Health Professionals
Health Professionals
Administration of Cancer Systemic Therapy Online Learning Program

Cancer Care Nova Scotia, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Community College, has developed a competency-based online learning program for Registered Nurses who will be administering systemic therapy in Nova Scotia.

The Administration of Cancer Systemic Therapy Program is comprised of 10 online, interactive learning modules together with a preceptored clinical experience. This program was developed to further your understanding of oncology and particularly the principles of chemotherapy administration including:

• The use of chemotherapy to treat cancer.
• The importance of occupational safety.
• The policies and procedures required for safe administration of chemotherapy.
• The prevention and management of side effects and toxicities.
• The psychosocial care and support that is essential for patients receiving chemotherapy, and their families.
• The informational/learning needs of patients and their families.
• The legal and ethical issues involved in chemotherapy administration.

There are pre-requisites to being accepted into this program. They include:

• You must be a Registered Nurse of Nova Scotia currently practicing in an oncology systemic therapy administration area.
• Candidates will ideally have 18 months of previous oncology nursing experience. This may also be assessed on an individual/DHA basis.
• Being competent in venipuncture and the access and care of central venous access devices.
• Referral by your manager.

For a list of all of the pre-requisites please see the Registration form. We estimate that the online portion of the program will take approximately 18 hours to complete, plus the time required to complete the final assignment and preceptorship. This time should be arranged in consultation with your manager.

Preceptorship Experience
After completion of the online curriculum including successfully passing the final assignment, the RN will then be ready to begin the preceptorship component of the program. Ideally the preceptorship will take place in the RN’s local facility, however if exposure to administration experience is not adequate, then the nurse may go to the local cancer centre for the preceptorship.

The RN is required to print off the Administration of Cancer Systemic Therapy Competency Checklist and take them to the preceptorship to be completed by the preceptor during the experience.

* NOTE: Should an RN not achieve a passing grade for the online exam or is unsuccessful in completing their preceptorship experience, the RN will be informed by the Oncology Practice Consultant.  The Oncology Practice Consultant will then have a discussion with the RN's Manager and, where applicable, their Clinical Educator, to determine the most appropriate course of action.  The course of action will vary depending upon the RN's specific learning needs.*