Testing and Renewal

What is Nursing Certification?

Nursing certification is a process to validate a registered nurse's qualification and knowledge of a specific area of nursing. To become certified, a nurse must meet minimal competency standards, as set by the agency that grants the certification. One purpose of nursing certification is to promote public safety. Certification assures the public that a certified nurse has completed all criteria required for a specific credential. Another purpose of certification is to promote the development of specialty areas of nursing by establishing minimal competency standards and recognizing those who have met those standards.

(Learn why the ONCC Board of Directors has clarified nursing practice for the purpose of certification and recertification.)

ONCC offers six certification examinations.

Eligibility for Initial Certification

Any candidate who does not currently hold the desired certification is considered an initial candidate, including candidates whose certification has lapsed. Nursing experience may be in clinical practice, nursing administration, education, research, or consultation. The role must require that it be filled only by an RN to qualify as nursing practice. Hours or months worked in positions that can be filled by non-nurses will not qualify as nursing practice. Initial certification is available for OCN®, CPHON®, AOCNP®, AOCNS®, CBCN®, and BMTCN™ certification.

OCN®

  • A current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) of experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application, and
  • Completed a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing nursing education in oncology or an academic elective in oncology nursing within the three years (36 months) prior to application. The contact hours must have been provided or formally approved by an acceptable accredited provider or approver of continuing nursing education. A maximum of five of the 10 required contact hours in oncology may be continuing medical education (CME) in oncology.

CPHON®

  • A current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) of experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of pediatric oncology or hematology nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application, and
  • Completed a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in hematology or oncology, or an academic elective in hematology or oncology nursing within the three years (36 months) prior to application. The contact hours must have been provided or formally approved by an acceptable accredited provider/approver of CNE. A maximum of five of the 10 required contact hours in hematology or oncology nursing may be continuing medical education (CME) in oncology.

CBCN®

  • A current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) of experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of breast care nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application, and
  • Completed a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in breast care within the three years (36 months) prior to application. The contact hours must have been provided or formally approved by an acceptable accredited provider/approver of nursing CNE. A maximum of five of the 10 required contact hours in breast care may be continuing medical education (CME) in breast care.

BMTCN™

  • A current, active, unencumbered* license as an RN in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination; and
  • A minimum of 12 months experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application; and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of BMT nursing experience within the two and one-half years (30 months) prior to application*; and
  • Completed a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing nursing education in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation or an academic elective in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation nursing within the three years (36 months prior to application. The contact hours must have been provided or formally approved by an acceptable accredited provider or approver of continuing nursing education. A maximum of 5 (50%) of the 10 required contact hours in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation may be continuing medical education (CME) in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation nursing.

Eligibility Calculator

Calculate your oncology experience hours by entering the appropriate information in the calculator.

Test Information

ONCC offers secure online registration. All ONCC candidates for testing and renewal are required to apply online, except in special situations as noted below.
Only candidates who meet one or more of the criteria below should submit a paper application form.

  • CPON® certified nurses applying for CPHON® test (50% discount)
  • AOCN® certified nurses applying for AOCNP® or AOCNS® test (50% discount)
  • Test candidates who are testing for a second or subsequent time in the same calendar year
  • Renewal candidates who are renewing more than one credential at the same time
  • Renewal candidates who are using Option 3 (Test + ONC-PRO)
  • Reinstatement candidates
  • The employer is paying for certification at the time of application, and cannot provide online payment by credit card

*Candidates who do not meet one of the criteria above and who submit a paper application fee will be charged a $25 paper handling fee.

2015 Test Dates, Application Deadlines, and Fees

Test application form

2015 OCN® Test Application Form
2015 CPHON® Test Application Form 
2015 BMTCN™ Test Application Form 
2015 CBCN® Test Application Form 
2015 AOCNP® Test Application Form 
2015 AOCNS® Test Application Form
AOCNP® Candidate Practice Verification Form – Pathway 1
AOCNS® Candidate Practice Verification Form – Pathway 1
Special Accommodations Request Form
Transfer Request Form

Note: For certification, nursing practice includes hours or months worked in a role that must be filled by an RN. Hours worked in roles that can be filled by an individual other than an RN do not qualify as nursing practice. Candidates without practice hours may only renew by Option 3. (Learn why the ONCC Board of Directors has clarified nursing practice for the purpose of certification and recertification.)

