ILNA Renewal Information

The Individual Learning Needs Assessment

The Individual Learning Needs Assessment (ILNA) method is the primary certification renewal method used by ONCC. It combines an assessment of current knowledge with completion of professional development activities. This method helps ensure that every certified nurse has current knowledge in the subject areas represented by the credential.

Here is how it works. A certified nurse takes a learning needs assessment based on the test content outline (test blueprint), before starting to prepare for renewal. The assessment results identify the nurse’s knowledge strengths and weaknesses. Based on the assessment results, the nurse completes professional development activities to strengthen his/her knowledge. Completion of these activities earns points for certification renewal. 

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When Should You Take the Assessment?

Take the assessment as soon as you are eligible. Taking the assessment is the first step in preparing for your next certification renewal. Each time you renew by Option 1 (Professional Development Points) you need to take the assessment before you can earn points for your next renewal. For example: if you renewed your certification by Option 1 in 2018, you need to take the assessment before you can earn points for renewal in 2022. ONCC sends you an email when you are eligible to take the assessment - usually within a few weeks of receiving your certificate packet.

The assessment is free - you do not have to register for it. Points earned before taking the assessment cannot be used for renewal. Note - if you are renewing certification for the first time after passing a test you will not take the assessment. Use your test score report to identify your learning needs for renewal.  (AOCN® and CPON® certified nurses do not take an assessment). 

The assessment is not on this website. Please check your email for a message from with the subject line "Authorization to Assess". Please contact if you would like to have your Authorization resent.

Find out what to expect when taking the assessment.


Taking the Assessment

  • Once you access the assessment, you have 2 hours to take take it. The assessment must be completed in one sitting. You may not exit the assessment and return to it later.
  • Take the assessment on a computer, tablet, or mobile device with a stable internet connection.
  • Take the assessment using the latest version of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Note: Internet Explorer 10 works best. You may experience problems navigating the assessment with older versions of these browsers.
  • You must have the 'cookies enabled' feature set on the browser.
  • Take the assessment in a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. 
  • Take the assessment alone. Receiving or providing assistance is strictly forbidden. The results are intended to reflect your individual learning needs.
  • At the beginning of the assessment, you must accept a Non-Disclosure Agreement indicating that your participation in any irregularity such as giving or obtaining unauthorized aid, as determined by subsequent analysis, may result in invalidation of your results or other appropriate action such as revocation of your certification. ONCC investigates any noted irregularities. Disclosure of items on the assessment is forbidden, including discussion of the contents orally, in writing or by any other means. Theft of items is punishable to the fullest extent of the law. You cannot take the assessment unless you accept the Non-Disclosure Agreement.


ILNA Points

ILNA renewal allows you to earn points for certification renewal by completing professional development activities. These activities include continuing nursing education (CNE), continuing medical education (CME), academic education, publications or presentations. You are not required to complete specific type of activity.

You will use an online tool, LearningBuilder, to record and submit your points for renewal. Your learning plan is reflected in your LearningBuilder account. ONCC will notify you when you can access LearningBuilder. Keep documentation of the points you earn, such as CE certificates, detailed program descriptions, or grade reports, with your test score report or assessment results so you’ll be able to access the information easily when entering it in LearningBuilder.

Time Period to Earn ILNA Points (Accrual Period)

