Testing and Renewal

Find more information on testing and renewal

What is Nursing Certification?

Nursing certification is a process to validate a registered nurse's qualification and knowledge of a specific area of nursing. To become certified, a nurse must meet minimal competency standards set by the agency that grants the certification. One purpose of nursing certification is to promote public safety. Certification assures the public that a certified nurse has completed all criteria required for a specific credential. Another purpose of certification is to develop specialty nursing by establishing minimal competency standards and recognizing nurses who have met the standards.

Eligibility Calculator

Calculate your oncology experience hours by entering the requested information in the calculator.


Test Scores and Results Reports

Results Reports

ONCC Results Reports inform a candidate if they passed or failed their certification test and provide feedback on the candidate’s performance in each of the test subject areas. 
Candidates who pass the test will receive a Results Report that indicates “PASS” and includes a Performance Summary Chart. The chart illustrates their performance in each of the major subject areas. Passing candidates will need the results report information to prepare for certification renewal. The report indicates the number of points needed for renewal and the subject areas in which renewal points must be earned. 
Candidates who fail the test will receive a numeric score and the numeric score required to pass the test. Performance on an ONCC certification test is expressed as a scaled score (Minimum Score 25, Maximum Score 75). The scaled score required to pass a certification test is 55. This information is intended to help candidates prepare to retake the exam by providing them with feedback on their performance in relation to the passing standard. 
When preparing to retake a test, candidates should review their Results Report to see where the numeric score they earned on their previous attempt falls in relation to the minimum score of 25 and the passing score of 55. Using that information along with the Performance Summary chart will allow a candidate to better estimate the amount of additional study needed and the areas in which they should focus their efforts. 
Numeric scores are not included on Results Reports for candidates who pass the exam to avoid the unintended and inappropriate use, comparison, or interpretation of the scores.

Passing Scores

The passing score for each ONCC examination is based on the number of test questions that are answered correctly. Passing scores for ONCC tests are established via a systematic procedure (a Passing Score Study) that employs the judgment of groups of oncology nursing professionals representing various geographical areas, practice settings, roles, and subspecialties. Because of ONCC's commitment to quality and test security, there are multiple forms of each certification examination.

ONCC and the test vendor develop the various forms of each test from the Test Content Outlines. The level of difficulty of the forms may vary slightly because different questions appear on different forms. Because it would be unfair to require a candidate taking a slightly more difficult form of the test to answer as many questions correctly as a candidate taking an easier form, the statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct for differences in test difficulty. Equating is dependent upon a sufficient number of test candidates. If fewer candidates register than are required for accurate equating, another passing score study is conducted.

ONCC reserves the right to cancel the scores of any candidate who violates the Professional Examination Rules or to cancel scores resulting from any testing irregularity.


ONCC provides a personalized certificate for each candidate who passes the test or meets the renewal requirements approximately 8 weeks after scores are reported.

Pass Rates

ONCC provides a personalized certificate for each candidate who passes the test or meets the renewal requirements approximately 8 weeks after scores are reported.



ONCC audits a percentage of randomly selected renewal applications each year to ensure the integrity of the renewal process. You will be notified if your application is selected for audit and required to provide additional documentation.

Candidates Who Fail the Renewal Test May Not Renew by ILNA

Candidates who choose to renew by Option 2 (testing), and who do not pass the test, may not renew their credential by Option 1. Candidates who elect to retest, and who do not pass the test, must take the test again prior to their certification expiration to renew their credential.

Candidates Who Are Denied Renewal by ILNA May Retest

Candidates who apply for renewal by Option 1 and are denied renewal due to insufficient points will not be granted a fee refund. However, those who are denied renewal by Option 1 may apply to take the test during the next 12 months with payment of a $100 transfer fee, if they meet the test application deadline. ONCC cannot guarantee candidates a decision on their renewal application in time to register for a test unless the application is received at least three months prior to the test application deadline.

Candidates who are Denied Renewal by ILNA Will Not be Refunded

Candidates who apply for renewal by Option 1 and who are denied renewal will not be granted a fee refund. This includes candidates who are denied renewal due to insufficient points, insufficient documentation, or failure to submit audit or other documentation requested by ONCC.

Renewal Notices

ONCC sends certified nurses multiple renewal reminders by mail, email, and phone. It is important to keep your current contact information in your ONCC account at all times. You may not receive email reminders if you have unsubscribed from emails or use a workplace email address. Please use a personal email address or request your employer not block ONCC emails. Check your spam or junk mail folders regularly for communications from ONCC. Unfortunately, delivery of renewal notices can't be guaranteed. It is the certified nurse's responsibility to apply for renewal of certification before the application deadline date.

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