Test scores

Score Reports

Candidates will receive an official score report on screen and in print at the test center; score reports will not be mailed to candidates. Official score reports indicate PASS/FAIL, and indicate the candidate’s performance in each of the test subject areas. The score report will not include numeric scores or percentages. Candidates are encouraged to use the performance indicators to identify subject areas where further study or professional development may be needed.

Score reports will not indicate which test items the candidate answered incorrectly. ONCC cannot provide this information to candidates. Releasing test items would make it possible for future test candidates to see test items in advance. This would give those candidates an unfair advantage over candidates who do not see the items. If test items or answers were released to candidates the items could not be used on a future test. Candidates should keep in mind that the purpose of a certification test is to validate specialized knowledge, rather than provide education.

All candidates should retain their score report for future reference. Successful candidates will need the information to prepare for certification renewal, because the score report identifies content areas where they may earn points for renewal. Failing candidates should use the score report and the performance indicators to identify areas where additional study may be needed before retesting. Candidates may request a duplicate score report from Pearson VUE by calling 800-933-2113.

Passing Scores

The passing scores for the ONCC tests were established via a systematic procedure (a Passing Score Study) that employed the judgment of groups of oncology nursing professionals representing various geographical areas, practice settings, roles, and subspecialties. Because of ONCC's commitment to quality and test security, there are multiple forms of each certification examination.

ONCC and Pearson VUE develop the various forms of each test from the test blueprints, however, the level of difficulty of the forms may vary slightly because different questions appear on different forms. Because it would be unfair to require a candidate taking a slightly more difficult form of the test to answer as many questions correctly as a candidate taking an easier form, the statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct for differences in test difficulty. Equating is dependent upon a sufficient number of test candidates. If fewer candidates register than are required for accurate equating, another passing score study is conducted.

Certificates and Wallet Cards

ONCC will provide a personalized certificate and wallet card for each candidate who passes the test or meets the ONC-PRO requirements approximately 8 weeks after scores are reported.

 

ONCC reserves the right to cancel the scores of any candidate who violates the Professional Examination Rules, or to cancel scores resulting from any testing irregularity.

View a Sample of a 2015 Score Report

Pass Rates

Good news — most nurses who take an ONCC certification test, pass the test. See the table below for an overview of pass rates for each examination by year, or click on the link for the 2014 detailed statistics.

2014 Examination Stats


Passrate image

Certification Renewal Options for 2015

Certification is valid for four years. Renewal application deadline dates occur several months before certification expires. You cannot renew certification after it expires. If you miss the renewal application deadline date you may reinstate your certification, or meet the eligibility criteria for initial candidates and pass the test.

Renewal Eligibility Criteria

Renewal Candidates are those candidates who are applying for renewal by the required deadline date in the calendar year in which certification is due for renewal. Nursing experience may be in clinical practice, nursing administration, education, research, or consultation. The role must require that it be filled only by an RN to qualify as nursing practice. Hours or months worked in positions that can be filled by non-nurses will not qualify as nursing practice. (Learn why the ONCC Board of Directors has clarified nursing practice for the purpose of certification and recertification.)

OCN®

  • Current OCN® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of oncology nursing practice (adult care) within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application.

AOCNP®

  • Current AOCNP® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours practice as a nurse practitioner in adult oncology within the four years (48 months) prior to application.

AOCNS®

  • Current AOCNS® certification
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of practice in a role or roles of the clinical nurse specialist in adult oncology within the four years (48 months) prior to application.

AOCN®

  • Current AOCN® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours in an advanced practice nursing role in oncology (adult care) within the four years (48 months) prior to application.

CPON®

  • Current CPON® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of pediatric oncology nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application.

CBCN®

  • Current CBCN® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of breast care nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application.

CPHON®

  • Current CPHON® certification, and
  • Current, active, unencumbered* license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada, and
  • A minimum of one year (12 months) experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of pediatric oncology nursing practice within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application.

Eligibility Calculator

Calculate your oncology experience hours by entering the appropriate information in the calculator.

ONC-PRO Renewal Information

Renewal of ONCC certification is due every four years. All ONCC certifications expire on December 31 of the year in which renewal is due; however, renewal applications are due several months before the expiration date.

