Applications

The certification fee in place at the time the complete application is received will apply, regardless of postmark or any other circumstance. Complete applications include all requested information, signature, fees and documentation (e.g. verification forms, transcripts, continuing education information, logs or other required documents).

Incomplete applications will not be processed. Candidates whose applications are incomplete will be notified and provided an opportunity to provide the missing information. Candidates whose applications are incomplete will not be authorized to test until all required documentation is received and approved by ONCC.

Candidates may submit applications via online registration. Certain candidates may not apply online due to system limitations. In these instances, the candidate may apply by paper (mail or fax). Candidates who submit an application form or documentation by mail or fax when the online registration option is available, will be charged an additional paper handling fee.

Cancellation of Test Results

ONCC reserves the right to cancel the score of any candidate who violates the Professional & Regulatory Candidate Rules Agreement or to cancel scores resulting from any testing irregularity. Please see Professional & Regulatory Candidate Rules Agreement in the ONCC Candidate Handbooks.

Fraudulent Use of ONCC Credentials

ONCC shall thoroughly investigate all reports of an individual fraudulently using the OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential. If proof is obtained that an individual who is not authorized to use the OCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, AOCN®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential has used the credential, ONCC shall write a letter to the individual stating that ONCC has documented proof that the individual has used the OCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, AOCN®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential and that ONCC has no record of the individual's certification or renewal of expired certification. The individual shall be requested to provide proof of current ONCC certification (e.g., prove that certification was obtained under a different name) or discontinue use of the credential. The individual shall be informed that documented fraudulent use of an ONCC credential shall result in ONCC taking appropriate action against the individual, which may include sanctions and reporting the fraudulent use to appropriate individuals and/or institutions (e.g. state licensing boards, employers, and membership societies).

Nondiscrimination

ONCC does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, gender expression, ethnic origin, color, religion, race, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status in any of its activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, approval of certification/recertification applicants, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors and provision of services. ONCC is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for certification candidates and certified nurses, volunteers, members of its staff, clients, subcontractors,vendors and clients.

Refunds

Refund Requests

  1. Test candidates may request a refund of all but $100 (processing fee) of the test fee prior to the expiration of their ATT. A written request must be received by ONCC prior to the expiration of the ATT and include the candidate’s name, address and test date. Refund requests received after the expiration of the ATT will not be granted. Candidates who request a refund also must cancel their test appointment at least two days before the test appointment (see Canceling a Test Appointment, page 25). Candidates who do not cancel a scheduled test appointment will forfeit their test fee and will not receive a refund. Candidate may also be required to pay a fee to the testing company if the appointment is cancelled within the "fee required" timeframe.
    Cancellation/Reschedule PeriodCancellation/Reschedule Fee
    15 or more days before the test dateNo fee
    2-14 days before scheduled test date$35 per cancellation/reschedule to be collected by testing company from the candidate
    • Less than two days before test date, or
    • Fails to appear for a scheduled test, or
    • Candidate arrives more than thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled start time for taking the test and is refused admission
    No cancellation/reschedule permitted; full test delivery fee will be charged by testing company to ONCC; candidate forfeits appointment and fee.
  2. Acts of Nature
    In the event that an act of nature, or other catastrophic event, prevents a candidate or candidates from taking the test as scheduled, a portion of the test fee will be refunded, or the candidate may transfer, at no charge, to an administration within the following one-year period. The candidate’s eligibility will be verified to ensure all criteria is met for the subsequent test administration. A new application will be requested if the candidate’s eligibility is questionable. 

Release of Information/Confidentiality

The names of nurses certified by ONCC shall be available to the public. Confidential information that will not be released includes the names of all candidates for certification, individual examination scores of candidates, individual assessment results, and the names of nurses who fail the examinations. Hard copies of this information shall be kept in locked files and the electronic data shall be secured and protected. Only clearly identified ONCC and testing agency staff shall have access to this information. Individual candidates shall not be identified in the reporting of aggregate scores.

ONCC will not sell or rent email addresses of certified nurses. ONCC occasionally will release email addresses of certified nurses to the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) or the association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON) so they may share information about related opportunities. Candidates and certified nurses who do not wish to have their email address released to ONS or APHON are advised to contact ONCC.

