Oncology nurse practitioners work with cancer patients by administering treatment, providing advice and collaborating with physicians to accompany a patient through their struggle and recovery from cancer. An ONP may be the first point of contact a patient has at an oncology clinic. They take patient health histories, perform exams, and order diagnostic tests, as well as help the doctors as their support staff.
Degree Options and Career Information
Nurse practitioners already need their 4-year degree and RN license before enrolling in the master’s level NP program. Within the nurse practitioner master’s degree programs, the oncology specialty coursework includes acute care, pathophysiology, pharmacology, research, and clinical exams. Clinical training for ONPs take place with oncologists or hematologists, and other experienced nurse practitioners. Only 23 programs in the U.S. offer an ONP specialty.
- ONP Requirements: ONPs need to get a bachelor’s degree, Master of Science in nursing, and a certification at the state or national level, which must be periodically renewed.
- Work Environment: ONPs typically work in cancer centers or private practices that care for cancer patients. An ONP may work with a cancer patient from diagnosis through treatment, recovery, and continued testing.