To renew by Option 1 (ONC-PRO) or by Option 3 (ONC-PRO + Testing) candidates must earn points for renewal by completing professional development activities. These are ONC-PRO points.
Candidates who are using renewal Option 3 (ONC-PRO + Testing) should submit both the application and ONC-PRO logs by the test application deadline date. Option 3 candidates must submit a test application and ONC-PRO logs at the same time.

Renewal Options

Candidates must meet two of three components required for renewal: practice hours, professional development points (known as the Oncology Nursing Certification Points Renewal Option or ONC-PRO), or successful retesting. There are three recertification options, based on these components:

  • Option 1 ONC-PRO: Practice Hours + Professional development points
  • Option 2 Testing: Practice Hours + successful testing*
  • Option 3 ONC-PRO + Testing: Professional development points + Successful testing*

*AOCN® and CPON® certification may only be renewed by Option 1.

Option 1: ONC-PRO Renewal Applications and Logs

  • June 15, 2015 – be entered to win a lifetime of free renewal and save $100 off the final deadline fee by submitting your application and ONC-PRO logs
  • September 15, 2015 – save $100 off final deadline fee by submitting application and ONC-PRO logs.
  • October 15, 2015 – final date to submit applications and ONC-PRO logs (non-discounted fee).

Option 2 (Test) Renewal Applications

Candidates who are planning to renew by Option 2: Practice Hours + Successful testing must submit their test application form by the appropriate application deadline date for the desired examination.

Option 3 (Test + ONC-PRO) Renewal Applications and Logs

Candidates renewing by test must meet the test application deadline date and pass the examination during the year in which certification expires. Candidates renewing by Option 3 must pass the certification examination and meet the requirements for ONC-PRO during the year in which certification expires. Applications and ONC-PRO logs for Option 3 must be received by the application deadline for the desired test window.

Candidates should note the application deadline dates during the year renewal is due. Certification cannot be renewed after it expires. Nurses whose certification has lapsed must meet the eligibility criteria for initial candidates and pass the test in order to become certified again in the future.

Continuing Competency

Read ONCC’s philosophy on continuing competency related to certification renewal.

Deadlines, Dates & Fees

Renewal of ONCC certification is due every four years. All ONCC certifications expire on December 31 of the year in which renewal is due; however, renewal applications are due several months before the expiration date.

2015 ONC-PRO Renewal Application Deadline, Dates & Fees

ONC-PRO Logs

Candidates record professional development points on ONC-PRO logs.Online logs can be created, saved, updated, and submitted to ONCC online. Logs can be created at any time; but should not be submitted until applying for renewal. Paper ONC-PRO Logs that were intended to be completed by hand and submitted by mail or fax were discontinued in 2013. Candidates renewing in 2014-2015 should use online logs. Candidates who submit paper logs will be charged a $25 paper handling fee.

The ONC-PRO Method

ONC-PRO requires the renewal candidate to earn a minimum number of points by completing professional development activities in one or more categories. The categories include: continuing nursing education (CNE), continuing medical education (CME), academic education, publications, presentations, precepting, or volunteer service. Candidates are not required to submit points in every category.

Number of Points Required

  • OCN® renewal candidates - 100 points, at least 65 in adult oncology
  • CPON® and CPHON® renewal candidates - 100 points, at least 80 in pediatrics. Of the 80 pediatric points, at least 50 must be in pediatric oncology.
  • CBCN® renewal candidates – 100 points, at least 65 in breast care.
  • AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS® renewal candidates - 125 points, at least 75 in adult oncology.

Point Categories

Points may be earned in any or all categories. However, there are limits on points that may be submitted in the categories of Continuing Medical Education and Precepting/Volunteer Service. A maximum of 50% of the required points may be CME (50 points for OCN®, CBCN®, and CPON®, 62.5 points for AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®. A maximum of 20% of the required points may be in Precepting and Volunteer Service combined (20 points for OCN®, CBCN®, and CPON®; 25 points for AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®.

Learn more about specific point categories:

Continuing Nursing Education

ONC-PRO Points: 1 contact hour = 1 point

Note: Points are awarded for completion of eligible educational activities one time during the accrual period. Points are not awarded for repetition of educational activities with identical content during the accrual period.