  1. Certification is a voluntary credentialing process with the goal of protecting the public. The purpose of certification is to ensure the public that the certified nurse has met all eligibility criteria and mastered particular knowledge to provide competent nursing care as measured by the test. Names of nurses receiving OCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, AOCN®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® certification shall be available to the public upon written request. A fee, as determined by the ONCC Board of Directors, may be charged for the written verification of ONCC credentials. Certification will be verified in writing only. A free online service is available for credential verification.
  2. Individual test score reports are provided to candidates prior to leaving the test center. If score reports must be mailed, they shall be sent only to candidates at the address indicated by the candidate on his/her examination registration materials.
  3. Individual assessment results are provided to candidates at the conclusion of the assessment, with the option to save and/or print the assessment results. If assessment results must be mailed, they shall be sent only to the home address on file.
  4. ONCC will discuss a candidate’s certification-related and assessment-related issues only with the candidate.

Reporting of Results

  1. Score Reports for computer based testing (CBT) candidates
    Prior to leaving the test center, CBT candidates will receive an official pass/fail score including information to indicate the candidate’s performance in each of the test subject areas.
  2. Individual Scores
    The passing score for all examinations shall be set at a scaled score of 55. Because equating is used to correct for differences in test difficulty, the passing score can be maintained at a scaled score of 55, even though the passing raw score may vary from test form to test form.

    Test candidates who achieve a scaled score of 55 or above shall receive score reports indicating pass. Test candidates who achieve a scaled score of 54 or below shall receive score reports indicating fail. No numeric score shall be reported to candidates.

    All test score reports also shall indicate the candidate’s performance in each of the test subject areas. Passing candidates will use this information to prepare for certification renewal. Failing candidates will use this information to identify areas in which additional study may be needed before retaking a test.

  3. Assessment Results
    All assessment diagnostic reports will indicate the candidate’s performance in each of the subject areas. Assessment candidates will use this information to prepare for certification renewal.
  4. Aggregate Scores
    ONCC will annually report the number of test candidates, both initial and retakes, number passed in each category, number failed in each category, and number re-certified for each examination in the ONCC Certification News, the ONCC Annual Report and by posting on the ONCC Website.

Renewal of ONCC Certification

Certification renewal is due every four years. Those who hold OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® certification have three options through which to renew certification. Because the AOCN® and CPON® Examinations are no longer administered, those who hold AOCN® or CPON® certification have only one option (professional development plus practice) through which to renew.

It is the responsibility of the certified nurse to apply for renewal of certification by the required application date. ONCC shall attempt to provide renewal notices to all certified nurses prior to the expiration date of the current credentials. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the certified nurse of the responsibility to apply for renewal prior to the application deadline date.

All certification renewal candidates must have a current, active, unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the United States or Canada to be eligible to renew certification. Nurses educated and/or licensed outside the United States, its territories, or Canada must have their education and licensure evaluated for U.S. equivalency by a foreign credential evaluation service. Only those whose evaluation indicates U.S. equivalency will be eligible to renew certification.

To demonstrate continued competency and renew certification, all candidates must meet two of the three renewal criteria: current practice, professional development (demonstrated through the Individual Learning Needs Assessment and successful retesting. Option 1 includes current practice and professional development; Option 2 includes current practice and successful retesting; Option 3 includes professional development and successful retesting.

Reinstatement

All applications for certification renewal using Option 1 (practice hours + ILNA Points) must be received by the ONCC office by October 15 (or the following business day if October 15 falls on a weekend), regardless of postmark, of the year certification is due to expire.

  • Candidates who wish to maintain their certification, but miss the final deadline for certification renewal, may:
    1. Apply to re-take the examination in the following year as an initial candidate, or
    2. Apply for certification reinstatement by Option 1 (practice hours + ILNA Points) on or before March 31 of the year immediately following the credential expiration date, or
    3. Apply for certification reinstatement by Option 3 (test +ILNA Points) and test on or before March 31 of the year immediately following the credential expiration date.
  • Nurses may not use the credential after their certification expires on December 31, but may again use the credential after being notified that their certification has been reinstated
  • Reinstatement is retroactive and the certification period will not be extended for nurses who reinstate.
  • Reinstatement requires the candidate to submit all required applications and logs, as well as documentation of meeting the Option 1 or Option 3 requirements, as they would do if their Learning Plans were audited. All CE certificates, transcripts or other documentation that would usually be required if the candidate submitted the application on time and was audited must be submitted with the application for reinstatement.
  • Candidates who apply for reinstatement must submit their application and required documentation to ONCC by mail or fax; Learning Plans must be submitted electronically.
  • Candidates must pay the reinstatement fee of $300, in addition to the final deadline application fee for Option 1 or Option 3.
  • Candidates who miss the final deadline for reinstatement of their certification may utilize the Review and Appeals Policy. All requests for review and appeal must document the extenuating circumstances that caused the candidates to miss the deadline.
  • Candidates who apply for reinstatement must have earned all points by December 31 of the year certification was due for renewal; points earned after December 31 will not be accepted.

