How to become an oncology nurse?

  1. I am finally in a position to apply and begin training to be a nurse and really want to go into oncology.

    I am starting with an access to nursing course, but am trying to work out my best 'route' for further training.

    I am not entirely sure on the correct wat to become an oncology nurse.

    Is it possible to complete a 3 yr nursing course and seek employment in an oncology ward/unit or must I complete the 4-6 yr part time oncology nursing course listed AFTER my 3 yr nursing course? :stone

    Thanks for any advice you can give.. Your views are much appreciated.
  2. Visit Purple Hugs profile page

    About Purple Hugs

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 18


  3. by   jemb
    Most oncology nurses in the US have done on-the-job oncology/chemotherapy training after graduating from nursing school and passing the RN boards. The specific degree (or diploma) makes no difference unless you intend to pursue a management position or continue on to become a NP.

    There are additional courses and certifications available through colleges, other educational sources, and through the Oncology Nursing Society, but they are generally pursued after you are already working in oncology.
  4. by   renerian
    I worked as a student on the hem/onc unit at a teaching hospital my last two semsters. I did have to take a turn at another unit so I chose burn. I know it probably is odd. I was offered a job on the floor before I graduated which I of course accepted. Maybe you can do a rotation to the floor like that and try it out.

  5. by   FROGGYLEGS
    My very first nursing job was in an oncology unit at a major hospital. I didn't have any special training; I had my diploma and that was it. They hired me before I even sat for boards. They did send me through some classes to learn some different things for their unit. The were similar to the other hospital pre-service classes I had to take. Since I was employed by them and they required the classes, I did receive pay for attending.

    To keep this short; I agree with what jemb said.

    Good luck to you.
  6. by   Purple Hugs
    Thanks for confirming what I was hoping!

    I guess I have 4 years hard work ahead of me, but I thought it important to figure out where I wanted to be initially. I know that might change as I get experience during my training but I didnt' want to be vague.

    Thanks for your feedback and I'll certainly know to look into getting the right work experience whilst on the courses.

    My first year is part work experience too which will be daunting no doubt!

    Thanks again!