How to Record CNE Points on Logs:
Use the log titled Continuing Nursing Education. Enter the date(s) and title of the program. List the name of the provider. Enter the name of the organization that accredited or approved the program for continuing nursing education credit. Enter the number of points awarded for the program in the specific column, i.e. Adult Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®; Pediatric Oncology (CPON®, CPHON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®, CPHON®), General Nursing (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS®, and CPON®, CPHON®).

Records You Should Keep:
Keep the certificate awarded by the CE provider for each offering attended. The certificate must include an accreditation statement or provider number, the candidate's name, title and date of the program or offering, and the number of contact hours awarded. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit copies of CE certificates as documentation.

For further CNE resources, please see Acceptable Continuing Education Approvers & Providers.

Continuing Medical Education

Points are awarded for CME (continuing medical education) programs that have been formally approved for CME hours. Formal approval may have been granted by organizations such as the American Medical Association, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, State Medical Societies, etc. (Please contact ONCC regarding the acceptability of specific CME providers not listed here.)

Points awarded: One CME hour = 1 ONC-PRO point
Note: A maximum of 50% of the total points for renewal may be submitted in this category (50 points for OCN®, CBCN®, and CPON®, 62.5 points for AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®.

Points are awarded for completion of eligible educational activities one time during the accrual period. No points are awarded for repetition of educational activities with identical content during the accrual period.

How to Record CME Points on Your Log:
Use the log titled Continuing Medical Education.
Record the date(s) of the program attended. Indicate the title of the program. Indicate the name of the provider. Indicate the name of the organization that approved or accredited the program for CME.
Indicate the number of points awarded for the program in the specific column, i.e. Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®, Pediatric Oncology (CPON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®), Breast Care (CBCN®), General Nursing (all certifications). Please note that one CME hour = 1ONC-PRO point. Record the total at the bottom of the log where indicated. Use the reverse side of the form and duplicate if necessary.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep the CME certificate or official letter of attendance awarded by the CME provider for each offering attended. The certificate or letter of attendance must include the candidate's name, the provider's name, the title and date of the program or offering, accreditation statement, and the number of CME hours awarded. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit a copy of this documentation.

Academic Education

Points are awarded for completion of academic courses required for a nursing major, or other courses that address the biopsychosocial knowledge base of professional human service. College credits earned through challenge examinations are acceptable. The candidate does not have to be enrolled in a degree program. Courses must be provided by accredited colleges or universities. A grade of "C" or higher must be achieved for each course. Only courses with specific oncology content may be applied to the oncology points requirement. Only courses with specific pediatric oncology content may be applied to the pediatric oncology points requirement. Only courses with specific pediatric content may be applied to the general pediatric points requirement. These include both undergraduate and graduate level electives (oncology and pediatric) and courses included in the oncology component of graduate programs. All other courses will be applied to the general nursing points category.

Examples of acceptable courses for oncology nursing points are:

  • Management of the Effects of Cancer
  • Pathophysiology of Cancer
  • Genetics and Cancer
  • Behavioral Perspectives of Cancer Prevention
  • Advanced Oncology Clinical Practice
  • The Continuum of Cancer Care
  • Oncology Nursing Concepts

Examples of acceptable courses for general nursing points are:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Chemistry
  • Health Care Management/Administration
  • Anthropology

Examples of courses that are not acceptable for ONC-PRO points:

  • History
  • Math
  • English
  • Art
  • Music
  • Journalism
  • Public speaking

Points Awarded: One academic credit = 15 points

How to Record Academic Points on Your Log:
Use the log titled Academic Education. Record the dates of the class/course taken. Indicate the title of the class. Indicate the college or university where the course was taken. Indicate the final grade achieved for the course. Indicate the number of credits for the course. Indicate the number of points for the course in the specific column, i.e. Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®, Pediatric Oncology (CPON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®), General Nursing (all certifications). Please note that one academic credit = 15 points. Record the total points at the bottom of the log where indicated. Use the reverse side of the form and duplicate if necessary.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep a copy of the grade report(s) and course description(s) provided by the school for each course attended. Transcripts may be submitted in place of grade reports. The grade report or transcript must include the candidate's name, title of the course(s), date the course(s) attended, and the grade(s) earned. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit copies of this documentation.

Professional Publications

Points are awarded for items published in books, journals, professional newsletters, or electronic media (e.g., Internet, CD-ROM, video). Points are not awarded for reading professional publications.

