It is ONS's position that any nurse involved in the care of a patient receiving antineoplastic medications be deemed competent by their institutions to do so. Preparation for any nurse administering or caring for clients receiving chemotherapy, biologics, and/or immunotherapy should encompass both didactic (classroom) education and clinical practicum. This is stated in the ONS (2017) position statement on the Education of the Nurse who Administers and Cares for the Individual Receiving Chemotherapy, Targeted Therapy, and Immunotherapy. In this position statement, ONS does not differentiate between settings (oncology or non-oncology), indications, routes, or doses when advocating for practice standards related to antineoplastic administration.
In the ASCO/ONS Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, standard 3.18 notes: "Chemotherapy is administered by a qualified physician, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, or advanced practice nurse defined in standard 1.1. (Neuss et al., 2017, p. 36)" These standards, for the purposes of administration, do not delineate between IV and oral chemotherapy.
Anyone administering chemotherapy or biotherapy or caring for those receiving these drugs should have the education and clinical preparation to help maintain patient safety. Each employer must determine how that would occur in their setting, based on the appropriate state rules and standards of practice.
Neuss et al., (2017). 2016 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society chemotherapy administration safety standards, including standards for pediatric oncology. Oncology Nursing Forum, 44(1), 31-43.
Oncology Nursing Society (2017). Education of the nurse who administers and cares for the individual receiving chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Online Position Statement.