University of Southern Indiana

Oncology Program

Description of Program
The term oncology originates from the Greek "onkos", meaning "mass" or "tumor" and the suffix ology, meaning "study of". Providing care to a patient experiencing cancer can be complex and challenging. The care requires an interprofessional coordinated approach. The healthcare professional caring for patient facing cancer must possess both interpersonal and clinical skills, as well as detailed knowledge of the science and biology of cancer and its treatment. This program is aimed at offering healthcare professionals a greater insight into the management of cancer and its impact on patients, their significant others and health service.  The program was designed utilizing the latest clinical guidelines and test content for certificate examinations.   

Information regarding the certification in oncology nursing through The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation can be obtained at

Who Should Enroll in this Program?
This program is designed for English-speaking nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, and other healthcare providers who have interest in oncology.

Program Content
The content is divided into modules. Each module utilizes instructor outlines, audio/video recordings, reading assignments, articles, web resources, case studies to augment the learning process. These methods provide the participant with flexibility in completing assignments and interacting with the faculty.  Each module has accompanying study guide(s) with questions (such as multiple choice, essay) for participants to submit to faculty.  Interaction with faculty may occur as feedback to study guides, within discussion boards, or via email. The modules cover biology of cancer, epidemiology, risk, prevention and screening, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery therapy, emotional support of patients and family, oncologic complications, hospice and palliative care, and survivorship.   

A textbook is required for this program.  Upon registration, you will receive detailed information to purchase the textbook. 

Program Schedule
This 10-week activity is offered two times a year.  The deadline for registration is the Monday prior to the start date by 8 a.m. CDT.

2018 Dates
Start End
March 12 May 18
August 13 October 19

2019 Dates



March 11

May 17

August 12

October 18

Learning Outcome
The learning outcome of this activity is to enable the learner to successfully manage patients requiring oncologic care based on current therapeutic guidelines and best practice through interprofessional collaborative practice.

Program Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the biology, immunology and epidemiology of cancer. 
  2. Discuss screening, diagnosis, staging and treatment goals for patients with cancer.
  3. Discuss relative clinical trials and the principles of management for a variety of therapies.
  4. Describe appropriate modalities for managing a variety of symptoms.
  5. Describe common oncologic emergencies and methods for treatment.
  6. Discuss a variety of psychosocial issues relative to the disease of cancer.
  7. Assimilate evidence based interprofessional collaborative practice.

Delivery of Content
The content is delivered asynchronous via the online learning management system, Blackboard. The internet provides an opportunity for interaction with program faculty while in the comfort of learning in your own home and office.  Program staff are available during business hours by phone or email to assist participants with technical issues or concerns. 

Note: Many businesses, especially government agencies or health institutions, utilize security firewalls.  Access to web links within program and communication from the instructor, or other students may be blocked. We recommend not using your work email address for this course.

Contact Hours

50 contact hours (6 hours specific to Pharmacotherapeutics)

The program content meets the pharmacology continuing education requirements for the renewal of the advanced practice nurse prescriptive authority license. Nurses will receive 50 total contact hours of which 6 hours are specific to Pharmacology.  

Successful completion of this program does not guarantee expertise in the content. Clinical experience and judgment coupled with an understanding of the content are necessary to attain competency. Achieving certification via a designated professional organization is an additional step to demonstrate competency.

Criteria for Successful Completion

  • Submit registration and payment.
  • A certificate for contact hours will be awarded following successful completion of study guides for each module, receive a passing score of 70% or better on comprehensive final, and submission of program evaluation.

The certificate of completion will be sent via email immediately upon the completion of the program evaluation.

Faculty Name and Credentials

We strive to provide interprofessional education by utilizing a variety of content experts, instructors, contributors, and reviewers.    

Lisa Helmerich, DNP, FNP
M. Jane Swartz, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC

Conflict of Interest Statement
There is no conflict of interest for anyone in a position to control content for this activity.

Accreditation with Distinction

The University of Southern Indiana College of Nursing and Health Professions is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. USI was recognized as accredited with distinction through November 30, 2018.

State of California
The University of Southern Indiana is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #13378.

Contact Dr. M. Jane Swartz


Send Email to