The Unique Role of Oncology Nurses in Cancer Care

Oncology nurses are essential partners in the fight against cancer, providing life-saving care and support to patients and their families. Through experience, education, passion and resilience, oncology nurses can provide a unique level of care that is both physically and emotionally taxing. They have the training to assess a person's needs both in hospitals and in outpatient offices, anticipate the needs of patients and family caregivers, and work with case managers and social workers to ensure that patients have the right support and professional help in their homes and communities. Oncology nurses are often the ones who provide consistent information and guidance throughout a patient's cancer treatment plan.

They can help ease patients' pain and nausea, implement the best treatment plan for the patient, and provide comprehensive information for people with cancer, families and caregivers. Many patients even insist on scheduling their treatments around their nurses' schedules because of the strong relationship they share. If you are currently a nurse or want to be a nurse, oncology can be a wonderful and rewarding field to work in. Employers find this certification highly desirable for both inpatient and outpatient cancer nurses.

Oncology nursing allows nurses to further specialize in fields such as surgical oncology, radiation oncology, immunotherapy, genetic counseling and more. For cancer patients, oncology nurses are there during the difficult and intimate moments of the trip, those who are at their bedside, educating, encouraging, and helping them redefine what a “normal life” means to them. Oncology nurses have the privilege of walking with these patients through the intertwined emotional and physical challenges that come with cancer. If you are currently a registered nurse and do not have a BSN, this additional credential can be extremely useful for earning a nursing major.

The certification exam will also require you to have 10 contact hours of oncology nursing education or take an elective course in oncology nursing. Oncology nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession that offers nurses the opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives. It is also an excellent option for nurses looking to get away from long 24-hour shifts. Oncology nurses can work in a few different settings, with the primary categories being oncology floors in hospitals or outpatient oncology clinics.

The oncology nursing specialty seeks to reduce the risks, incidence and burden of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyles, promoting early detection, improving management of cancer symptoms and side effects throughout the disease trajectory, and leading the coordination of care needs complex.