Learn the advanced knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality cancer care.


Cancer is a major health concern and is closing the gap with heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. More individuals are getting cancer and more are surviving longer. Challenges exist to meet the demands of this growing patient population. Despite scientific and clinical advances that have improved cancer mortality, the cancer care system is strained with unsustainable costs, fragmented care, growing disparities and literacy gaps, along with predicted and actual workforce shortages (particularly in underserved and rural areas). You can play a critical role in meeting the challenges of quality cancer care by enrolling in one of our Oncology Nursing programs. 

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is one of a small group of educational institutions that offer advanced oncology nursing preparation for both the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Nurse Practitioner (NP) role, in addition to an online certificate program. Students in all three tracks are trained as expert clinicians with advanced nursing assessment and clinical management skills and provided with advanced oncology knowledge and skills to care for patients and their families across the cancer care continuum. 

Oncology Specialties

Whichever role you decide is the best fit for your skills and goals, both tracks are offered at the DNP level, the highest level of educational preparation for nursing practice. 

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

The NP role is primarily a direct care role and functions in close collaboration with oncology physicians to diagnose, manage, and evaluate care for the cancer patient. 

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

The CNS role provides leadership for best practice initiatives, cost-effective quality improvement, and organizational change.

Oncology Certificate

Loyola Nursing's Online Oncology Certificate program is designed for advanced practice nurses and BSN-prepared nurses who want to advance their oncology knowledge and skills. Experience in an oncology nursing practice area is required.

Our Commitment to You


Graduates of Loyola Nursing's Oncology Nursing program will have the following knowledge, skills, and professional values to provide care for adults living with cancer.



You will gain expertise in:

  • Cancer biology and pathogenesis
  • Cancer epidemiology and concepts of primary risk reduction
  • Susceptibility for hereditary cancers in the context of primary and secondary prevention
  • Diagnostic and management dimensions of select cancers including hereditary cancer syndromes
  • Therapeutic modalities utilized during the acute care phase of the cancer continuum across multiple care settings
  • Psychological and supportive care for patients and families living with cancer



You will be able to:

  • Collaborate with health professionals to plan and implement best practices in cancer care
  • Provide advanced nursing care to patients and families across the cancer care continuum


  • Provide support and guidance to patients and families by answering questions, offering advice, and educating them on the disease, treatment plans, and possible side effects
  • Assess and manage patients' ongoing physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs
  • Collaborate with an interprofessional cancer care team



Loyola's Oncology Certificate program focuses on the continuum of cancer care–from prevention, risk identification, acute care, and end of life. 


Online Certificate: nine semester hours 

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program with Oncology specialty: 72 semester hours

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist track with Oncology specialty: 65 semester hours 


If you are pursuing an Oncology Certificate, you will take the following courses: 

  • Cancer Biology and Epidemiology 
  • Palliative/Supportive Management 
  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches

If you are pursuing an Oncology specialty, you will take the following courses in addition to your required DNP coursework:

  • Oncology Care Practicum 
  • Cancer Biology and Epidemiology 
  • Palliative/Supportive Management 
  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches


No matter where you live, you can advance your career in oncology nursing at Loyola. The Oncology Nursing program is open to all bachelor's and master's prepared nurses. Admission to Loyola University Chicago and the School of Nursing is competitive and based on a variety of factors.

Explore admission requirements for the track that interests you and apply today: 

For more information, please contact Program Director Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCNS, AGN-BC, at pfriend@luc.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. 


"The need for more highly educated nurses is imperative to ensure safe and efficient health care for the nation. This program provides an excellent opportunity for busy nurses to take graduate-level coursework to better prepare them to care for patients with cancer." -Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN, AGN-BC, associate professor and program director