Learning Pathway for the Specialized Oncology Nurse

 A learning pathway to support the oncology nurses towards specialization has been developed, which includes knowledge areas for oncology nurses in all areas of cancer.

Knowledge areas were identified using the CANO/ACIO Standards of Practice and Competencies for the Specialized Oncology Nurse.

This learning pathway was developed to support oncology nurses to achieve and maintain specialized knowledge and skills, which is one of CANO/ACIO’s Strategic Priorities for 2017-2018. 

The learning pathway can be used in many different ways. For example, it can inform the planning and develop of an oncology nursing orientation program, and continuing education programs. It can also inform self-directed learning plans, and help the learner navigate the knowledge areas required to prepare for specialty certification in oncology nursing.  

Click here to enlarge the learning pathway

This is an evolving document, and we recognize that there are several specialized fields that we have yet to include in this learning pathway (i.e. Surgical Oncology, Clinical Trials, etc).

The CANO/ACIO National Education Committee will partner with the appropriate CANO/ACIO special interest groups to continue to build on this learning pathway and advance this work. 


About the Development of the Specialized Oncology Nurse Learning Pathway

The CANO/ACIO Education Committee, along with key stakeholders and nurse leaders across Canada had an in-person meeting at the 2017 CANO Conference in Lac Leamy, Quebec. Group consensus was established around foundational knowledge areas, specialization, and professional development and leadership.

We would like to acknowledge CANO/ACIO members who developed this learning pathway.

Co-Chair  Charissa Cordon (Ontario) and Sarah Champ (Alberta)


Karen McCann (Alberta)                                 Dave Whiteside (Alberta)

Jagbir Kaur (British Columbia)                        Leah Palmer (Saskatchewan)

Natasha Olesen (Saskatchewan)                   Barb Hues (Manitoba)

Jodi Hyman (Manitoba)                                   Allyson Nowell (Ontario)

Komal Patel (Ontario)                                     Angela Leahey (Ontario)

Suganya Vadivelu (Ontario)                            Loraine Martelli (Ontario)

Sonia Joannette (Quebec)                              Sophie Burelle (Quebec)

Christina MacDonald (Quebec)                      Kara Jamieson (Nova Scotia)

Lori Butts (Nova Scotia)                                  Nancy Gregorio (Ontario)

Thank you to the education committee as well for contributing to the development of this pathway.

How to use the learning pathway

The educators at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, and the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Center in Ontario have implemented learning pathways for oncology nurses in their areas. These pathways have not only supported novice oncology nurses with their learning, but have also supported the professional development of experienced specialized oncology nurses. The pathways have also helped the educators standardize their orientation process in the oncology program, and also have guided the development of continuous education programs within their specialty areas.

Click here to access the Learning Pathway used at Princess Margaret Cancer Center

Click here to access the Learning Pathway for Oncology Nurses at Hamilton Health Sciences Center (HHS)

Learning Pathways for each specialized areas at HHS:
Inpatient Hematology
Inpatient Oncology
Ambulatory Program
Surgical Oncology

Learning and/or professional development plans are also used to support learning. Click here for a sample learning/professional development plan.


Last Updated: April 19, 2018

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© 2017 Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO). All rights reserved.