AGPCNP with Oncology Specialty: What to Know

An oncology nurse practitioner, or oncology NP, collaborates closely with other healthcare providers and families to deliver vital care to cancer patients throughout their treatment. Oncology NPs assess, treat, and equip patients with crucial education and resources. Between the projected 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses and the advancement of cancer research, the role of an oncology NP is essential to patients and their caregivers. 

The most common pathway to becoming an oncology NP starts with earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), followed by pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) and an oncology certification.

Read on to learn more about the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing’s online MSN AGPCNP program and the benefits of AGPCNPs in oncology.

Understanding AGPCNP in Oncology

What does the role of an AGPCNP with an oncology specialty entail? According to University of Cincinnati College of Nursing graduate Lisa Gebhart, AGPCNP, RN, it’s all about the patients. In the hematology/oncology department at UC Health, Gebhart provides care in a multitude of ways. “I see patients on my own and in shared visits with my attending physician, and I work with clinical trial patients,” said Gebhart. “I perform symptom management and evaluation for treatment with chemotherapy/immunotherapy for head and neck, lung and, genitourinary cancers.”

An AGPCNP with an oncology specialty can practice in multiple areas, such as: 

  • Surgical oncology
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Genetic counseling
  • Hematology
  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Immunotherapy

Where Can AGPCNPs with an Oncology Specialty Work?

Because AGPCNPs treat a wide range of patients (age 13 through the elderly), employment opportunities are available across the healthcare spectrum. This means an AGPCNP with an oncology specialty can provide care in an array of settings since there is such diversity in oncology care. Common workplaces include:

  • Private practice
  • Cancer treatment center
  • Community health center
  • Infusion centers
  • Ambulatory care center
  • Government agencies

What is the Career Outlook of an AGPCNP with an Oncology Specialty in the US?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the demand for nurse practitioners is projected to grow by 45% by 2032 due to an increased emphasis on preventative care and demand for healthcare services from the aging population. This suggests oncology NPs could see more opportunities for advancement and improved salaries based on factors such as location, years of experience, and skill level. 

In 2023, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 39.9% of those who are cancer-free will develop cancer within their lifetime. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that as of January 2022, there were 18.1 million cancer survivors in the US – a number projected to increase by 24.4% to 22.5 million by 2032. These statistics indicate the growing need for oncology NPs to provide essential care to patients in treatment and those in remission. 

What is the Salary of an AGPCNP with an Oncology Specialty in the US?

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median pay for nurse practitioners was $122,610 per year. The BLS does not differentiate between types of nurse practitioners, though ZipRecruiter estimates the national average salary for an oncology NP in November 2023 to be $130,295. Income varies based on location and experience and can be either hourly or salary, depending on the employer.

What Does the Schedule of an AGPCNP with an Oncology Specialty look like?

Like most professions, an oncology NP’s schedule will depend on the setting and the employer. Generally, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who work in clinics or outpatient settings will work more traditional hours on the weekdays and are unlikely to work holidays and weekends. As APRNs, oncology NPs are more likely to have a version of this schedule considering the patient population. 

Is Being an AGPCNP with an Oncology Specialty Worth It?

Like most nurses, oncology NPs chose the profession for a specific reason, such as a compelling experience that drove them to want to help people from a level where they could have a bigger impact. Oncology NPs support patients physically and often psychologically as well, which allows them to take a more comprehensive approach as they provide care for patients.

“I wanted to do more for my patients,” says Gebhart. “The most rewarding aspect is the satisfaction of taking care of patients and their families by providing compassionate symptom management and education, as well as collaborating with other colleagues.” 

If you’re looking for a profession that allows you to use the latest research and technology to make a positive impact on cancer patients and their families, then becoming an AGPCNP with an oncology specialty may be a great fit for you.

Are You Ready to Become an AGPCNP with an Oncology Specialty?

The decision to pursue an advanced nursing degree is a personal one and should be made with your lifestyle in mind. As a working nurse, it’s important to choose the program that supports you from application through graduation.

The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing offers a 100% online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP program delivered in a flexible format designed to meet the needs of working nurses. Directed by Kimberly Mullins, DNP, APRN-BC, AOCNP, a practicing APRN in the oncology field, UC’s online AGPCNP program provides aspiring oncology NPs with the knowledge and resources required to become competent and confident providers. 

“To rate UC’s online AGPCNP program on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, I rate it at a 10,” says Gebhart. “All the professors who worked directly with me also practiced as APRNs. This was very helpful in understanding what reality would be after the program.”

Explore our online MSN in AGPCNP program to discover how you can achieve your goals with an online MSN AGPCNP degree from UC or reach out to an Enrollment Services Advisor (ESA) to get your questions answered and request more information today.

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