Resources for Student Nurses

Student nurse ONS membership


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.

2022 ONS Student Week: Where Innovation and Education Combine for the Professional Development of Student Nurses

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.

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. Join now.

Student Membership Benefits and Resources

Expand Your Knowledge

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. 

Network with Oncology Professionals

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 Development

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 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. 

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.

Careers by Cancer Type

More than 100 types of cancer and some nurses subspecialize not only in oncology but in certain types of cancers such as





Careers by Setting





Perioperative (PACU, Pre-Surgical, Operating Room)

Careers by Population




Adolescent/Young Adult

Careers by Nursing Role Type

Nurse Practitioner*

Clinical Nurse Specialist*

Case Manager

Informatics Specialist


Clinical Trials Nurse

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist*

(*Denotes an advanced degree is required)

Careers by Treatment Modality

Surgical Oncology

Medical Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Palliative/Supportive Care


Bone Marrow Transplant

A Closer Look at ONS Educational Resources

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. 

Advocacy 101: Making a Difference

This course will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively communicate your ideas and concerns to legislators to impact cancer care.

Introduction to Evidence Based Practice

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.

In this course, you will learn about developing a spirit of inquiry and how to identify and write clinically relevant PICOT (patient population, intervention, comparison, outcomes, and timeframe).

Safe Handling Basics

This introductional course discusses hazardous drugs and how to handle them safely.
All nurses and other staff who work in areas where hazardous drugs are handled or administered will benefit from this course.
The course content is aligned with recommendations from ONS, NIOSH, USP, and other national organizations.

Developing a Culture of Quality

This course addresses the nursing role in quality and the use of practice improvement tools to incorporate the best, scientifically tested interventions into patient care workflows.

Introduction to Nutrition in Cancer Care

In this interactive course, you will learn foundational information about the impact of nutrition on patient outcomes, patient risk factors that lead to malnutrition, and when to provide a nutrition intervention.
You will practice using validated nutrition screening tools through patient vignettes and learn ways to assess and manage nutrition impact symptoms. 

Incorporating Physical Activity into Cancer Care

Physical activity can bring many benefits to people with cancer, but it is not always easy to determine how you can safely and consistently recommend physical activity to every patient. 
This course provides information and resources you need to feel confident in discussing physical activity in a clinical practice setting.


Clinical Practice Resources

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.