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Pediatric Oncology Nursing

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I am currently in an accelerated BSN program in Massachusetts. I am writing a paper, in regards to a nursing role that I would like to go into. I would really like to work in Pediatric Onology Nursing. I was wondering if anyone could help me with some information that I looking for. There is not much info out there about this speciality. Would anyone know what kind of educational requirements are needed for this? Also, how did anyone you get started in this speciality.

Also, if any pediatric oncology nurses are willing to answer a few questions from me, sort of an informal interview by email, please let me know.

Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie

Edited by NotReady4PrimeTime
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NeoPediRN

Specializes in Pediatrics, ER. Has 6 years experience.

Hi from an RN in MA whose dream is also to go into peds oncology. I will tell you that you need a BSN for this field in MA, and there are two inpatient dedicated pediatric oncology units in Boston. You need at least 1 year of acute pediatric experience or 1-2 years of general inpatient heme/onc experience in acute care. Your best bet would be to become a patient care tech on an oncology floor in a major Boston hospital, or at Children's. It's really tough right now because market is terrible and most hospitals are on a hiring freeze.

Hi Cassie!

I don't think there is a direct answer to your question because every hospital and every state will have different requirements, which is applicable to all specialties. I got my BSN in NY but I work in California. As a new grad, my hospital required me to start off w/ the 6 month probation period as an acute peds RN, and received my 8wks of new grad orientation during this time. Then, as part of the new grad class curriculum, we had a 2 day Hem/onc overview class and those interested in pursuing the specialty had to take the hospital's chemo competency test. Once you passed the test, then I was set up to train with a heme/onc RN one on one for 3 days to orient to the heme/onc area. And from that point on I was a heme/onc RN. I was also encouraged by my boss to take the APHON Biotherapy Provider course but all of my training has been on the job. I am still learning daily after 2 years as a heme/onc RN.

And I personally got into the specialty because I had an interest in oncology while in school. I enjoyed my adult oncology rotation that I was lucky to get during school but I also loved pediatrics. It's definitely something you have to be initially interested in to be able to handle. It's a hard but rewarding department to work in. I love my kids at work and I love the families I've gotten to know well. If you still need people to interview, let me know.

Good luck!

-hemeonc girl

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