Only publications of oncology content are acceptable for renewal of OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS® certification. Only publications of pediatric and pediatric oncology content are acceptable for renewal of CPON® certification. Only publications of breast care content are acceptable for renewal of CBCN® certification. The candidate for certification renewal must be the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor. Publications that are a required part of the candidate's job may not be submitted for points.

Points Awarded: Points for joint authorship are determined by dividing the total number of points for the publication by the number of authors. Points are not awarded for materials that are "in press."

  • Book, author or editor (300 pages or more) – 60 points
  • Book, author or editor (less than 300 pages) – 40 points
  • Book chapter (more than 15 pages) – 25 points
  • Book chapter (15 pages or less) – 20 points
  • Doctoral dissertation – 10 points
  • Master's thesis, unpublished – 10 points
  • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 20 points
  • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 15 points
  • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 15 points
  • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 10 points
  • Guest editor for journal issue – 20 points
  • Article, non-peer review journal, any medium – 5 points
  • Journal column – 5 points
  • Editorial in peer-reviewed journal – 5 points
  • Book review – 5 points
  • Multimedia Educational aids 5 – 10 points (depending on length and content)
  • Research abstract – 5 points
  • Article in newsletter or magazine, more than 1000 words – 5 points
  • Article in newsletter or magazine, 250-1000 words – 3 points
  • Journal reviewer – 1 point per article
  • Editorial board member – 1 point per column edited (Editorial Board members may also claim Volunteer Leadership Service points)

How to Record Publication Points on Your Log:
Use the log titled Professional Publications. Record the date of publication. Indicate the title of the work or the title of the publication. Indicate the type of work (i.e., book, chapter, journal article). Indicate the number of authors or editors, if more than one. To determine points for joint authorship, divide the total number of points for the publication by the number of authors. Indicate the number of pages of the publication. Indicate the number of points earned for the publication in the specific columns, i.e. Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®, Pediatric Oncology (CPON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®). Record the total at the bottom of the log where indicated. Use the reverse side of the form and duplicate if necessary.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep a copy of each publication. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit a copy of short publications (e.g., journal articles); for longer publications you will be required to submit a copy of the title page, the page showing the date of publication, and table of contents where your name is listed as an author. Publications that are “in press” will not count for ONC-PRO points.

Presentations

Points are awarded for educational presentations made to nurses, other healthcare providers, or the public. The presentation must be delivered within a structured framework of teaching/learning. Only presentations of oncology content are acceptable for renewal of OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP® and AOCNS® certification. Only presentations of pediatric and pediatric oncology content are acceptable for renewal of CPON® certification. Only presentations of breast care content are acceptable for renewal of CBCN® certification. Seminars, conferences, webcasts, posters, in-services, patient/family and public education programs are acceptable. Presentations or lectures that are part of a candidate's job expectations may not be submitted for points.

Points Awarded:
Points are awarded only for the first time a presentation/poster is given. No points are awarded for repeat presentations of the same material.

One hour of presentation = 3 points
Poster presentation = 3 points

Note: In the case of multiple presenters, the candidate may claim points only for his/her portion of the presentation. For example, if 3 nurses present a 1-hour panel discussion, each nurse may claim one point.

How to Record Presentation Points on Your Log:
Use the log titled Professional Presentations. Record the date(s) of the presentation. Indicate the title of the presentation and the title of the conference.
Indicate the audience to whom the presentation was delivered. Indicate the number of points earned for the presentation in the specific column, i.e. Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®, Pediatric Oncology (CPON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®). Please note that one hour of presentation = 3 points. Record the total points at the bottom of the log where indicated. Use the reverse side of the form and duplicate if necessary.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep a copy of the program(s) or proceeding(s) that list your name as a presenter and the title, date, and length of your presentation(s). If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit copies of this documentation.

Precepting

Points are awarded for serving as a preceptor for a minimum of 100 hours per semester for students enrolled in an accredited academic program. This includes nursing students, as well as students enrolled in other programs, such as medical students. Points for oncology preceptorships may be applied to the oncology or pediatric oncology points categories; points for other preceptorships may be applied to the general nursing or general pediatrics point categories. Points for breast care preceptorships may be applied to the breast care points category. Please note: points are not awarded for precepting of nurses who are new to your unit or institution (this is considered to be orientation). Points are not awarded if the candidate is the clinical instructor or professor of students in the clinical setting.

