How to get oncology certified and experience

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I am currently working as an RN on a rehab unit in a local hospital. Although I love my job, my heart is set on working as an oncology nurse. The truth is that that oncology/hematology was my main reason to pursue nursing. I had a personal experience at a very young age where I was a recipient of a BMT. Ever since then, even after graduating with a bachelor's in biology, i wanted to change my career and get more involved in healthcare and being able to contribute to society.

    I am currently enrolled in a BSN program, so my options will broaden. Meanwhile, I want to get some experience with infusion and become chemo certified. Does anyone have any advice on how I could do something like that?
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    About bugbugrn

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 20


  3. by   cboneal
    Hi there, Does your hospital have an oncology unit? If so, your best option is to transfer units so you can get some experience. Once you have at least a thousand hours of oncology experience, you can sit for the OCN certification exam. OCN Certification Most hospital-based oncology units send their nurses for chemotherapy administration training, and you aren't expected to have this training before being hired. If your hospital doesn't have a dedicated oncology unit, do they have an infusion center? This is another place to get oncology experience although I think the inpatient side is a better place to start. Congratulations on wanting to become an oncology nurse - you can't find a better patient population to work with. Make sure you continue to take care of yourself though (exercise, meditation, yoga, whatever) becauseboncology can take an emotional toll. -Cristin, RN-OCN
  4. by   bugbugrn
    Thank you so much for your great advice Christin! I will try that. A transfer may be the best way to try. I am just waiting for an opening now.