All ONS Member Community

Expand all | Collapse all

Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

  • 1.  Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-13-2019 12:58
    Hi, If a nurse obtains an Oncology Certification, is it still true that he/she should carry a Chemotherapy Provider card if they are administering chemotherapy medications to patients? I don't feel the OCN study guide is comprehensive enough and really the OCN test is a test of knowledge and experience, not so much competency. Any thoughts?

    Thank you, Amber Stevenson


  • 2.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-13-2019 13:44
    I think it might depend on your institution. I've worked at places that said if you're administering chemo daily that can be counted in the stead of an up to date provider card - however another institution may feel otherwise, regardless of OCN status.

    ------------------------------
    DAUNIELLE RICARDI RN MSN
    Charlestown MA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-14-2019 06:47
    Greetings! My hospital system requires inpatient and outpatient oncology RNs to maintain the ONS chemo/bio provider card (which the hospital pay for). We highly encourage OCN. Approx 15 of our 20 RNs are OCN (a few are newer and aren’t ready to test yet). OCN covers oncology in such a broad spectrum and isn’t specific to just chemotherapy. The ONS provider card is specific to chemotherapy administration and covers the basics for safety—safe handing, PPE, chemo spill, extravasation, specific side effects, etc. I noticed on my latest renewal that they focused a module on immunotherapy, which is such a hot topic right now and has a very different side effect profile from chemotherapy. I have been in oncology for 15 years and renew the provider card every 2 years. It is extremely helpful that my institution pays for it! We take advantage of the prepaid voucher program.

    - Tiff




  • 4.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-14-2019 09:08
    ​I agree with you. I'm am OCN certified and fairly recent. The OCN credential covers aspects of Chemo Therapy, but I am in no way qualified to administer. Chemo Therapy is a separate and comprehensive skill set. Although if you Chemo Certified it wouldn't hurt to have a listing of who is certified posted in the clinic setting as some units have adopted

    Sincerely Patrick Murtagh RN BSN OCN

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Murtagh BSN RN
    RN BSN OCN
    Belle Harbor NY

    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-14-2019 11:57
    I just listened to the ONS podcast regarding this. The bio-certificate ​course covers the nurse working in medical oncology whom works directly with medications.  The certificate establishes that the RN is competent in that area specifically.   The ONC certification covers all areas generally.

    ------------------------------
    Shannon Glavey RN
    Infusion RN
    Fredonia NY
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 05-14-2019 13:39
    Hi Amber,

    The Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) credential is national certification awarded to those passing an examination that measures knowledge and competency in all areas of oncology nursing.  The Chemotherapy Biotherapy Provider card is initially earned after taking an online course and then passing the exam.  Holding an OCN certification does not mean you are competent to administer chemotherapy, and having the provider card does not mean you are certified in oncology nursing.  Most institutions require that you have the Chemotherapy Biotherapy Provider card (along with facility competency verification) in order to administer these drugs. They may or may not require you to obtain the OCN certification in addition.

    ------------------------------
    Sue Ellen Glover, MSN, RN, OCN, CBCN
    Oncology Nurse Navigator
    St. Petersburg General Hospital
    St. Petersburg, FL
    727-344-4743
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Chemotherapy Provider Card versus Oncology Certification

    Posted 28 days ago
    I appreciate all of the feedback here. Thanks.


    ------------------------------
    Amber Stevenson RN, BSN, OCN
    ------------------------------