Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Oncology (AGCNS-ONC)


Despite the fact that cancer remains the nation's second-leading cause of death, researchers have made staggering advances in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disease, especially with help from the rapidly growing field of genomics. Advanced practice nurses play critical roles in cancer prevention and detection, as well as in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of new ways to care for adults with cancer.

Clinical Nurse Specialists work in leadership positions in clinical practice (adult cancer control or acute and chronic oncology care), case management, research, and education. Settings include outpatient offices and clinics, hospitals, homecare agencies, and hospice.

Cancer prevention and disease management are not simply a matter of understanding individual biology. Psychological concerns that contribute to health habits, as well as the patient's home life, community, and physical environment all play a role. A nurse's holistic training is ideally suited for playing a central role in the prevention and management of this disease.

Our program teaches the skills needed to work effectively in a variety of cancer care settings, to evaluate clinical outcomes and to promote high quality, cost-effective care. In many cases, prestigious and unique clinical sites provide hands-on experience. Students with particular interests in research have opportunities to work with prominent faculty researchers.

With a foundation in Adult Gerontology, the Oncology specialty curriculum includes Introduction to Human Genomics, Cancer Prevention and Early Detection, Oncologic Emergencies, Common Problems in Cancer Care, Palliative and End of Life Care and Clinical Practica and a Clinical Residency with advanced practice nurses. Students must have a current/valid Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Card before starting Clinical Residency during the second year of the program. Course time and costs are at the student’s expense.

Students complete the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist - Oncology option in two years and emerge prepared for advanced clinical practice, leadership, research support and education positions in adult cancer control or acute and/or chronic oncology care settings.

Prior to entering this program at UCSF, students must have one year or more of relevant clinical experience as a registered nurse. The primary contact is Lynda Mackin

Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)

MEPN students are admissible to the AGCNS-ONC specialty area under the following stipulation. Following the completion of their first (pre-licensure) MEPN year, they must complete a year of relevant clinical nursing experience / employment BEFORE beginning the AGCNS-ONC curriculum for their second and third academic years.

Genomics Minor

The minor in Genomics prepares graduates for emerging roles in the science of cancer genetics. This unique program offers the opportunity to study emerging knowledge in genomics science and its use in clinical practice. The program emphasizes screening for genetic predispositions, the genetics of cancer and other adult illnesses, and the use of genetically engineered technologies and therapies. In addition to the Introduction to Human Genomics, other courses include Medical Genetics for Nursing and Family History Taking and Analysis.

Students with an interest in areas other than general oncology and genomics can customize their coursework and clinical experiences based on faculty resources and availabilty. Students can work with faculty to design alternative programs of study, such as pediatric oncology - if possible and supported by School of Nursing resources.

Our graduates go on to become Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists - Oncology, Case Managers, Clinical Coordinators, Managers, Clinical Educators, Clinical Researcher Coordinators, and function in other leadership positions in both established and evolving cancer programs across a variety of settings.

Post-Master's Students

The Oncology Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program is not accepting applications for post-master's at this time.