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Cancer Systemic Therapy Certification Course

The Nova Scotia Cancer Care Program (NSCCP) and Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RNPDC) will be offering registered nurses a Cancer Systemic Therapy Certification Course (CSTCC).  This performance based 6-week CSTCC is designed to meet learning needs of registered nurses who administer chemotherapy and biotherapy and respond to the various needs of patients receiving cancer systemic therapy and their families.  This certification course is comprised of the following components:

  • Knowledge: online, interactive learning modules in collaboration with the de Souza Institute’s Provincial Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy (PSCB) course
    • Weeks 1- 4 (dedicated online learning on Monday)
  • Skills:  In-person Skills and simulation lab
    • Week 5 (one day)
  • Performance: Preceptor-led clinical experience in home systemic therapy administration unit 
    • Weeks 1-4 (Tuesday to Friday)
    • Week 5 (Full week, including skills and simulation lab)
    • Week 6 (Full week, including 2 hour final proctored examination)

At the completion of the CSTCC, registered nurses will be able to carry out competent administration of cancer systemic therapy and provide safe and effective interventions for cancer patients and their families.

Pre-requisites to being accepted into this program include:

  • Registered Nurse practicing in a Cancer Systemic Therapy Administration area in Nova Scotia
  • Competency in venipuncture, and accessing/care of central venous access devices (CVAD’s)
  • Approval by your manager

The online portion of the program will take approximately 35 hours to complete. You will also require time to complete the final assignment and exam, skills and simulation lab, 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 dedicated time required to complete the online learning requirements (E.g.: Brightspace learning content, the de Souza Institute’s PSCB, etc.)
  • Support the employee in travelling to a skills and simulation lab day if it is required to take place in a cancer centre outside of your zone
  • Support the clinical preceptorship of the employee 
  • Provide continuing support to consolidate the initial learning experience while transitioning into independent practice
  • Provide opportunities to administer cancer systemic therapy drugs in order to achieve and 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

Upcoming offerings:

  • August 9 - September 17, 2021 (6 weeks); Registration deadline August 3rd, 2021
  • September 13 November 26, 2021 (Part-Time 11 weeks); Registration deadline September 7, 2021
  • October 11 - November 19, 2021 (6 weeks); Registration deadline October 6, 2021

Dates are subject to change, if you miss the deadline date please contact the RNPDC.

  • 6-week schedule
  • 8 hours of independent study per week, on average
  • 17 online sections, de Souza Institute faculty-supported
  • 7.5 hours in-person skills and simulation lab
  • Preceptor-led clinical component, in home systemic therapy administration unit
    •  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. 

Contact Information:

            Email: RNPDC@nshealth.ca

Program Costs:

  • Access code for de Souza Institute’s PSCB will be provided upon registration to the CSTCC.
  • No additional expenses (E.g.; textbooks, academic fees, etc.)