University of Southern Indiana

Oncology Certificate Program


The term oncology originates from the Greek "onkos", meaning "mass" or "tumor" and the suffix ology, meaning "study of". Management of the oncology patients requires a multidisciplinary approach. Patients are closely monitored and a variety of treatment modalities are incorporated in their care. Therapies include chemo, radio and physio to name a few. Additionally, patients with this disease have a variety of psychosocial issues to face and a plan to handle these issues must be developed as part of the care. Effective management of the oncology patient is complex and requires providers to have both high-level interpersonal and clinical skills, as well as detailed knowledge of the science and biology of cancer and its treatment. Treatment begins with screening and requires appropriate diagnosis by knowledgeable caring practitioners. This course is aimed at offering providers a greater insight into the management of cancer and its impact on patients, their significant others and health service. Practitioners with advanced knowledge in the area of oncology management are always in demand.

Description of Program
This interactive Certificate Program is a ten-week, 50-hour continuing education program for nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. The focus of the program is on the biology of the disease, diagnosis, prevention and screening, cancer therapies, symptom management, oncologic emergencies and psychosocial issues faced by the cancer patient. The program consists of eight modules. Each module contains reading assignments, an instructor outline, audio-visual presentations, interactive learning components and study guide questions. The course concludes with a comprehensive exam and an evaluation. During the program, learners interact with faculty who are expert in the area of oncologic management. A certificate of completion is sent via email within 30 days of the end of the course and following receipt of all course assignments, completion of a comprehensive exam with a score of 70% or greater, and a course evaluation. The course has been reviewed by local and national experts.

Who Should Enroll in this Program
This program is designed for English-speaking nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, and other healthcare providers who have responsibility for treatment of patients requiring oncologic care.

Program Curriculum
Instruction will include the following content:

  • Biology of cancer
  • Assessment and goals of treatment
  • Clinical trials and therapies utilized
  • Management of disease symptoms
  • Oncologic emergencies
  • Psychosocial issues

Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of this activity is to enable the learner to successfully manage patients requiring oncologic care based on current therapeutic guidelines and best practice.  At the conclusion of this program participants 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.

Course Schedule
This ten-week activity is offered two times a year.

Offering dates for 2016:  March 14 & August 15

Offering dates for 2017:  March 13 & August 14

We reserve the right to cancel any offering due to insufficient enrollment. Registrants will be notified well in advance if this occurs.

For more schedule information call 1-877-USI-HLTH (1-877-874-4584) or 812-461-5217. Space is limited so please enroll early.

Instruction Methods

A combination of delivery methods are used to facilitate learner and faculty communication including:

Internet via Blackboard
Provides online instructor-prepared materials and course assignments. Internet resources are used as an integral part of the instruction.

Computer Conferencing
Allows learners to interact with faculty and other course participants.

Allows learners to freely interact on an individual or group level with other learners and faculty.

The primary mode of communication will be through Blackboard, the learning management system utilized by the University. You will, however, be required to provide a personal email address. We recommend that you do not use your work email address for taking this course. Many businesses, especially government agencies, utilize security firewalls. Communication from the instructor, the University, or other students may not be possible and important announcements and other communication will be missed. We also do not recommend you use AOL, for similar reasons. AOL accounts include spam prevention-type filters and our communication with you may be filtered out.

We recommend you obtain a separate email account for your course work. and offer free email accounts.

Telephone Consultation
Faculty will be available by telephone to assist learners.

Information on the textbook will be forwarded upon registration. The cost of the textbook is not included in the cost of the program.

Lisa Helmerich DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNP

Content Delivery
The program has eight modules. Each module includes reading assignments, study questions, case studies and audio visual presentations. Learners interact with practitioners and faculty members who are experts in the area of oncologic management. A comprehensive examination will be administered at the end of the ten-week program.

Why Enroll in an Interactive Internet Program?
The convenience of online instruction allows the participant to "attend" class at any hour or day of the week during the 10-week period. Participants will learn from experts in the area of oncology and have the opportunity to network with other course participants from across the country. Online instruction provides an opportunity for personal interaction with course faculty while providing the comfort of learning in your own home or office.

Continuing Education Credits
A Continuing Education Certificate will be awarded following successful completion of study guide questions, an online comprehensive examination (with a passing score of 70% or higher), and submission of a course evaluation. Certificates will be sent via email within 30 days after the completion of the course.

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 continuing education credits of which 6 are specific to Pharmacology credit.  


ANCC Accredited Distincion Logo V6 ProviderThe University of Southern Indiana College of Nursing and Health Professions is accredited with distinction through November 30, 2018 as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This activity is an enduring program which is revised annually in December, or as guidelines and recommendations are released.

The University of Southern Indiana is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #13378. California nurses will receive 50 hours.


Contact Ms. M. Jane Swartz
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