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Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course

The Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course provides a comprehensive review of the knowledge needed to administer cytotoxic and biotherapeutic agents. The course content is appropriate for nurses who are new to chemotherapy/biotherapy administration in the oncology setting or for those who want a comprehensive review of this topic. 

Nurses without oncology experience may not have sufficient background to place the information into context.  They should consider a basic review course or self-study prior to attending. For nurses administering these drugs in non-oncologic settings, the Treatment Basics Course may be more appropriate.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the participant will be able to:
  • Identify various therapeutic modalities used to treat cancer with emphasis on chemotherapy and biotherapy.
  • Describe the investigational process all drugs undergo to gain approval for use.
  • Review ethical and legal issues related to cancer therapy.
  • Identify factors affecting response to cancer therapy.
  • Identify selected commonly used agents, their mechanisms of action, and any unique administration issues.
  • Discuss safety precautions necessary when handling cytotoxic agents.
  • Review chemotherapy dose calculation and practice examples.
  • Identify nursing procedures and interventions for administering cytotoxic and biologic agents.
  • Discuss two immediate complications of cancer therapy, extravasation and hypersensitivity, and the nursing measures required to prevent and/or reduce these complications
  • Identify selected systematic side effects and the nursing interventions required to manage these side effects.
  • Review patient and family education that may prevent and/or reduce impact of side effects.

Course Requirements

All of the following requirements must be met:
  • Attend the course in its entirety
  • Minimum of 80 percent on the post-test
  • Submission of the Course Evaluation within one week of the close of the course

Only registered nurses are eligible to receive the ONS Chemotherapy & Biotherapy Provider Card. This card validates the registered nurse has the theoretical foundation needed to administer cytotoxic and biotherapeutic agents. The card is valid for two years.

Course Fee

Registration is limited.
The Course Fee includes: all course materials, a copy of the Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendation for Practice, 3rd Ed., and Continuing Nursing Education Credits.

SCCA Employees: no fee
FHCRC/UWMC/SCH/Network Employees: $150
Non-SCCA Employees or Affiliates: $270

Target Audience

The intended learner for this program is a licensed registered nurse with a minimum of six months employment as a nurse, who possesses a basic understanding of cancer biology. 

Continuing Nursing Education Credit

  • ONS will award 13.5 contact hours to nurses who attend this program in its entirety.
  • ONS is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
  • ONS is approved as a provider of continuing nursing education by the California State Board of Registered Nursing, Provider No. 2580

Additional Information

The ONS Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course is NOT a certification course, and is not intended to measure competency. Individual institutions are responsible for determining their own requirements for assessing clinical competency.

ONS has received no commercial support for this course.

2013 Course Dates 

  • November 18-19, 2013 - Registration has closed. Please check back for future course dates.

Contact Information

Nora Maher
SCCA Staff Education Program Assistant
(206) 288-6713

Shelley Moore, M.Ed.
SCCA Staff Education Program Manager
(206) 288-6653