Retaking of the Examination

First and Second Failure:
Candidates who failed an ONCC examination for the first or second time, may apply for the next available administration with no waiting time penalty. These candidates receive the same examination as the first time candidates and are not identified as “repeaters” at the test administration. However, it is not likely that a repeating candidate will receive the same test form as they received during a previous administration.

Candidates may not take the same certification test more than one time during a testing interval or 90-day testing period.

Third and Subsequent Failures:

There is no limit on the number of times a candidate may take an ONCC examination. However, candidates who do not succeed in passing the examination after three or more attempts are required to wait a minimum of one year before retaking the examination. If the three failures occurred over a period of more than three years, the candidate may retake the examination without waiting a minimum of one year.

Candidates who fail the examination on the third and/or subsequent attempts will receive a letter from ONCC describing the policy requiring them to wait one year before retaking the examination. These candidates will be informed that ONCC recommends that they seek remedial education in the content areas in which they did not perform well. Candidates’ final score reports inform them of their performance on each major content area of the respective test content outline (test blueprint).

Candidates may not take the same certification test more than one time during a testing interval or 90-day eligibility period.

Review and Appeals Process

  1. Review of Eligibility Decisions. In the event of a determination that an individual has been denied certification or recertification, based on a failure to satisfy application or eligibility requirements, pay fees required by ONCC, or failure of the examination, the individual shall have thirty (30) days to file a written request for review. ONCC shall review and issue a decision on the request.
  2. Review of Alleged Violations of ONCC’s Rules (other than eligibility decisions). This section outlines the process to be followed in the event that an individual is alleged to have violated the rules identified in Policy 34.00. Policy 34.00 identifies the basis for denying or sanctioning certification or recertification. These rules are published and available to the public.
    1. ONCC shall provide the individual with written notice of the alleged violation. The written notice shall include:
      1. The rule or rules identified in Policy 34.00 alleged to have been violated by the individual;
      2. The facts surrounding the allegation;
      3. An opportunity for the individual to respond in writing to the allegation within thirty (30) days of the individual’s receipt of the allegation; and
      4. Notice that a failure to timely respond to the allegation may result in the issuance of sanctions against the individual’s certification or eligibility for certification or recertification.
    2. If the individual has filed an application for certification or recertification with ONCC at the time of receipt of the alleged violation, the application shall be suspended pending determination of the alleged violation.
    3. If the alleged violation arises out of conduct during or relating to an ONCC examination or assessment administration, the individual’s results may be invalidated.
    4. Upon receipt of the individual’s response or expiration of the thirty (30) day response period, the executive director and/or Discipline Subcommittee shall render a decision on the matter. The decision may include the issuance of sanctions against the individual’s certification, recertification or eligibility for certification or recertification. These sanctions may be reported to appropriate individuals and/or institutions (e.g. state licensing boards, employers, and membership societies).
  3. Appeals of Determinations. The individual may file a written appeal request within thirty (30) days of the date of their receipt of the determination in either A or B, above. The written request for appeal must specify the type of appeal forum being requested by the individual (e.g., written appeal, telephone conference call or in-person hearing).

Sanction of ONCC Certification

The purpose of ONCC certification is to provide assurance that the nurse using the OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential possesses knowledge essential to providing nursing care to the population stipulated by the certification. Consequently, individuals using the credential must demonstrate the required level of knowledge and meet the requirements for attainment and maintenance of the credential. Failure to meet these standards may result in the issuance of sanctions.

