As soon as you learn that you or a loved one has cancer, the journey begins. The care and support you receive along the way will help you cope with the challenges of your disease.
The support of family and friends is important. But, they aren't the only ones who can help. Registered nurses who specialize in cancer care, especially oncology certified nurses, have the expertise to provide you with support.
What is an oncology certified nurse?
Certified oncology nurses have proven their knowledge of cancer care by passing a test. The test is a hard one. It ensures that nurses who pass it have broad knowledge of cancer care. Before they can take the test, these nurses must have experience as cancer nurses and education in cancer care.
Some oncology certified nurses specialize in providing care for children with cancer. Others provide care to adults who have cancer. There are oncology certified nurses working in many places where you may be treated – hospitals, cancer treatment centers, doctor's offices, and in home care.
What does a certified nurse mean to people with cancer?
Becoming an oncology certified nurse isn't easy. It shows that nurses who are certified have made an extra effort to prove their knowledge. It shows the certified nurse is committed to caring for people with cancer.
How can I tell if my nurse is certified?
Many oncology certified nurses will tell you they are certified. But the best way to know is to ask, “Are you an oncology certified nurse?” It's your right to know the knowledge of the people who are providing your care.
Verify a nurse is oncology certified
Types of Oncology Certified Nurses
Oncology Certified Nurse or OCN® – The Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®) credential means a nurse has the knowledge to competently care for adult patients with cancer. Nurses who are certified as OCN®s have wide knowledge of the many issues involved in providing care for patients with cancer. Most nurses who are certified in oncology are certified as OCN®.
Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse or CPON® and Certified Pediatric Hematology Nurse
or CPHON ® – The Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON®) or Certified Pediatric Hematology Nurse (CPHON®) credential means the nurse has the knowledge to competently provide care for children with cancer and their families. Children who have cancer require special care; CPHON® and CPON® certified nurses know how to provide it.
Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse or AOCN® – The Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse or AOCN® credential means the nurse has the knowledge to competently perform in an advanced role in cancer care. Nurses who have advanced certification have in-depth knowledge that goes beyond the basics of cancer care.
Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner or AOCNP® – The Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner or AOCNP® credential means the nurse has the knowledge to competently perform as an adult oncology nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice providers, and may be more involved in diagnosing and treating patients.
Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist or AOCNS®– The Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist or AOCNS® has the knowledge to competently practice as an adult oncology clinical nurse specialist. Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practice providers.
Certified Breast Care Nurse or CBCN® – The Certified Breast Care Nurse or CBCN® credential means a nurse has the knowledge to competently provide breast care nursing. Nurses who are certified as CBCN®s have wide knowledge of breast cancer from prevention and detection, through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.
Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse or BMTCN® – The Blood and Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse or BMTCN® credential means a nurse has tested knowledge in the specialty area of blood and marrow stem cell transplantation. Nurses who are BMTCN® certified have in-depth knowledge of the types of transplants and the specialized nursing care patients need before, during, and after transplant.
How to File a Complaint About an ONCC-Certified Nurse
All ONCC certified nurses are expected to adhere to ONCC’s Code of Ethics. If an ONCC-certified nurse is not adhering to the standards, consumers and others may report the nurse to ONCC with our contact form or call us at 877-769-6622. ONCC will thoroughly investigate complaints against ONCC-certified nurses. Anonymous reports will not be addressed.