Are you ready to enhance your professional credibility and enjoy the feeling of personal accomplishment that comes from being certified? If you meet the criteria listed below, take the test for an oncology certified nurse and become recognized for your specialty knowledge in oncology nursing.
Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®)
View Eligibility Criteria for Initial Certification
- A current, active, unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination.
- A minimum of two years (24 months) of experience as an RN within the four years (48 months) prior to application, and
- A minimum of 2,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice within the four years (48 months) prior to application. Nursing practice may be in clinical practice, nursing administration, education, research or consultation. To qualify as nursing practice, the role must require it be filled only by a Registered Nurse.
- 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.
Applying for certification
The certification test is a three-hour, 165 multiple-choice item test based on the OCN® Test Content Outline (Test Blueprint). The Blueprint was created after the results of a role delineation study of basic adult oncology nursing practice conducted in 2016.
The OCN® Test Content Outline includes six major subject areas, each with a percentage assigned to it. Many nurses who have passed the test tell us the Test Content Outline was essential in helping them know what areas to study. Remember, only generic drug names are used on ONCC tests. Once you pass the test, your certification is valid for four years.
Note: If you’re eligible to test, you’ll receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) within 4 weeks of applying. This ATT will open an almost-immediate 90-day testing window. You must take the test within that 90-day window.
Test Dates, Application Deadlines and Fees
OCN®, CPHON®, AOCNP®, CBCN®, and BMTCN®
Testing in the US/Canada Only
|ONS/APHON Member: Age 65+||$225
|Nonmember: Age 65+||$315|
* Candidates who apply after September 1 will be assigned a 90-day testing period that begins before the end of 2019; however, the 90-day period may extend into 2020. Nurses who wish to take the test before the end of 2019 should plan accordingly.
Note: No tests will be administered outside North America in 2019.
Maintaining your certification
You should be very proud that you’ve passed the certification test! In order to keep your certification, you need to
earn points for certification renewal by completing Continuing Nursing Education, Continuing Medical Education,
Academic Education credits, or have work published in publications or give presentations. Follow this step-by-step
guide to maintain your certification.
1. Determine where to record your points.
You'll record and submit your renewal points on LearningBuilder. You gain access to your learning plan on
LearningBuilder shortly after you pass a test or take the assessment. If you are renewing AOCN or CPON
certification, you'll be given access to LearningBuilder shortly after you renew your certification each time - you
will not take an assessment.
2. Plan your professional development.
Your assessment results or test score report will tell
you the subject areas and number of professional development points – ranging from 25 to 100 – you’ll need to renew
your certification. These points and the subject areas where you may earn points are reflected in your learning
plan on LearingBuilder.
3. Select the necessary subject areas.
Use your score report or assessment results to see
which subject areas you need further professional development. Then, refer back to the current Test Content Outline
(Test Blueprint) to help you identify whether a program is in the subject area you need.
4. Enter your points on your learning plan in LearningBuilder.
Have your CE certificates or
other documentation handy when you're ready to enter your points in LearningBuilder. It's best to enter points as
you earn them to avoid a last-minute rush at renewal plan.
5. Keep all documentation.
We strongly urge you to record your points as they are earned. Keep
copies of all grade reports, copies of publications, program descriptions, educational objectives, and outlines, in
case ONCC asks to review them.
Visit the Resource Center for the following information:
- Acceptable Approval Bodies/Providers of Nursing Continuing Education
- Online Continuing Education Resources
- Websites featuring nursing continuing education
View Eligibility Criteria for Certification Renewal
- Current OCN® certification
- A current, active, unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada.
- 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 (adult care) within the two-and-one-half years (30 months) prior to application.
Renewing your certification
All ONCC certifications are valid for four years. Renewal candidates must have a current, active, unencumbered RN license. Three renewal options are available:
- Option 1: Practice hours + Professional Development (ILNA Points)
- Option 2: Practice hours + successful testing
- Option 3: ILNA Points + successful testing
Candidates Who Are Renewing by Option 3 (ILNA Points + Testing)
Candidates who are using renewal Option 3 (ILNA Points + Testing) should submit both the application and learning plans by the test application deadline date. Option 3 candidates must submit a test application and learning plan at the same time.
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