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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Volume 1, Issue 2

Rachel AmundsenChemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Course

By Rachel Amundsen, BSN, RN, CPON

Our goal is to provide elite-level nursing care and excellence in the field of oncology nursing for our patients. In doing so, we restructured our Oncology Core classes that provide basic and advanced education to our nurses. This education encompasses the care of the patient with an oncology or hematology diagnosis as well as safety in the administration of chemotherapy agents. In 2008, a task force was developed and met bi-weekly for three months to revise our oncology core classes. The course was restructured to include providing the resources and education needed for nurses seeking national certification in their area of practice, Nursing ExcellenceCertified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON). We also incorporated the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Course into our core curriculum to help with these goals. By offering these resources, we aligned our unit goals with those of our organization and Magnet.

APHON’s Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider course delivers a comprehensive review of the knowledge required to administer chemotherapeutic agents to pediatric patients. Topics presented included cancer overview, legal and ethical issues, chemotherapy and biotherapy principles, chemotherapy agents and classifications, safe handling, administration and immediate post-administration issues, toxicity and symptom management, late effects of chemotherapy, and psychosocial issues. This class provides 13.75 CEUs to each attendee.Nurse prepares to administer medication

In September 2008, we sent three nurses to Albuquerque, New Mexico to become instructor certified for the Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Program. To qualify as an instructor, you must be: a registered nurse with at least two years of clinical experience, an APHON member and Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider, and CPON certified with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Twenty-eight people attended our first course held in January, two of whom were from other organizations. A 50-question exam was administered at the end of the course, requiring a score of 80 percent or higher to pass. All 28 RNs passed the exam, achieving provider status.
Feedback from the class was positive. Two additional nurses traveled to Texas in April to become instructor certified and several others have signed up to become CPON certified. Our short-term goal is to have 30 percent or more of our nurses certified within the year. Craycroft’s long-term goal is to have 50 percent or more of our nurses certified within the next two years.


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