Oncology nurses are directly involved in many aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. This involvement also includes prevention, early detection and symptom management. The job does not stop with patient care either; oncology nurses educate and support patients’ families. Oncology nurses work at home care organizations, specialty medical centers and ambulatory centers. If becoming an oncology nurse in Silicon Valley interests you, read on.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Your first step is securing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Although you can become an oncology nurse with an associate degree, a BSN will open the doors to additional advancement opportunities in the oncology specialty.
Are you an LPN? You might consider an LPN to BSN bridge program. Additionally, if you already possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, you can take a look at an accelerated BSN program.
Become an RN
Unless you are already a practicing registered nurse, you will have to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam after earning a BSN. The NCLEX-RN requires that you demonstrate your expertise in the four elements of nursing. The elements include providing a safe care environment, coping with the pressures of the position, showing you are committed to preventative medicine, and the ability to provide quality care. Upon passing the exam, you will apply for jobs as a registered nurse and explore opportunities in the oncology field.
Do Volunteer Work
If you are currently a nurse and want to branch out into the field of oncology, you can gain excellent hands-on experience by volunteering as a nursing assistant in the oncology unit of a hospital or large cancer center. Reach out to employers in the Palo Alto area and inquire about their hiring requirements. Remember that you can supplement what you learn on the job through online courses and other resources.
To become an oncology nurse in Palo Alto, you must take the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) nurse exam. For eligibility to sit for this exam, you must have a minimum of one year of experience as an RN and at least 1,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice before application. The certification exam also requires you to complete 10 contact hours of nursing education in oncology or take an elective in oncology nursing before you apply.
As an oncology nurse, you must keep your nursing license and oncology certification current through continued education. Renewal for your certification is every four years. If you have an interest in career advancement, you might consider a Master of Science in Nursing. This further education will open additional opportunities in nursing and health care.
Nursing in Palo Alto, California
If you are intent in pursuing professional opportunities in oncology nursing in Palo Alto, California, contact Power Personnel. The recruiters at Power Personnel provide exceptional staff to health care facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Let them help you build a career as an oncology nurse in Palo Alto, California.