Points Awarded:
A minimum of 100 hours per semester = 5 points. Hours may be carried over from one semester to another to reach 100; however, all hours must be completed within the accrual period.

Please note: A maximum of 20% of points may be submitted in the combined categories of Precepting and/or Volunteer Service (20 points for OCN®, CBCN® and CPON®, 25 points for AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®. This is a combined total for both categories.

How to Record Precepting Points on Your Log:
Use the log titled Precepting. Record the start/end dates of precepting activity. Indicate the name of the institution where the precepting was completed. Indicate the name of the student's university, college, or school of nursing. Indicate the number of hours of precepting completed. Indicate the number of points earned for the preceptorship in the appropriate column: Oncology Points (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS®), Pediatric Oncology Points (CPON®), Breast Care Points (CBCN®), and General Nursing Points (all certifications). Record the total points for each column at the bottom of the log.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep the letter from the faculty/school attesting to service as a preceptor. The letter must include your name, the dates of the preceptorship, and the number of hours completed.

Volunteer Leadership Service

Points are awarded for volunteer leadership service to any professional healthcare organization. Service to an oncology organization may be applied to the oncology or pediatric oncology point requirements. All other service will be applied to the general nursing or general pediatric point categories. The following are examples of volunteer service. ONCC recognizes that there may be other types of service, depending on the structure of the organization served, and will award points for comparable service.

Points Awarded: 5 points per year of service

Examples of volunteer service activities:

  • Leadership position (e.g., board member, committee member, editorial or review board member, councils, task forces, project teams) in a national, state, or local oncology, pediatric, or healthcare related organization
  • ONCC Passing Score Task Force 5 points/year
  • ONCC Role Delineation Study Panel of Experts
  • Relay for Life Organizing Committee

Please note: A maximum of 20% of points may be submitted in the combined categories of Precepting and/or Volunteer Service (20 points for OCN®, CBCN®, CPHON®, and CPON®, 25 points for AOCN®, AOCNP®, and AOCNS®. This is a combined total for both categories.

How to Record Volunteer Service on Your Log:
Use the log titled Volunteer Leadership Service. Record the dates of volunteer leadership service. Indicate the name of the professional healthcare organization served. Indicate the name of the committee, board or task force. Indicate the capacity of service (e.g. board member, vice president, task force member). Indicate the number of points awarded for the service in the specific column, i.e. Oncology (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS®, Pediatric Oncology (CPON®), General Pediatrics (CPON®), General Nursing (OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS®, and CPON®). Record the total points at the bottom of the log where indicated.

Records You Should Keep:
Keep copies of certificates, letters, or other documentation from the organization attesting to your service and the dates of service. If your application is selected for audit you will be required to submit copies of this documentation.

Time Period to Earn Points

Points may be earned beginning January 1 of the current certification period. Points must be earned by the date the renewal application is submitted in the year renewal is due. For example, a nurse who is due to renew in 2015 may use points earned beginning January 1, 2011 (provided the points were not used for renewal in 2011) through the date the application is submitted in 2015. The last date to accrue points or submit an application is October 15 in the year renewal is due.

How to Apply for Renewal by ONC-PRO

  1. ONC-PRO candidates must submit an application and ONC-PRO Logs. Candidates should apply online, unless applying for Option 3. Both the application and logs may be submitted online. This is a 2-step process. The application fee is $25 higher if either the application or ONC-PRO logs are submitted by mail/fax.
  2. The application, logs and fee must be received by ONCC by the application deadline date, regardless of postmark or other circumstances.
  3. ONCC will send candidates email confirmation that their application has been received (candidates without email addresses will be sent confirmation of application receipt via US mail).
  4. Candidates should allow up to 12 weeks to be notified of approval.

Renewal of Multiple Credentials in the Same Year

Candidates who are renewing multiple certification credentials in the same year by Option 1 or Option 3 must meet the eligibility criteria for each certification. Candidates may use the same set of ONC-PRO points, provided the points meet the criteria for renewal of each certification. The fee to renew multiple certification credentials in the same year is $100 more than the fee for the desired renewal option. Candidates renewing multiple credentials in the same year should apply using a paper application form.

