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®)
Eligibility Criteria for Initial Certification
The following eligibility criteria must be met at the time of application and examination.
- 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 nursing continuing 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 (CNE) or nursing continuing professional development (NCPD). 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.
Testing in the US/Canada Only
Candidates who apply after November 1, will receive a full, 90-day test period beginning January 6, 2021 with ONCC's new test vendor, PSI.
View Eligibility Criteria for Certification Renewal
The following eligibility criteria must be met at the time of application.
- 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 (Points)
- Option 2: Practice hours + successful testing
- Option 3: Points + successful testing
Candidates who are using renewal Option 3 (ILNA Points + Testing) should submit both the application and points by the test application deadline date.
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