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.
Thank you for attending our first-ever ONS Student Week. We hope that the webinars informed, inspired, and encouraged your future career as a nurse.
To help you grow even further, we asked ONS members to share their advice, support, and recommendations for student nurses and compiled their responses into a new resource, Tips for Student Nurses From ONS Members.
Explore the newly designed ONS Career Guide to discover a variety of resources related to beginning a nursing career.
As a membership organization, our mission is to advance excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. Our vision for the future is to lead the transformation of cancer care. And our core values are very close to our hearts as members: We innovate to create better care, we define excellence through oncology nursing research and promote practice based on the best available evidence, and we advocate for people throughout their cancer journey at the chairside, bedside, classroom, board room, and policy-making table.
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. Join now.
Free Cancer Basics Course- As a student, you can take our Cancer Basics course (value of $220) for free. See your welcome email for details.
Free and Discounted NCPD- We offer many NCPD courses and activities that help you grow professionally and expand your nursing skills.
Grant and Scholarship Opportunities- Advancing your knowledge enhances your ability to provide excellent care to your patients. To help you defer the cost of additional courses and certifications, we offer a wide variety of awards, grants, and scholarships.
ONS Podcast- Listen to tips and professional advice from seasoned nurses on topics like Advancing Your Career Through Awards, Grants, and Scholarships, Effective Job Interviewing Skills, Resume Writing Tips, and more. Find us for free on iTunes and the Google Play store by searching "Oncology Nursing Podcast."
Webinars- Browse through ONS's many webinars to advance your knowlege and understanding of oncology nursing.
Local Chapter- As part of your ONS membership, you're automatically signed-up to the chapter closest to you.
ONS Congress- Join 4,000 of your peers to shape and revolutionize the future of cancer care at the annual ONS Congress. As a student, you can save almost $300 on early bird registration!
The ONS Career Fair at Congress can be a helpful professional development tool. 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.
ONS Communities- Share ideas and ask questions of other oncology nurses. Visit ONS Communities and connect with peers in cancer care sub-specialties.
Career Center- The Career Center is a place where job-seekers have access to their next position in oncology nursing. ONS members can use career coaching, resume writing support, and customized learning content.
Career Guide- ONS developed this resource to help you further develop your professional skills that will allow you to move forward in the rapidly changing oncology nursing field.
CareerWire- A monthly e-newsletter that provides oncology employment updates from across the country.
ONS Job Board- Visit the ONS Job board to view the latest job openings, post your resume, and set up alerts to help you land your dream job.
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.
Nurses can choose from a variety of sub-specialties of clinical oncology nursing.
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.
More than 100 types of cancer and some nurses subspecialize not only in oncology but in certain types of cancers such as
Perioperative (PACU, Pre-Surgical, Operating Room)
Clinical Nurse Specialist*
Clinical Trials Nurse
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist*
(*Denotes an advanced degree is required)
Bone Marrow Transplant
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:
This self-paced course provides an overview of cancer biology, cancer treatment, management of cancer-related symptoms, and patient and family care.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is foundational to nursing and can improve patient outcomes.
It uses a process of shared decision-making that incorporates the best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences and values. Nurses and other healthcare providers at the point of care are in an ideal position to ask and answer clinically relevant questions to promote quality, safety, and best-possible outcomes.
The ONS online symptom management resources are designed to provide evidence-based interventions for patient care and teaching. Topic teams of nurse scientists, advanced practice nurses, and staff nurses summarize and synthesize the available evidence in each topic area. These resources can be used to plan individual patient care, patient education, nursing education, quality improvement, and research.