Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist Examination to Sunset in 2017


Pittsburgh, PA, Sept. 20, 2016 – The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) has announced it will stop offering the Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS®) Examination at the end of 2017. The last day an AOCNS® Examination can be taken is December 31, 2017.

According to ONCC President, Marybeth Singer, MS, ANP-BC, AOCN®, “We regret that we cannot continue to offer the AOCNS® Examination. The very low number of AOCNS® examination candidates over the past several years has made it difficult to maintain the program.” During the twelve years that the AOCNS® Examination has been administered, only 429 nurses have earned the credential. In 2015, only 35 initial candidates took the AOCNS® Examination and to date in 2016, only 27 initial candidates have applied to take the examination. This is an insufficient number to calculate the statistics required to maintain a psychometrically sound and rigorous examination. ONCC is committed to providing the highest quality certification programs, and recognizes that it cannot maintain those quality standards on a low volume program. In addition, the low number of candidates results in an ongoing financial deficit when revenue does not meet program expenses year after year.

Nurses who wish to earn the AOCNS® credential will need to pass the test on or before December 31, 2017. After that, oncology clinical nurse specialists are encouraged to consider one of ONCC’s five other nationally accredited certification programs, such as the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®) Examination.

Nurses who are currently AOCNS® certified, or who become AOCNS® certified by the end of 2017 will be able to renew the credential by earning professional development points and meeting the eligibility criteria for renewal. More information about AOCNS® renewal will be provided to credential holders soon. Testing will not be an option for renewal after December 31, 2017


The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in patient care and professional practice by validating specialized knowledge in oncology nursing and related specialties. ONCC administered the first Oncology Certified Nurse examination in 1986. Today, ONCC offers basic and advanced certification in adult oncology nursing, basic certification in pediatric oncology/ hematology nursing, and specialty certification in breast care nursing and blood and marrow transplant nursing.


For more information about ONCC’s nationally accredited certification programs, please visit the ONCC website at


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