A person interested in becoming an oncology nurse must have an active registered nursing license, says DiscoverNursing.com. They also must have at least 12 months experience as a registered nurse, 1000 hours of which must be in adult oncology, according to the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. A prospective oncology nurse also must complete 10 hours in oncology continuing education to qualify for the Oncology Certified Nurse, or OCN, certification,
A nurse who meets the requirements for the OCN certification can register for the test and pay the testing fee online, says the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. The prospective oncology nurse must pass a three-hour, multiple-choice exam, which consists of 165 questions as of 2015.
A person interested in becoming an oncology nurse can earn a registered nursing license by completing an associate degree or bachelor's degree in nursing. Registered nurse associate degree programs, available at community colleges, can be completed in approximately two years. Bachelor of nursing degree programs, available at four-year colleges and universities, can be completed in approximately four years. Some colleges and universities offer accelerated bachelor's degree in nursing programs, which can be completed in as few as 16 months, says Duke University. A newly licensed nurse interested in future certification as an oncology nurse can seek employment in a health care facility's oncology department and gain experience treating cancer patients.