Oncology Nurse Practitioner

An oncology nurse practitioner is a nurse that works with cancer patients on an advanced level. Nurse practitioners as a whole take on some of the highest responsibilities in the nursing world, and oncology nurse practitioners are in charge of the cancer aspects of those responsibilities. This is one of the most demanding practices in nursing, but it is one that can make a huge difference in the lives of others. If you want to work with cancer patients on a regular basis, this may be the perfect career for you. Here is an overview of oncology nursing so you can decide if you want to be a part of it.

Oncology Nurse Practitioner Job Duties

It is hard to pinpoint the exact job duties of oncology nurse practitioners because those will vary with every patient. If you specialize in a certain sector of oncology, you will have different job duties than a general nurse practitioner. Here are some of the most common responsibilities you may come across in this career:

  • Administering medication to cancer patients
  • Reviewing charts and monitoring devices to ensure a patient’s health is steady
  • Assisting doctors during medical exams
  • Preparing and organizing patient records
  • Scheduling appointments between patients and doctors
  • Answering questions when a doctor is not around
  • Changing bedding and bed pans for a patient
  • Maintaining a peaceful resting environment for a patient

The work of an oncology nurse practitioner can be quite exhausting, so you have to have a strong stress threshold if you want to be a part of this career. Many people are overwhelmed by the weight of their work load when they enter the field of oncology, but others thrive under the pressure. You have to assess your situation to determine if you would be able to work as an oncology nurse practitioner. If so, you should have an exciting and dynamic career ahead of you.

Oncology Nurse Practitioner Salary Levels

The salary you earn as an oncology nurse practitioner will vary based on a variety of factors. Your location, job title, work experience, certification, and employer will all influence how much money you make as an oncology nurse practitioner. Thus you may just have to look over some averages in the country to determine how much money you will earn. Here is a quick assessment of the different salary levels you could see in oncology nursing:

Salary by Position

  • Clinical Nurse Manager: $86,248 per year
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: $85,533 per year
  • Nurse Educator: $67,500 per year
  • Nurse Oncology: $69,405 per year
  • Nurse Practitioner: $75,000 per year
  • Nursing Director: $89,000 per year
  • Registered Nurse: $64,591 per year

Salary by Years of Experience

  • Less than 1 year: $72,696 per year
  • 1-4 years: $64,414 per year
  • 5-9 years: $70,833 per year
  • 10-19 years: $75,135 per year
  • 20 years or more: $75,809 per year

Salary by Industry

  • Acute Care Hospital: $71,604 per year
  • Health Care Services: $78,148 per year
  • Healthcare: $72,743 per year
  • Hospital: $67,961 per year
  • Medical Office: $67,407 per year
  • Medical Services: $66,129 per year
  • Physician’s Office: $52,404 per year

Most oncology nurse practitioners make $50,000+ when they first start their career, but some manage to double that salary over the course of their career. You should be able to make good money as an oncology nurse no matter what you do. You just have to assess your situation to figure out what you may make in the future.

How to Become an Oncology Nurse Practitioner

If you want to become an oncology nurse practitioner, you will need to complete a master’s degree program in oncology nursing. This will be an extension of your bachelor of science in nursing, which you will use to work as an RN. You will have to spend at least a year working as an RN before you can work as an oncology nurse practitioner. You will also have to pass an exam to get your nursing license, as well as any exams your state requires. This changes throughout the country, so you will have to do a little research to find out what the requirements are in your state. Once you know that, you will officially know what it takes to become an oncology nurse practitioner.