Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®)

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.

Eligibility Criteria for Initial Certification

The following eligibility criteria must be met at the time of application and examination.

  1. A current, active, unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada at the time of application and examination.
  2. A minimum of two years (24 months) of experience as an RN within the four years (48 months) prior to application, and
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

What is nursing practice?

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

January 2 - December 31, 2019 

ONS/APHON Member $296
Nonmember $416
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.

View Eligibility Criteria for Certification Renewal

The following eligibility criteria must be met at the time of application.

  1. Current OCN® certification
  2. A current, active, unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the US, its territories or Canada.
  3. A minimum of one year (12 months) of experience as an RN within the three years (36 months) prior to application, and
  4. 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.

What is nursing practice?

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

See all renewal deadlines and fees

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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