ASCO University to Launch New Certificate Program for Advanced Practitioners

ASCO University® to Launch New Certificate Program for Advanced Practitioners

Advanced practitioners are playing an increasing role in oncology as the demand for team-based care increases. With the growing number of advanced practitioners joining oncology practices comes the increased need for training materials that are specifically tailored to this group. To meet this need, ASCO University®—ASCO’s home for lifelong learning—has collaborated with the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology (APAO), the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO), and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) to create a series of certificate programs for advanced practitioners. These Advanced Practitioner Oncology Certificate Programs will become available in March 2016.

Dr. Stephanie Williams
“Advanced practitioners are playing a major role in the care of patients with cancer in multiple types of practice settings,” said Stephanie Williams, MD, FACP, who served as one of ASCO’s representatives on the program’s planning committee. “Our working group was a collaborative of physicians and advanced practitioners to develop educational programs to aid in the integration of advanced practitioners into oncology clinical practice. We believe the approach here will serve as the standard for onboarding and educating practitioners.”

This partnership among ASCO, APAO, APSHO, and HOPA in creating the program enabled a thorough discussion and identification of areas to be addressed, resulting in an interprofessional program that reflects the wide variety of needs that are applicable to advanced practitioners.

Ms. Pamela Viale
“I'm so excited to be a part of the ASCO University Advanced Practitioner Certificate Programs,” said Pamela Viale, RN, MS, CS, ANP, of the University of California, San Francisco, who served as a planning committee member representing APSHO. “This program represents a truly collaborative effort with ASCO, APSHO, HOPA, and APAO in the development of educational content aimed at the advanced practitioner level. Advanced practitioners will be able to access updated and relevant content at their own pace, divided in selective modules. It’s a wonderful option for both new and experienced advanced practitioners.”

The series includes three certificate programs: the 101 and 102 certificates, aimed for newly graduated advanced practitioners or those new to oncology practice, and the advanced 201 certificate, aimed for those with some familiarity in an oncology practice.

The ASCO University Advanced Practitioners Certificate Programs will replace ASCO’s Curricula for Advanced Practice Practitioners (ACAPP™). In creating these new programs, the cosponsors reviewed existing ACAPP content and identified areas for update and addition. This resulted in the creation of many new courses, such as Supportive Care and Treatment-Related Toxicities (both will be available later this year), as well as updates to courses, such as Survivorship and Chemotherapy Administration and Pharmacology (the updated version will be available in April 2016).

Mr. Todd Pickard
“Partnering with physicians in the care of patients with cancer is a wonderful collaboration for advanced practitioners,” said Todd Pickard, MMSc, PA-C, who served on the program planning committee representing the APAO. “These certificate programs will be a valuable tool to empower advanced practitioners to provide exceptional care and strengthen their role as core members of the cancer care team.”

Each certificate program includes roughly 10 courses (see the Table for example courses from each certificate program). At the end of each course, there is a posttest that helps gauge comprehension. These courses can be taken for continuing medical education, nursing, and/or pharmacy credit.

Ms. Michelle Rockey
“HOPA is pleased to be a part of this multidisciplinary collaboration, which now also helps provide an educational foundation for pharmacists new to oncology, as well as provide education on practical, current, and advanced topics to all pharmacists,” said Michelle Rockey, PharmD, BCOP, who served as one of HOPA’s representatives on the planning committee.

Bulk discounts of 15% are available for practices purchasing eight or more certificate programs for their employees. Members of any of the cosponsoring organizations receive an additional 20% discount. For more information on the program, please email university@asco.org or visit ASCO University.

Continuing education credit is awarded by Meniscus Educational Institute (provider of nursing education credit, accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center), HOPA (provider of continuing pharmacy education credit, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education), and ASCO (provider of CME credit, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education).

Table. Sample ASCO University® Advanced Practitioner Oncology Certificate Programs
Basics 101 Basics 102 Advanced 201
Supportive Care Pain Management Immuno-Oncology

Common Anti-Cancer Therapies

Radiation Oncology Primer Cancer Genetics
Chemo Administration Survivorship Tumor Genomics
Pharmacology Screening and Prevention Team-Based Care
ASCO-SEP® resources can be added to any track, and all courses offer CME, nursing, and pharmacy credit.