What New Nurses Need to Know About Oncology Nursing In The US

Oncology Nurse giving chemotherapy treatment to cancer patient

Being an oncology nurse requires a combination of strength and knowledge to deal with cancer every day. The second-leading cause of death worldwide, cancer is an unsightly foe. 

Nurses still deal with the effects of cancer on their patients' quality of life and the psychological impact of both diagnosis and treatment, despite efforts for early detection and advancements in treatment have helped improve patient outcomes. 

It's crucial to remember that the support you offer as an oncology nurse gives your patients a crucial foundation for overcoming the odds and emerging as survivors.

Career prospects

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2020 and 2030, all nursing-related professions will experience a growth of 9%. The National Cancer Institute has compiled numerous statistics showing that the number of cancer cases is expected to increase to 22.2 million by 2030, which will likely increase the need for oncology nurses, even though the BLS does not differentiate between different types of registered nurses.

Why Work as a Nurse in Oncology?

Oncology nurses are a special breed due to the emotional toll it takes, even though all nurses are compassionate. Oncology nurses are fortunate to work in a variety of healthcare facilities and are not restricted to hospitals. Nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and community healthcare facilities all require oncology nurses.

For nurses who enjoy enduring relationships with patients and their families, oncology nursing is a great career choice. It has its own special demands that can drain a nurse's professional and emotional resources, but it also has great rewards.

Becoming A Nurse In Oncology

A minimum of an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required to work as an oncology nurse, but earning a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) will give you a competitive advantage over other candidates to potential employers. The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which you must take and pass in order to practice in any state, is the next step.

Before becoming certified specialists, incoming oncology nurses must have a solid foundation of knowledge due to the wide variety of cancer manifestations and treatments available. You can obtain a certification from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation after gaining some experience. Remember that there are requirements for each certification, such as a minimum level of experience or a minimum number of hours spent working with oncology patients. Some even demand that you hold a master's in nursing. Most of them also demand that you keep learning throughout your career. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Registered nurses with a focus on working with cancer patients and those who are in remission are known as oncology nurses. They are highly knowledgeable about the pathology, therapies, and pain control of cancer. The duties of an oncology nurse can range from specializing in bone marrow transplantation to emphasizing community-based cancer screening, detection, and prevention.

One of the most challenging and emotionally rewarding careers in healthcare is becoming an oncology nurse. Working with people requires a strong desire on your part. You'll interact with patients' loved ones, and the other healthcare team members, and spend most of your time working one-on-one with patients.

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