  1. ONCC certification may be sanctioned for any of the following reasons:
    1. Failure to meet eligibility requirements or pay required fees
    2. Failure to meet requirements for renewal of certification
    3. Falsification of any information requested by ONCC
    4. Misrepresentation of the OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential
    5. Misuse of the OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential
    6. Fraudulent use of the OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® credential
    7. Lack of current, active, unencumbered RN license, including licenses currently subjected to formal discipline by any state board of nursing and licenses with provisions or conditions that limit the nurse’s practice in any way.
    8. Cheating on the certification examination or assessment
    9. Assisting others to cheat on the certification examination or assessment
    10. Unauthorized possession of ONCC examination, assessment or other confidential materials
    11. Criminal convictions (including indictment, arrest, conviction or plea of guilty to any felony within the past 3 years) or limitation, sanction, revocation or suspension by a healthcare organization, professional organization, or other private or governmental body relating to nursing or public health safety
    12. Gross or repeated negligence or malpractice in professional practice
    13. Failure to notify ONCC in writing within 30 days of any restriction placed on the RN license (including APRN license)
  2. ONCC may issue sanctions that include, but are not limited to, denials of initial certification, renewal or recertification, revocation, suspension or any other limitation of certification or combination of sanctions. Upon being notified of a possible violation, ONCC shall, in its sole discretion, investigate the allegation or decline to act on the matter. If ONCC believes that there has been a possible violation of the conditions identified in Section 1, ONCC shall provide the individual with written notice of the allegations.
  3. The review and appeals process may be instituted. (See policies 24.00 and 34.00)
  4. The official sanction shall state whether official notice of the sanction will be provided to the individual’s state licensing board(s), employer(s), professional membership societies, and/or others. Such notice, if authorized by the sanction, shall not be given until the expiration and/or resolution of any appeal.

Transfers

  1. Test Date Transfers Within Same Testing Window
    If, after successful application, a candidate cannot take the test at the scheduled appointment time/date, the candidate may reschedule the test appointment for another day and/or time within the same testing window. The candidate must contact the testing company to reschedule; cancellation/reschedule fees may be incurred by the candidate and are payable directly to the testing company.
    Cancellation/Reschedule PeriodCancellation/Reschedule Fee
    15 or more days before the test dateNo fee
    2-14 days before scheduled test date$35 per cancellation/reschedule to be collected by testing company from the candidate
    • Less than two days before test date, or
    • Fails to appear for a scheduled test, or
    • Candidate arrives more than thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled start time for taking the test and is refused admission
    No cancellation/reschedule permitted; full test delivery fee will be charged by testing company to ONCC; candidate forfeits appointment and fee.
  2. Transferring to a Different Eligibility Period
    If, after successful application, a candidate cannot take the test at the scheduled appointment time/date and wishes to transfer to a different testing window, the candidate may request a withdrawal from that particular administration for a later administration within the ensuing 12 months. A test window transfer is granted one time only. The candidate must notify ONCC in writing via a Transfer Request Form prior to the expiration of their current Authorization to Test (ATT). The candidate must also cancel the appointment (if made) by contacting the testing company, following the above Cancellation/Reschedule table. The candidate will pay a $100.00 administrative fee to ONCC for this service. The candidate may also incur a cancellation fee from the testing company, as described in the Cancellation/Reschedule table. The candidate’s eligibility will be verified to ensure all criteria is met for the subsequent test administration. A new application form will be requested if the candidate’s eligibility is questionable. If the candidate fails to take the test during the interval to which he/she has transferred, the candidate will forfeit all test fees and must submit a new application and pay the full test fee for a subsequent administration. Transfers to a different testing window will be honored provided the above conditions are met.
  3. Transfer from Certification Renewal Option 1 to Option 2
    Candidates who attempt to renew certification by Option 1 but do not meet the required criteria, may pay only the transfer fee to take the test during a subsequent testing interval. The candidate’s eligibility will be verified to ensure all criteria is met for the subsequent testing interval. A new application form will be requested if the candidate’s eligibility is questionable. The candidate must make the request in writing. (See ONCC Policy 15.00)
  4. Transfer from Certification Renewal Option 2 to Option 1
    Candidates who submit an application to renew certification by Option 2 may transfer to renew certification by Option 1, prior to taking the test. The candidate will pay only the transfer fee and submit professional development documentation to ONCC by the posted deadline. The candidate must make the request in writing. Candidates who use Option 2 for certification renewal and who fail the examination may not transfer to Option 1 (see ONCC Policy 15.00).
  5. Failure to Report to CBT Appointment
    If a candidate fails to arrive for the scheduled appointment or does not cancel or reschedule the appointment as outlined in the Cancellation/Reschedule table, the candidate will forfeit all test fees and the test appointment and may incur an additional fee from the testing company. The candidate must submit a new application and pay the full test fee for a subsequent administration.