  • Candidates renewing certification for the second or subsequent time after testing must take the assessment before earning points for ILNA renewal. Points may be earned until the date you submit your renewal application and learning plan. Your application and learning plan must be submitted by the final renewal application deadline date. That means All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline.
  • Candidates renewing certification for the first time after testing may submit points earned from the date they pass the test through the date the renewal application and learning plan are submitted. All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline.
  • AOCN® and CPON® renewal candidates may submit points earned since their last renewal. (AOCN® and CPON® renewal candidates do not take an assessment.)
  • If you are eligible to take the assessment, but do not do so, you may renew certification by submitting 100 points that exactly match the subject areas and weighting of the current test content outline. If submitting 100 points that match the test content outline, points may be earned from January 1 of the current certification period through the date the application is submitted. All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline. Contact ONCC Customer Service at to have a 100-point plan created for you in LearningBuilder.
  • Points Awarded: 1 contact hour = 1 ILNA point
  • CE programs must have been provided by or formally approved for contact hours by an accredited provider or approver of continuing nursing education or continuing medical education. Points are awarded for completing an eligible educational activity one time during the accrual period. No points are awarded for repetition of activities with identical content during the accrual period.
  • Records to Keep: Keep the certificate awarded by the CE provider. The certificate must include an accreditation statement or provider number, the renewal candidate's name, title and date of the CE offering, and the number of contact hours awarded. Keep the program outline or other material that describes the program content. You may be requested to provide documentation for specific ILNA points claimed.
  • Points Awarded: 1 academic credit = 15 ILNA points
  • Points are awarded for completing academic courses that address the subject area(s) required for ILNA points, as identified by the learning needs assessment or test score report. These may include courses required for a nursing major, or other courses that address the biopsychosocial knowledge base of professional human service. You do not have to be enrolled in a degree program. Courses must be provided by accredited colleges or universities. A grade of "C" or higher must be achieved for each course.
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of the grade report(s) and course description(s) provided by the school for each course attended. Transcripts may be submitted in place of grade reports. The grade report or transcript must include the renewal candidate's name, title of the course(s), date the course(s) attended, and the grade(s) earned. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to provide this documentation.
  • Points are awarded for items published in books, journals, professional newsletters, or electronic media (e.g., Internet, CD-ROM, video) for which you have served as an author, editor, or peer reviewer. Only publications of content that address the specific subject area(s) identified by the learning needs assessment or examination score report are acceptable. Points are not awarded for materials that are "in press."
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of each publication. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit a copy of short publications or a copy of the title page, the page showing the date of publication, and table of contents where your name is listed as an author for longer publications.
  • Points Awarded: Points for joint authorship are determined by dividing the total number of points for the publication by the number of authors.
    • Book, author or editor (300 pages or more) – 60 points
    • Book, author or editor (less than 300 pages) – 40 points
    • Book chapter (more than 15 pages) – 25 points
    • Book chapter (15 pages or less) – 20 points
    • Doctoral dissertation – 10 points
    • Master's thesis, unpublished – 10 points
    • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 20 points
    • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 15 points
    • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 15 points
    • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 10 points
    • Guest editor for journal issue – 20 points
    • Article, non-peer reviewed journal, any medium – 5 points
    • Journal column – 5 points
    • Editorial in peer-reviewed journal – 5 points
    • Book review – 5 points
    • Multimedia Educational aids  5-10 points (depending on length and content)
    • Research abstract – 5 points
    • Article in newsletter or magazine, more than 1000 words – 5 points
    • Article in newsletter or magazine, 250-1000 words – 3 points
    • Journal reviewer – 1 point per article
    • Editorial board member – 1 point per column edited
  • Points are awarded for educational presentations made to nurses, other healthcare providers, or the public. The presentation must be delivered within a structured framework of teaching/learning. The presentation content must address a subject area(s) on the learning needs assessment or test score report. Presentations or lectures that are part of a candidate's job expectations may not be submitted for points (i.e., presentations made to institution staff by a staff educator).
  • Points Awarded: 1 hour of presentation = 3 points; Poster presentation = 3 ILNA points. Points are awarded only for the first time a presentation/poster is given. No points are awarded for repeat presentations of the same material. Note: In the case of multiple presenters, you may claim points only for your portion of the presentation. For example, if 3 nurses present a 1-hour panel discussion, each nurse may claim one point.
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of the program(s) or proceeding(s) that list your name as a presenter and the title, date, and length of your presentation(s). If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit copies of this documentation.

ILNA Categories & Points for Commonly Used CE – identifies the points/subject areas for some popular CE offerings.

ILNA Categories & Points for Conferences and Events – identifies the points/subject areas for some CE conferences.

Note: You may earn points from programs offered by a variety of accredited providers of nursing CE. You are not required to earn points from any specific provider.

