Although cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, 50% of all diagnosed cases of cancer are cured successfully. Registered nurses play an integral part in the care and treatment of cancer patients and are also heavily involved in hospice and palliative care when necessary. Professionals who wish to specialize in oncology nursing, the care of patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, may participate in an accelerated BSN degree program to receive the appropriate training and qualifications necessary to enter the field.
What Does an Oncology Nurse Do?
Accelerated BSN degree graduates who choose to specialize in oncology nursing find employment in hospitals, medical clinics, and home health care. Caring for cancer patients may involve administering chemotherapy, treating uncomfortable symptoms with prescribed medications, and providing psychosocial support. The main goal of care in oncology nursing is to help the patient maintain strength and facilitate coping mechanisms for the physiological and psychological side effects of cancer.
Required Education to Work as an Oncology Nurse
Registered nurses may legally practice in the United States with a hospital diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree in nursing. However, employers more often prefer to hire nurses who have completed an accelerated BSN degree or an RN to BSN program for positions that require specialized nursing knowledge. Completing an accelerated BSN degree equips nurses with the communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills that are increasingly necessary in today’s health care environment.
In response to the nursing industry’s recent emphasis on advanced education, over 600 RN to BSN programs became available in 2004. Many of the BSN program nursing schools, such as Kaplan University, offer accelerated BSN degree programs that have been specifically designed for working registered nurses. For an extensive list of available bachelor of science in nursing programs, prospective students may visit College-Pages.com, the education and career resource website.