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Possibly getting my OCN?

Oncology   (4,132 Views 10 Comments)
by *~*MaL*~*RN* *~*MaL*~*RN* (New Member) New Member

*~*MaL*~*RN* specializes in home health/med-surg.

548 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hi,

I recently graduated in December of 2010. I started working on an oncology/medsurg floor and will be off orientation in two weeks. I know that within a year they will want me to get chemo certified. I was wondering if getting my OCN would be a good idea also within a couple years and what are your ideas/stories/opinions of being an oncology nurse. I am debating on making oncology my first specialty eventually, while I will be working on an oncology floor.

Thanks

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12 Posts; 907 Profile Views

Unfortunately, I can't help you here, but I am also curious to hear what people have to say. I am a new grad and was just hired to an oncology med/surg floor -- would love to know more about your experience so far!

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*~*MaL*~*RN* specializes in home health/med-surg.

4 Posts; 548 Profile Views

It has been great so far! I have been with about five different preceptors, but I don't mind because you get to see different ways things are done and how different people handle things. It gave me a better idea of how I want to handle the busy job! The nurses actually like having an orientee, they don't seem to want to bite your heads off like "back in the day".

I have realized now that nursing school doesn't teach you how to do the nursing job, only how to be a nurse. I have been a little overwhelmed with all the paperwork and how to handle the doctors, but I am pulling through that. Everyone swears that it will become second nature to you after so long.

I feel I have learned more in 6 weeks than I have in a very long time.

How is your experience going so far? Is this your first job out of college too?

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12 Posts; 907 Profile Views

Thanks! I actually haven't started yet (was just hired today! :)), so will have to get back to you in a few weeks to let you know about my experience. I'm both nervous and very excited to get started.

This is my second career, so I've worked elsewhere before, but this will be my first job out of nursing school.

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*~*MaL*~*RN* specializes in home health/med-surg.

4 Posts; 548 Profile Views

Well good luck to you! Its great experience! The greatest tip I can give to you so far is that the medsurg floor is, of course, so super busy! So organization and time management is the first thing you have to get good at.

Good Luck!

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nursie_pants has 2 years experience and specializes in oncology.

53 Posts; 3,423 Profile Views

Yay for looking into the OCN certification! Not to be a downer, but you have to have logged 12 months work experience before you can even register to take the exam... I started my first job in January 2009 so the first time I could have even sat for the OCN exam would have been May 2010. So, just keep that in mind.

I'm registering for it now and planning to take it in November (2011). The deadline to register is July 20th, so you can see how they make you sign up well in advance. Plus you have to have so many CEUs as well, which you probably have with orientation, etc.

Also, re: chemo certification, the hospital where I used to work (I just switched jobs) said they wanted 12 months work experience before getting chemo certified. I just asked if I could do it at 7 months and got the green light. So, depending on your hospital/working situation, you may have some flexibility.

Best of luck!

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mzjennx is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology, Med-Surg.

281 Posts; 6,937 Profile Views

I work in a med surg oncology floor for 2 years now. I never use to like this but now I love what I do and I'm proud to be an oncology nurse. It is a different experience. Lot of psycho social giving Chemo giving blood treating neutropenic fever hanging antivirals and antibiotics and antifungal. Patients have nausea poor appetite and can become depress. Lots of damage control, healing, listening and being there not as a nurse but as a person. Your facing fear anxiety and death. So you gotta be supportive and sympathetic and definitely compassionate in what you do.

I think you need one year as a new grad before you can get your Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider card to give Chemo. The facility I'm

At gave me 2 days of Chemo giving and then I was on my own to give Chemo on the floor. My unit does not require the Oncology Nursing Certificate aka OCN but I plan to get it next year.

To be eligible to sit for the OCN you need 1 year experience as a RN, 1000 hours of Chemo giving , 10 CE with 50% in oncology. You can look at the eligibility here http://www.oncc.org/TakeTest/Certifications/OCN/Eligibility

I am working on my CE and will start prepping for testing. I hear the test is super hard bur the national recognition is worth it and you will be able to get an oncology job anywhere with this accomplishment. My advise is if you plan to stay in Oncology like me then do it. Better for you better for your patients.

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223 Posts; 3,232 Profile Views

Just wanted to clarify a point in the above post - you don't need 1000 hrs of hanging chemo to sit for the exam, just 1000 hrs of oncology practice within the 30 months prior to applying. Actually, as far as I know, you don't need any chemo experience. Surgical oncology nurses can be OCN certified too.

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mzjennx is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology, Med-Surg.

281 Posts; 6,937 Profile Views

Just wanted to clarify a point in the above post - you don't need 1000 hrs of hanging chemo to sit for the exam, just 1000 hrs of oncology practice within the 30 months prior to applying. Actually, as far as I know, you don't need any chemo experience. Surgical oncology nurses can be OCN certified too.

oh really ok thats good. i work with post-op chemo/cancer tumor removal patients, had my inpatient and outpatient experience. I know I got the hours so all i gotta do is study. thanks for your heads up.

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1 Post; 385 Profile Views

I wish I were in your shoes. I was a LVN for over 22 years. I graduated with my RN in May. I use to work on an Oncology unit when I was first a LVN and loved it. When I moved back to Texas, I have been unable to get back to Oncology unit. Now I want to get back to such a field however here in Texas no one will hire you unless you have your OCN certification. Jump on the option if it is offered to you. It will help you in the long run. IF you are interested in staying in the Oncology field. Good luck!

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