The Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy & Biotherapy Course

The 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 calculations 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 of cytotoxic and biotherapeutic agents and the nursing interventions required to manage these side effects.
  • Review specific patient and family education that may prevent and/or reduce the impact of systemic side effects.

Course Requirements

All of the following requirements must be met. The requirements are:

  • Attend the course in its entirety
  • Minimum of 80% 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.

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.


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.


ONS will award 13.5 contact hours to nurses who meet all course requirements.

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. 2850.

Additional Information

See brochure for additional program details.

Date & Time(s)


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065


Josephine Nappi, MA, RN
Director, Professional Development and Nursing Continuing Education
212-639-6884 (Phone)
212-717-3451 (Fax)

Registration Details

Registration will not be processed without payment. All registered participants will receive a confirmation email with location and time of program. Make check payable to Memorial Hospital, Department of Nursing. ($90 of this fee is remitted to the Oncology Nursing.)

The course fee includes: all course materials, copy of the Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendation for Practice, 3rd Ed., and Continuing Nursing Education Credits. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days.

A $50 administrative fee will be charged for all refunds. No refunds after June 8, 2012.



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