Did you complete a program not included in above categories? You may complete CE programs that don't indicate if the content applies to ILNA points. Test Content Outlines & Keywords can help you determine whether a program fits into a specific content area. Check out these Test Content Outlines & Keywords

How to apply your continuing education points to your Learning Plan

First, look at the course title, content outline/description, and the objectives/learning outcomes. Then ask yourself these questions:

What is this offering generally about a high level? For example: is it about treatment? Survivorship? Screening? Decide what an offering is about at a high-level, then look for that concept on your credential’s content outline (i.e., Test Blueprint). The major subject areas are broad—look at the subtopics listed within each. For example: consider a program about nursing ethics. On the OCN® content outline, ethics is a subtopic in the subject area of Professional Performance. Points for completing a program on ethics would apply in Professional Performance®.

How many points can I claim? One contact hour of CE equals one ILNA point. For example: a program that awards 2 contact hours is worth 2 ILNA Points.

Which subject area do I choose if a program applies to more than one subject? Many CE offerings cover multiple topics. For example: a program on treatment might also address symptom management. If the program is 4 contact hours or less, choose one of  reasonably related subject area and apply points.

If the offering is worth more than 4 contact hours, estimate the amount of content in each subject area. For example: a 6 contact hour program on biotherapy may cover treatment and symptom management. Approximately two-thirds of the program appears to be about treatment, and one-third is about symptom management. In this case, apply 4 points to treatment, and 2 points to symptom management. Look at the program outline/schedule to estimate how much content applies in each area. The objectives may help you estimate the content in each area.

ONCC Can Help

Nurses - if a CE offering that is more than 4 CNE/CME is not listed on the charts in Related Resources, (right), and you're unsure how it fits - ONCC can help. You can ask ONCC to code it or to review your coding. It's usually not necessary to request coding for programs that are 4 hours or less – you can apply all of the points for programs of 4 hours or less to any one reasonably related subject area covered by the program. (For example: if a 4-hour program could apply to three subject areas – pick one of the three subject areas and apply the 4 points to that area.) Ask ONCC to code/review your coding of programs greater than 4 hours.

Where to Find CE When planning to attend conferences, look for a statement that the program has been approved for CE credit by an acceptable approver or provider. Consider online programs as well. A few resources where you can find accredited CE online are listed on Continuing Education section.

Do you offer CE programs?

Your programs may be more appealing if nurses know how they can be used for ILNA renewal.

ONS & APHON Chapters: Request ILNA Coding Services for your Chapter.

CE Providers: Learn about ILNA Coding for CE Providers.

What is LearningBuilder?

LearningBuilder is the online system for recording and submitting your ILNA points. Your learning plan for renewal is reflected in your LearningBuilder account. You will be given access to LearningBuilder after you take your assessment or pass a certification test. ONCC will email you when you can access LearningBuilder. You’ll sign in using your Profile username and password.

Account Login

Note: AOCN® and CPON® certified nurses are given learning plans shortly after renewal of certification in order to prepare for their next renewal.

User’s Guide to LearningBuilder – view this handy reference for making entries on your learning plan

Test Content Outlines (Blueprints) – Review the certification test content outline to identify topics that qualify for points in specific subject areas

AOCN® & CPON® Renewals

Note: AOCN® & CPON® candidates do not take the assessment, but must submit points on LearningBuilder. AOCN® must submit 100 points, at least 65 points must be in adult oncology. CPON® candidates must submit 100 points, at least 80 points must be in pediatrics and at least 50 points in pediatric oncology.

When you can access LearningBuilder

Access your learning plan on LearningBuilder by the 15th of the month after you take the assessment. ONCC will send you an email notifying that you have access to LearningBuilder. Here’s a quick look at when you can access your personal learning plan on LearningBuilder.

Pass an ONCC Test in You can access your

Learning Plan on LearningBuilder
February March 15
March April 15
April May 15
May June 15
June July 15
July August 15
August September 15
September October 15
October November 15
November December 15
December January 15