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?

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.

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:

• Radiation

• Hospice and palliative care

• Prevention and detection

• Patient education

• Genetics

• Psychosocial care

• Pain management

• Home care

• Neuro-oncology

• 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.

Communities

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.
  • Fundamentals of Chemotherapy Immunotherapy Administration: If you’re a nurse who is new to oncology, administering or planning to administer chemotherapy/immunotherapy, or caring for patients receiving chemotherapy this course is your first stop. You’ll receive the fundamentals of administration regardless of the volume and frequency of chemotherapy and immunotherapy administered. Plus, you’ll earn CNE and an ONS Chemotherapy Provider Card (a small downloadable, printable card that indicates course requirements have been met). 
  • Safe Handling Basics: The Safe Handling Basics course is an introductory course that discusses hazardous drugs and how to handle them safely. It covers risks of exposure, controls used to prevent exposure (including appropriate use of PPE), spill cleanup, and appropriate waste disposal. FREE FOR ALL MEMBERS

Clinical Practice Resources

Clinical Inbox

Do you have a hands-on question for the ONS education team? Members have the ability to email our experts at clinical@ons.org.

Oncology Nursing Podcast

Bringing together the unique perspectives of subject matter experts, ONS's new podcast series delves into clinical conversations important to oncology nursing and career development. Tune in to find out more about topics like immunotherapy, financial toxicity, nursing innovations,and leadership development. Find us for free on iTunes and the Google Play store by searching "Oncology Nursing Podcast."

For a full list of the podcast's topics click here.

Symptom Intervention

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.

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