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Adult Oncology Specialty Certificate

Cancer is a leading cause of death in adults and a significant cause of disease and treatment-related morbidity. Knowledge about the underlying biology and genetics of cancer is rapidly expanding, and novel treatment options and supportive care interventions are constantly changing—keep apace with the most recent developments through this program. 

Our program

Our Adult Oncology Specialty Certificate is designed for graduate nursing students and practicing Master’s-prepared nurses who desire advanced training in oncology nursing from the top researchers and clinicians in the country. This is a hybrid program with both online and on-campus components.

For more than 30 years, Penn has trained advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to deliver comprehensive, evidence-based care to patients and families along the cancer continuum in a diversity of health care settings—from hospital to home.

Our faculty have extensive experience in oncology nursing. You’ll interact with nationally recognized scientists and clinicians in the field of cancer care from the School of Nursing and the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Abramson Cancer Center.


You are required to complete three courses, the last of which includes clinical hours. (Post-Graduate APRN students who have been working with oncology patients should submit a portfolio to determine if additional clinical experiences are required.)

Clinically-focused students will need to complete 250 clinical hours. They can choose clinical settings close to home, and are only required to visit Penn’s campus twice over the course of their studies for seminars, high-fidelity simulations, and networking with experts in the field of oncology and nursing. These hours can be applied to meet the clinical hour requirements for certification.


We base our curriculum on the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) competencies for oncology nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, and prepare nurses for either the Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP) or the Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNP) examination provided by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC).