Administration of Cancer Systemic Therapy Online Learning Program

The Nova Scotia Health Authority Cancer Care Program has developed a competency-based online learning program for Registered Nurses who will be administering cancer systemic therapy (chemotherapy) in Nova Scotia. 
The Administration of Cancer Systemic Therapy Online Certification Course is comprised of online, interactive learning modules and a preceptor-based clinical experience. 

This program is designed to provide the principles of cancer systemic therapy administration including the:
  • Purpose of systemic therapy to treat cancer
  • Importance of occupational safety
  • NSHA policies and procedures for safe administration of systemic therapy 
  • Prevention and management strategies for cancer systemic therapy side effects and toxicities
  • Psychosocial care and support needed by patients receiving cancer systemic therapy, and their families
  • Informational needs of patients receiving cancer systemic therapy, and their families
  • Legal and ethical issues involved in systemic therapy administration 
Pre-requisites to being accepted into this program include:
  • Be a Registered Nurse practicing in a  Cancer Systemic Therapy Administration area
  • Be competent in venipuncture, and accessing/care of central venous access devices (CVAD’s)
  • Be approved by your manager
The online portion of the program will take approximately 21 hours to complete. You will also require time to complete the final assignment and preceptorship. This time should be arranged in consultation with your manager.
By providing approval for the course, the Manager is agreeing to:
  • Support the clinical preceptorship of the employee 
  • Support the employee in travelling to a preceptorship if it is required to take place in a cancer centre outside of your zone
  • Provide continuing opportunities to consolidate the initial learning experience on return from the preceptorship
  • Provide opportunities to administer cancer systemic therapy drugs in order to maintain competencies in a specific area
  • Help foster employee commitment to participate in and support continuing education related directly to the care of patients receiving cancer systemic therapy

Registration Details
Participants are required to fill out the course registration form and submit it to Susan Loveless, Education Project Officer via email

Preceptorship Experience
After completion of the online curriculum including successfully passing the final assignment, the RN will then be ready to begin the preceptorship component of the program. Ideally the preceptorship will take place in the local facility, however if exposure to administration experience is not adequate, then the nurse may go to the local cancer centre for the preceptorship. 
Technical Requirements
This course is offered over an electronic platform titled Brightspace. The Brightspace experience is optimized when using an up-to-date browser such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox. 
In order to complete this course online, you will need to ensure you have a high-speed internet connection and ensure that your browser has JavaScript and Cookies enables. For desktop systems, you must have Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or greater. It is important to note that although you can view content using Apple products, assignments must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. For more information about the technical platform visit the Brightspace website.
Should an RN not achieve a passing grade for the online course or is unsuccessful in completing their preceptorship experience, the RN will be informed by the Oncology Practice Consultant.  
The Oncology Practice Consultant will then have a discussion with the Manager and, where applicable, their Clinical Educator, to determine the most appropriate course of action.  The course of action will vary depending upon the RN's specific learning needs.