Career Development

What Does a Pediatric Oncology Nurse Do?

Find out what a pediatric oncology nurse does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a pediatric oncology nurse.

Pediatric oncology nurses are specialized nurses who work with children and adolescents who have cancer or other life-threatening diseases. They provide support to patients, families, and medical professionals by administering treatments, monitoring progress, and coordinating care across multiple disciplines.

Pediatric oncology nurses may also be involved in research related to pediatric cancers and their treatment. This can include clinical trials that test new drugs or therapies as well as studies that look at the long-term effects of certain treatments over time.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Job Duties

Pediatric oncology nurses have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing emotional support to patients and their families during treatment, including helping them cope with stress and anxiety related to the disease or treatment
  • Recording patient vitals such as temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure
  • Administering medications according to physician orders
  • Coordinating medical care with physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other health professionals involved in the patient’s care
  • Reporting any changes in a patient’s condition to the physician immediately
  • Administering radiation therapy treatments to children who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Preparing the child for procedures such as chemotherapy or surgery, including administering drugs through an IV line or feeding tubes
  • Assisting with examinations and surgery by holding the patient still, providing support to the patient during tests such as MRIs or X-rays, and helping with physical therapy exercises
  • Educating families about the child’s diagnosis and treatment plan and assisting them with questions they may have about their child’s care

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Salary & Outlook

Pediatric oncology nurses’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the hospital or cancer center they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of pediatric oncology nurses is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The need for pediatric oncology nurses will increase as more children are diagnosed with cancer and treated with chemotherapy. In addition, the aging population of cancer survivors may require care from pediatric oncology nurses who have experience treating children with cancer.

Related: Pediatric Oncology Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Job Requirements

A pediatric oncology nurse typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Pediatric oncology nurses are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The coursework for this degree will include classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, health assessment and nursing care.

Some employers may prefer nurses with a master’s degree in nursing. This degree will provide nurses with more advanced knowledge and skills.

Training & Experience: Most pediatric oncology nurses receive their training through their educational programs and on-the-job experience. During their education, pediatric oncology nurses receive hands-on training in the form of clinical rotations. During these rotations, they learn how to care for pediatric oncology patients and how to interact with them and their families.

After graduation, pediatric oncology nurses can expect to receive additional training in the form of an orientation period with their new employer. During this time, they learn the specific procedures and protocols of the hospital or clinic.

Certifications & Licenses: A pediatric oncology nurse must be certified in oncology nursing by the Oncology Nursing Certification Board. This requires the completion of an approved oncology nursing program and passing a certification exam.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Skills

Pediatric oncology nurses need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Pediatric oncology nurses must be able to communicate with their patients and their families. You can use your communication skills to explain medical procedures, answer questions and provide emotional support. You can also use your communication skills to communicate with other medical professionals, such as doctors and surgeons, to ensure your patients receive the best care.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Pediatric oncology nurses often use empathy to help children feel comfortable during treatment. For example, if a child is nervous about a procedure, a pediatric oncology nurse might use empathy to comfort the child by explaining the procedure and answering any questions they have.

Knowledge of medical terminology: Pediatric oncology nurses should have a strong understanding of medical terminology. This is because they may be required to explain medical procedures and treatments to patients and their families. It’s important that you can explain medical procedures and treatments in a way that is easy to understand.

Attention to detail: Pediatric oncology nurses must have excellent attention to detail to ensure they follow treatment plans accurately and document all information accurately. This can help ensure the safety of the child and prevent any errors in treatment. Attention to detail can also help you notice any changes in a child’s condition and alert the doctor or medical staff.

Patience: Pediatric oncology nurses must have patience to help children understand their treatment and the side effects they may experience. Children may have many questions and may be nervous about their treatment. It’s important for pediatric oncology nurses to be patient with children and answer their questions in a way they can understand.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Work Environment

Pediatric oncology nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They work with children who have cancer and their families. They provide emotional support and practical advice to families. They also work with the child’s medical team to provide the best possible care for the child. Pediatric oncology nurses work long hours, and they may be on call. They need to be able to handle stress and be able to deal with the emotional needs of their patients and their families.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Trends

Here are three trends influencing how pediatric oncology nurses work. Pediatric oncology nurses will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Support

Pediatric oncology nurses are in high demand as the number of children with cancer continues to rise. In order to provide the best care possible, nurses need to be supported by their employers in a variety of ways.

This includes providing adequate staffing levels, training, and resources. It also means providing emotional support for nurses who may be dealing with difficult situations on a daily basis.

The Importance of Patient Education

Patient education is an important part of any healthcare profession, but it is especially important for nurses working in pediatric oncology. This is because patients and their families often have many questions about the disease and its treatment, which nurses can help answer.

As patient education becomes more important, nurses will need to be well-versed in communication techniques that can help them explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand. They will also need to be familiar with the latest treatments and technologies so that they can provide accurate information.

A Greater Focus on Quality Measures

Nurses are increasingly being asked to focus on quality measures in order to improve the overall health of their patients. This trend is particularly evident in the field of pediatrics, where nurses are responsible for monitoring the health of infants and children.

By focusing on quality measures, nurses can ensure that their patients receive the best care possible and that they are kept safe from harm. In addition, this trend can lead to better job security for nurses, as they will be valued for their ability to keep patients safe and healthy.

How to Become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse

A pediatric oncology nurse has a unique and rewarding career path. They work with children who have cancer or other life-threatening diseases, providing emotional support and helping them cope with the physical effects of their treatment.

To become a pediatric oncology nurse, you’ll need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council of Nursing Exams for Nurses (NCNE). You’ll also need to be certified in oncology nursing by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC).

Advancement Prospects

As a pediatric oncology nurse, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the most vulnerable patients imaginable. The work can be emotionally and mentally challenging, but it is also immensely rewarding. With experience, you may advance to a position as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. In these roles, you will have more responsibility for patient care, including making decisions about treatment plans and ordering diagnostic tests. You may also have the opportunity to conduct research or teach other nurses.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide comprehensive care for children with cancer and blood disorders. We’re seeking an experienced pediatric oncology nurse to join our team and provide direct patient care, as well as support for families. The ideal candidate will have experience in oncology nursing, as well as a caring and compassionate demeanor. He or she will be responsible for administering chemotherapy and other treatments, as well as providing education and support to families.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide direct patient care to children with cancer and their families
  • Educate patients and families about their child’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and expected side effects
  • Advocate for the best interests of the child and family
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals to provide comprehensive care
  • Monitor patients for physical and emotional changes, side effects of treatment, and infection
  • Administer chemotherapy and other treatments according to protocol
  • Perform assessments and develop individualized care plans
  • Keep accurate medical records and document patient progress
  • Participate in research studies to improve outcomes for future patients
  • Offer support and counseling to patients and families
  • Serve as a resource for community members seeking information about childhood cancer
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of advances in pediatric oncology nursing

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • 2+ years of experience in pediatric oncology
  • Current RN license in good standing
  • CPR certification
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and multitask

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nursing
  • 4+ years of experience in pediatric oncology
  • Specialty certification in pediatric oncology nursing
  • Experience working in a research setting
  • Familiarity with EMR systems


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