursing in a few months, I'm not sure if I should to keep my options open and market myself as an oncology nurse. Realistically I'd just do the online certificate. I haven't decided though.

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DatMurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Hematology/Oncology.

792 Posts; 19,148 Profile Views

I like this question. I work on a tele/onc floor that's sorta also med-surg, so I could have a day like last week where I gave multiple chemos and I can go a week without giving any. I don't have my OCN or the chemo cert, but as I am planning on doing travel nursing in a few months, I'm not sure if I should to keep my options open and market myself as an oncology nurse. Realistically I'd just do the online certificate. I haven't decided though.

How comfortable are you with chemo? if you are going to travel get the chemo cert IMO.

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52 Posts; 1,175 Profile Views

would a radiation oncology nurse OCN be proficient to admin chemo? Probably not.

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DatMurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Hematology/Oncology.

792 Posts; 19,148 Profile Views

would a radiation oncology nurse OCN be proficient to admin chemo? Probably not.

would a new grad that took the ons chemo cert be proficient? probably not.

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dream'n has 27 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych.

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We needed to take the Chemo/Biotherapy course and keep our certification current to administer chemotherapy where I worked. The ONS certification was optional.

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greenerpastures has 5 years experience.

190 Posts; 5,840 Profile Views

Thanks everyone for the answers. Apparently, were I'm working now, they are working out the policy on this. If you took the hospital cert years ago, it's "grandfathered" and you never have to take the ONS class. However, if you took the ONS class, you have to do the recert every 2 years now. Someone who was OCN stated they didn't need either because "I have my OCN." That was just strange to me as having you OCN is not chemo/bio specific at all. OCN is broadbased with A LOT of specialized information for testing, but the ONS chemo/bio course specifically addresses those medications.

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