Career Guidance: Start

ONS resources set the foundation for starting or growing your oncology nursing career. No matter where you are in your career journey—student, new nurse, seasoned nurse but new to the oncology specialty, established oncology nurse, or in advanced practice—ONS has the tools you need to advance your practice and provide quality patient care.


Take online oncology courses. Our variety of online courses can help you develop your oncology knowledge and competencies as a new, experienced, or advanced practice nurse. From novice to expert and every step in between, ONS has courses that are right for you.

Perfect for a new nurse or a nurse who’s new to oncology, the Oncology Nurse Orientation Bundle covers what cancer is, how it’s formed, how it’s treated, and how to safely administer chemotherapy and biotherapy.

If you are a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or physician assistant new to the field of oncology, the Post-Master’s Foundation in Cancer Care online course will help you build your knowledge base.

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Understand core competencies. Role-specific core competencies provide the fundamental knowledge, skills, and expertise required for oncology nurses in a variety of practice areas to perform proficiently in their roles. ONS spearheaded the development of competencies for nurse leadersoncology nurse generalists, oncology nurse practitioners, oncology clinical nurse specialists, oncology nurse navigators, and oncology clinical trials nurses. Competencies for oncology advanced practice nurses are in development.

Explore publications. We have more than 80 evidence-based books that offer valuable reference support and guidance as you administer cancer care, train staff or students, and support patients and caregivers.

Join our mentor program. Work one-on-one with an ONS member who will give you personalized advice and support.

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Attend ONS Congress. Learn about recent advancements, evidence-based practice recommendations for treatment and symptom management, unique patient situations, and more while attending the most comprehensive oncology nursing conference in the country.

Apply for awards and scholarships. ONS grants prestigious recognition awards to oncology nurses, researchers, and employers who are changing lives and bettering their profession. The Oncology Nursing Foundation offers scholarships for those wanting to return to school, attend ONS Congress, or advance their careers. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation has scholarships for those interested attaining certification.

Consult assessment and intervention tools. Knowing the important role that patient-reported outcomes play in achieving high-quality care, ONS links you to assessment tools and intervention strategies for common symptoms in patients with cancer.


Review ONCC’s Five Steps to Certification. Certification in oncology nursing makes a difference—it signifies that a nurse has experience and specialty knowledge beyond the entry level and validates that his or her knowledge is up to date. Follow these simple steps to obtain your professional oncology certification.

View Five Steps to Certification »


Join ONS. Your membership includes subscriptions to the most recognized journals and news magazine in cancer nursing, networking opportunities with other oncology nurses, free NCPD, and discounts on the courses and books you need to stay up to date in an ever-changing field.

Become a Member »