If I have my oncology certification, do I also need a certificate to administer antineoplastic medications?

Created by Jaime Weimer, Modified on Wed, 03 Jan 2024 at 10:56 AM by Jaime Weimer

The oncology nursing certifications (OCN®, CPHON®, CBCN®, AOCNP®, BMTCN®) offered through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) evaluate the mastery in knowledge and skills inclusive of a broad scope of content and provides validation of the specialized knowledge and experience required for competent performance. Antineoplastic therapy administration is only a portion of that knowledge.  Visit ONCC.org to view individual test outlines that identify major subject areas and the percentages assigned to each.

Completing the ONS/ONCC Chemotherapy Immunotherapy CertificateTM or ONS Fundamentals of Chemotherapy Immunotherapy AdministrationTM course provides the detailed knowledge and skills needed to safely administer a variety antineoplastic therapies across the most common routes of administration.

  • The ONS Fundamentals of Chemotherapy Immunotherapy AdministrationTM course provides the nurse with the foundational tools to safely administer antineoplastic therapy, understand how antineoplastic medications are used in cancer and non-cancer treatment, and the effects and management of medication-related toxicities. This course is recommended for nurses who are new to antineoplastic therapy, administer a small variety of antineoplastic medications less than once per month, or work in a setting where they administer antineoplastic medications to patients with diseases other than cancer.
  • The ONS/ONCC Chemotherapy Immunotherapy Administration CertificateTM course is designed to provide the nurse with an advanced review of the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to safely administer antineoplastic medications and identify and manage medication-related toxicities. This course is recommended for nurses who administer a wide variety of antineoplastic medications as part of their daily work, has practiced as a nurse for more than six months, or has administered antineoplastic medications for more than a year.  

Though commonly and erroneously referred to as being “chemo certified”, successful completion of either course provides the learner with a Certificate of Completion with associated NCPD contact hours and a provider card. This is to indicate that the learner completed all course requirements, but this should not be considered a certification.


Oncology Nursing Society (2020). Education of the registered nurse who administers and cares for the individual receiving antineoplastic therapies. https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/education-nurse-administers-antineoplastic-therapies

Oncology Nursing Society. (2022). Oncology certification for nurses. https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/oncology-certification

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