Career Profile: Oncology Nursing

Nurse Anesthesiologist

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Job Description:

Oncology nursing professionals offer direct care and assistance to cancer patients. Their function extends beyond the delivery of basic patient care. In fact, they assume the role of a direct caregiver, consultant, educator, researcher, and administrator. They also closely collaborate with the doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide the highest quality of care to cancer patients.

Some of the important duties and responsibilities of oncology nursing professionals include the following:

  • develop individualized care plans to varying patients
  • work closely with a multidisciplinary oncology team to attain realistic healthcare goals
  • share knowledge and expertise on oncology to colleagues, and other allied healthcare personnel
  • investigate and identify cancer-related problems
  • conduct thorough oncology research to improve treatments given to cancer patients
  • create a supportive environment to boost the hope and morale of cancer patients
  • inform patients and family members on what to expect during the cancer treatment
  • continuously monitor the progress of the patient
  • document patient's response to the cancer medications and specific oncology treatments

Oncology nursing professionals cover a broad spectrum of nursing care, starting from cancer prevention, up to acute, rehabilitative, palliative, and supportive care.

Work Environment:

Oncology nursing professionals typically work in a sterile, clean, pleasant, well-lit medical setting. Full-time oncology nursing professionals normally work 40 hours a week but they need to make themselves available 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. Since most medical facilities are understaffed, overtime work has already become a standard practice. Oncology nursing professionals must also observe stringent medical norms due to the delicate condition of cancer patients.

Working as an oncology nurse can be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining but the job can also be worthwhile and fulfilling at the same time.

Education and Training Requirements:

Oncology nursing aspirants need usually hold an active RN license. They have to complete either a 2-year Associate or 4-year Bachelor's degree in nursing before they can choose their area of specialty. Moreover, they also have to pass the licensure exam issued by National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).

After obtaining an RN license, oncology nursing aspirants must complete an advance nursing program that will earn them a Master's degree. They also need to get certification from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation before they can practice as a certified oncology nurse.

Salary Range:

Income range of oncology nursing professionals varies greatly depending on their chosen specialty, geographical location, certifications, and years of experience. Most oncology nursing professionals receive annual salary earnings of around $54,875 - $80,000. Meanwhile, those who have obtained higher degrees and advanced certifications can earn up to $125,000 or more annually.

Job Outlook:

Employment rate of oncology nursing professionals is anticipated to increase by 23% over the coming years. This growth is directly attributed to the growing incidence of cancer as well as the rising number of people requiring advanced oncology treatments.

So, what are you waiting for? Jumpstart a rewarding career as oncology nurse by sifting through our comprehensive list of oncology nursing schools!

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