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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.

If you will be fulfilling this program’s clinical training requirements at your place of employment, please note that you may not earn academic credit for activities for which you receive compensation. Therefore, clinical training hours must be separate from employment (compensated) time.

California, Louisiana, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington: The Adult Oncology certificate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is offered online, but currently cannot serve students in the following states: California, Louisiana, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. This list may change, so please check back.

Please fill out this form to indicate your interest in pursuing the Adult Oncology certificate if it becomes available in your state. If you have a valid multi-state license or are licensed in a state other than California, Louisiana, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, or Washington, you are eligible to apply to the Adult Oncology certificate and do not need to fill out this form.


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).

International Compliance

The Adult Oncology Specialty Certificate program is offered by the University of Pennsylvania, an institution of higher education authorized to confer degrees and certificates conferring academic credit under applicable laws of the United States. Students who are interested in participating in the program from countries other than the United States are advised that each jurisdiction may have its own laws and regulations governing online educational programs, and some jurisdictions may not recognize course credit or an online degree awarded by the University as satisfying local requirements for professional licensure, employment qualification, or other purposes. Before enrolling in this program, prospective students should investigate their jurisdiction’s treatment of foreign online programs to ensure that participation in this program will meet their objectives.