Oncology nurses are specialized healthcare professionals who work with patients diagnosed with cancer. Working as part of a team, they are responsible for assessing patient health and maintaining a record of its progress. They are also involved in administering healthcare to patients, which makes them extremely important in the overall healthcare process. In addition to providing healthcare to these individuals, oncology nurses also provide care to patients who experience side effects from chemotherapy and other treatment options for their cancer. They must be quick to assess the changes in the patient's health and gauge their level of response to treatment. Furthermore, they will coordinate with various departments in the hospital to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate care in time.
How Can I Become An Oncology Nurse?
Most professionals in this field are required to become registered nurses first. This involves enrolling into a nursing degree program offered by an accredited postsecondary educational institution. You may choose between a diploma from a hospital, an associate's degree, or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. The diploma may take a year to complete, while a BSN program is a four year degree which is more rigorous in its curriculum and training level. Over the course of your studies, you will be taken through courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. All of these will be taught to help you understand the human body in a medical context. The BSN degree goes a step further by coupling your medical training with extensive training in the humanities and social sciences. These will help you sharpen your analytical skills, and develop a more sensitive approach towards patients. Clinical training is also important and comprises a vital part of your training. You will learn how to provide chemotherapy and operate hospital equipment in the provision of healthcare. Once you complete your undergraduate degree, you will be required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Following this, you will also have to clear the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) exam administered by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC).
What Job Opportunities Are Available For Me?
Oncology nurses could gain employment in a variety of healthcare fields, private or public. You could work as a supervisor, helping licensed nurses conduct treatment for patients. You could also work in a private healthcare facility and work directly with patients.
With the world moving towards more online services, many universities are now offering students the chance to enroll in nursing degree courses online. These offer a highly convenient and flexible framework for students of diverse backgrounds to gain access to valuable information. You may work through the material at your own pace, ensuring thorough grasp of the concepts, and you will not have to alter your schedule significantly either. If you are working a part-time or full-time job or are a college graduate who may feel uncomfortable with returning to school, this is an excellent option for you. The best part is that despite being offered online, this degree does not limit your opportunities.