Use of an ONCC Credential

In awarding certification to a qualified individual, ONCC is merely granting permission to said individual to use the certification mark OCN®, AOCN®, AOCNS®, AOCNP®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN® or BMTCN® in the sale or advertising of nursing services. Such use may consist of, but is not limited to, use on resumes or curriculum vitae. The specific certification mark may be used only as long as certification is valid. Use of a certification mark after it expires constitutes fraud. ONCC certification is a non-transferable, revocable, limited license to use the certification designation, subject to compliance with ONCC rules, as may be revised from time to time.

To provide notice that the certification mark OCN®, AOCN®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS® and BMTCN® are covered by a federal registration, the words "Registered in U. S. Patent and Trademark Office" or "Reg. U. S. Pat. & Tm. Office" or the symbol "®" must always accompany the mark. Certified nurses are informed of this upon notice of passing the OCN®, AOCN®, CPON®, CPHON®, CBCN®, AOCNP®, AOCNS® and BMTCN® certification tests.

Verification of Certification

ONCC provides a free, online verification service for credential verification. Those who wish to have written verification of a nurse's certification status must make a request in writing, include a $15 fee, and provide the nurse's full name and home address. Certification will be verified in writing only.

Code of Ethics Policy

The Code of Ethics sets forth values, ethical principles, and standards to which professionals aspire and by which their actions can be judged. The purpose of this code is to identify the moral obligations of all ONCC-certified nurses inherent in their professional roles. Specifically, ONCC-certified nurses are obligated to support and maintain the integrity of the profession of oncology nursing in order to promote the health and well-being of patients and families.

Nurses certified by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation will:

  • Respect the basic human rights and the dignity of all patients, without consideration of social or economic status, race, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, personal attributes, nature of the health problem(s), or any other factors.
  • Protect the patient from harm and advocate for the patient’s welfare.
  • Maintain confidentiality of patient information, except when disclosure is required by law.
  • Maintain the knowledge and skill necessary for competent practice in the specialty.
  • Respect his/her own self worth and professional integrity, and the integrity of the profession.
  • Report known or suspected violations made by ONCC-certified nurses and potential ONCC-certified nurses to ONCC.

Canceling a Test Appointment

All candidates who wish to cancel a test appointment must do so based on cancellation/reschedule table. Because ONCC must pay the testing company for "no show" candidates, those who do not cancel their appointment will not be eligible for a transfer or refund, and will be required to submit another application and full fee to test at a later date.

Test candidates who cancel a test appointment also must:

    • reschedule their test appointment within the same test interval, or
    • submit a request for transfer or refund to ONCC (See Transfers and Refunds information). If a candidate cancels a test appointment and does not notify ONCC in writing, the test fee paid will be forfeited.
Cancellation/Reschedule PeriodCancellation/Reschedule Fee
15 or more days before the test dateNo fee
2-14 days before scheduled test date$35 per cancellation/reschedule to be collected by testing company from the candidate
  • Less than two days before test date, or
  • Fails to appear for a scheduled test, or
  • Candidate arrives more than thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled start time for taking the test and is refused admission
No cancellation/reschedule permitted; full test delivery fee will be charged by testing company to ONCC; candidate forfeits appointment and fee.

Payment Options

ONCC accepts only Visa, MasterCard and American Express for online payment. If you wish to pay with another credit card, you will not be able to register online. Please contact ONCC Customer Service at 877-769-6622 (toll free) or at 412-859-6104. The ONCC Online Registration System is a secure site, so you can apply online with confidence. Your credit card payment information will be transmitted via an encrypted format. On the payment page, you’ll see the Verisign symbol, and the page’s URL address will begin with “https.” These signs indicate your data will be transmitted securely.

Pricing /Certification Fees

The ONCC Board will review and determine all fees annually. Subject to annual approval, fees will increase annually, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Nurses age 65 or older shall receive 25% discount for certification fees.

Nurses who are current members of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) or the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON) will receive a discount for certification fees.

Customer Service

If you have questions relating to ONCC, please email ONCC Customer Service or call toll free (U.S. residents only)
877-769-6622, or 412-859-6104.