All ONCC examinations are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). However, three ONCC credentials – Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN), Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS), and Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON) – no longer offer an examination. The information below answers frequent questions about credentials for examinations that have been retired.
Why is ONCC eliminating AOCN®, AOCNS®, and CPON® certification?
ONCC is not discontinuing the AOCN®, AOCNS®, or CPON® certification. Nurses who are currently AOCN®, AOCNS®, or CPON®-certified may continue to renew these certifications as long as the individual meets the renewal requirements.
Do I need to earn a different certification?
ONCC is not requiring you to earn a different certification. You may continue to renew your current credential if you meet the renewal requirements.
Can I apply for Emeritus status if I am certified as an AOCN®, AOCNS®, or CPON®?
Yes. Emeritus status is available for all ONCC certifications.
Why is ONCC discontinuing accreditation of AOCN®, AOCNS®, and CPON® certification?
The AOCN®, AOCNS®, and CPON® certifications were accredited as soon as the programs became eligible and maintained continuous accreditation for as long as possible. However, accreditation standards changed. Because these programs do not offer an examination based on a current job task analysis or role delineation study of the knowledge represented by the credential, they no longer meet the accreditation standards.
Who previously accredited the AOCN®, AOCNS®, and CPON® certifications?
The AOCN®, AOCNS®, and CPON® certifications were previously accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and/or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). These are independent organizations that set standards for certification programs.
Magnet Recognition Program®and related questions
How does accreditation affect my hospital’s Magnet status?
According to information published by the ANCC Magnet Program, certifications that are not accredited will not be included in Magnet’s Demographic Data Collection Tool beginning January 1, 2024. This may affect the number/percentage of certified nurses an institution can report for Magnet status. Nurses should contact Magnet staff about the impact of this change on their organization’s Magnet status.
Why did Magnet decide to only recognize accredited certifications?
Please see the information published by the ANCC Magnet Program regarding the rationale for the decision to only include accredited certifications in their program. Nurses should contact Magnet staff directly with questions about the impact of this change on their organization’s Magnet status.
Will Magnet “grandfather” certifications that were previously accredited?
ONCC has no information on whether Magnet will “grandfather” previously accredited certifications into this change. Please contact Magnet staff directly with questions about the Magnet Program.
Will my state still recognize my AOCN® or AOCNS® certification for advanced practice licensure?
Each state board of nursing determines the licensure requirements for nurses in its state. To ensure you receive an accurate answer, it is always best to consult your state board of nursing about any questions related to your nursing license.
Note: Magnet Recognition Program® is a registered trademark of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.