Date of Graduation

Summer 8-14-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Susan Mortell, DNP, RN, CNL

Second Advisor

Carlee Balzaretti, DNP, FNP-BC, CNL

Third Advisor

Elena Capella, EdD, MSN, MPA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, LNCC



A clinical nurse leader (CNL) project was conducted, in a medical-surgical oncology unit in a community-based hospital, to evaluate and improve upon the decreasing number of chemotherapy certified nurses. A Likert survey of the nurses provided a self-assessment of competency in handling chemotherapy patients, and perceived barriers to achieving chemotherapy certification. The surveys revealed that nurses felt fearful of exposure to hazardous medications, that chemotherapy assignments were too stressful, and that there was minimal chemotherapy competency amongst leadership. An education program was implemented, covering proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe handling, practicing resilience to mitigate stress, and pathways to certification. 73% of nurses on the unit attended the class, and all scored greater than 90% on the post-test. All charge nurses, and the manager, agreed to take the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) chemotherapy certification class. One nurse became certified during the project, and five nurses declared their intent to certify. As a result of this project, the unit has slated future oncology education, mentorship for inpatient oncology nurses, updating of related policies and procedures, and development of a chemotherapy administration checklist. This project will improve care for those with cancer by supporting nursing practice and competency.

oncology-Nursing-PPP.pptx (24661 kB)
Education Intervention for Capstone Project- Clearing the Pathway to Chemotherapy Certification for Inpatient Nursing