ONC-PRO Renewal & Reinstatement Application Forms (pdf)

2015 ONC-PRO Application Form (Multiple credentials)
2014 Reinstatement Application Form

Audits

To ensure the integrity of the renewal process, ONCC will audit a percentage of randomly selected renewal applications each year. Candidates whose applications are selected for audit will be notified and required to provide additional documentation.

Candidates Who Fail the Renewal Test May Not Renew by ONC-PRO

Candidates who choose to renew by Option 2 (testing), and who do not pass the test, may not renew their credential by Option 1. Candidates who elect to retest, and who do not pass the test, must take the test again prior to their certification expiration to renew their credential.

Candidates Who Are Denied Renewal by ONC-PRO May Retest

Candidates who apply for renewal by Option 1 and are denied renewal due to insufficient points will not be granted a refund of the fee. However, those who are denied renewal by Option 1 may apply to take the test during the next 12 months with payment of a $100 transfer fee, if they meet the test application deadline. ONCC cannot guarantee a decision to candidates on their renewal application in time to register for the test, unless the application is received at least three months prior to the test application deadline.

Candidates who are Denied Renewal by ONC-PRO Will Not be Refunded

Candidates who apply for renewal by Option 1 and who are denied renewal will not be granted a refund of the fee. This includes candidates who are denied renewal due to insufficient points, insufficient documentation, or failure to submit audit or other documentation requested by ONCC.

ILNA - Renewal Process for 2016 and Beyond

ONCC will use the ILNA method for certification renewal beginning in 2016. Download this brochure or click here for additional details.

Renewal Notices

ONCC sends certified nurses multiple renewal reminders by mail, email, and phone. It is important to keep your current contact information in your ONCC profile at all times. Because delivery of renewal notices can't be guaranteed, it is the candidate’s responsibility to apply for renewal of certification before the application deadline date. If you have unsubscribed from bulk emails, or use a workplace email address you may not receive email messages as intended. Please use a personal email address, or request your employer not block ONCC emails. Also, be sure to check your spam or junk mail folders regularly for communications from ONCC.


Reinstatement Policy

All applications for certification renewal using Option 1 (practice hours + ONC-PRO) must be received by the ONCC office by October 15 (or the following business day if October 15 falls on a weekend), regardless of postmark, of the year certification is due to expire.

Candidates who wish to maintain their certification, but miss the final deadline for certification renewal, may:

  • Apply to re-take the examination in the following year as an initial candidate, or
  • Apply for certification reinstatement by Option 1 (practice hours + ONC-PRO) on or before March 31 of the year immediately following the credential expiration date, or
  • Apply for certification reinstatement by Option 3 (test + ONC-PRO) on or before the final application deadline for the first test administration window of the year immediately following the credential expiration date. AOCNP® and AOCNS® must test on or before February 28 of the year immediately following the credential expiration date
  • Nurses may not use the credential after their certification expires on December 31, but may again use the credential after being notified that their certification has been reinstated
  • Reinstatement is retroactive and the certification period will not be extended for nurses who reinstate. For example, if a nurse who was due to renew certification in 2014 then misses the October 15 final deadline, applies for and is granted reinstatement in February 2015, his/her next certification expiration date will be the same as if he/she had renewed certification in 2014; the expiration date would be December 31, 2018.
  • Reinstatement requires the candidate to submit all required applications and logs, as well as documentation of meeting the Option 1 or Option 3 requirements, as they would do if their ONC-PRO logs were audited. All CE certificates, transcripts or other documentation that would usually be required if the candidate submitted the application on time and was audited must be submitted with the application for reinstatement.
  • Candidates who apply for reinstatement must submit their application and required documentation to ONCC by mail or fax; the ONC-PRO logs may be submitted electronically.
  • Candidates who apply for reinstatement by Option 3 (test + ONC-PRO) must meet the deadline for the first test administration window of the year immediately following the credential expiration date.
  • Candidates must pay the reinstatement fee of $300, in addition to the final deadline application fee for Option 1 or Option 3.
  • Candidates who miss the final deadline for reinstatement of their certification may request a review, the results of which may be appealed. All requests for review and appeal must document the extenuating circumstances that caused the candidates to miss the deadline. The Director of Operations will conduct the review and the ONCC Appeals Committee will review and decide all appeals.
  • Candidates who apply for reinstatement must have earned all points by December 31 of the year certification was due for renewal; points earned after December 31 will not be accepted.