For Students

Resources for Student Nurses

Oncology care is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, nursing careers around. It’s an opportunity to be inspired by the determination, hope, and faith of your patients. Whether or not you decide to enter the oncology field, you are going to care for patients with cancer at some point in your career. And you’re in the right place to learn more about oncology nursing.

What Is ONS?

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is the professional home of the frontline oncology nurse. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care.  As a member, you’ll build the confidence and skills necessary to make a difference in the life of every patient you encounter throughout your career.

Oncology Nursing Careers

Oncology nursing offers unlimited career possibilities. It demands sophisticated knowledge and strong decision-making skills but also calls for a limitless amount of compassion and kindness. In return, you will garner respect, an unrelenting demand for your services, and—most importantly—the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
The professional possibilities available to oncology nurses are as diverse as the patient populations they serve. Many choose to work in a clinical setting, providing direct care to patients and their loved ones. Here are just some of the subspecialties that clinical oncology nurses can choose from:
Hospice and palliative care
Prevention and detection
Patient education
Psychosocial care
Pain management
Home care
Surgical oncology.
Oncology nurses may also pursue careers in the pharmaceutical and medical products industry, research, academia, and administration. 
Don't know where to start? ONS has some suggestions.

Career Resources

Visit the ONS Career Center to view the latest job openings, post your resume, receive help with your resume, and get help from experienced career coaches. You can also subscribe to the Oncology Nursing CareerWire, a monthly e-newsletter delivered to your inbox, that provides oncology nursing employment and industry updates from across the country.

The ONS Career Fair occurs every year at our Annual Congress. Whether you are currently seeking a job or looking for ways to develop your professional skills, this event will help you get on the path to success. Professional development workshops put on by industry leaders can help you learn how to stand out among job applicants and establish yourself as an oncology nursing leader. You can review last year’s workshops here.


The work in oncology can vary greatly, which is why ONS offers Communities (formerly SIGs). Communities are groups of members who share ideas, information, and experiences with others in the same cancer care subspecialty. We offer Communities for nearly every aspect of oncology nursing, from treatments and procedures to care settings and career tracks. Communities are included in your ONS membership and you may join as many groups as you like.

Not sure what area of oncology you prefer? Communities will help you network through multiple forums. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to more experienced peers and make valuable professional connections.

Save on Education

Online Courses

Receive free access or sizable discounts on the introductory-level education that RNs in non-oncology settings need to provide quality care for patients receiving chemotherapy. These courses offer self-paced learning on the fundamentals of cancer care and chemotherapy safety. Some good courses to start with include:
  • Cancer Basics: This self-paced course provides an overview of cancer biology, cancer treatment, management of cancer-related symptoms, and patient and family care. FREE FOR ALL STUDENT MEMBERS
  • Cancer Biology: This concentrated learning experience covers the fundamentals of cancer biology and addresses the cutting-edge information that will help you gain a better understanding of cancer and its treatments.
  • Chemotherapy Biotherapy: Fundamentals of Administration: The course will help you to gain a basic understanding of chemotherapy and biotherapy to ensure the safety of your patients, as well your own safety, when you  administer hazardous drugs.
  • Chemotherapy for Non-Oncology Conditions: Chemotherapy and biotherapy are now administered for a number of noncancer conditions. This course will help you develop an understanding of the treatment options.
Learn about all of the educational offerings available to you, no matter where you are in your career. View our online courses, and find your path.

Clinical Practice Resources

Clinical Inbox

Do you have a hands-on question for the ONS education team? Email our experts at

Putting Evidence Into Practice

Learn which treatments are most effective for patients with cancer—and which aren’t. Visit our evidence-based intervention resources to learn about interventions for more than 20 difference cancer topics.

Awards, Grants, and Funding

Receive funding from toward your education, certification, or oncology nursing project. Scholarships are available to individuals who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing and do not currently hold an RN license or a college degree. Opportunities are available through ONS, the Oncology Nursing Foundation, and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
To join ONS now, visit our website