ONCC Announces Innovative Renewal Method for Certified Nurses
Friday, December 09, 2011
Nurses who are certified by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) will soon have a new method for renewing their certification credentials. Beginning in 2016, ONCC-certified nurses will be able to renew via a focused professional development approach known as the Individual Learning Needs Assessment (ILNA). The first group of nurses to use the method will be those who become certified or renew certification in 2012.
The ILNA method combines an assessment of the certified nurse’s individual learning needs with the completion of an individualized learning plan focused on identified gaps and limitations in knowledge. The assessment and learning plan will be based on the current content outline (test blueprint) for each of the ONCC credentials.
According to ONCC President Jo Visser, RN, BSN, OCN®, “ILNA will enable certified nurses to focus their professional development activities on their individual learning needs. ILNA recognizes the importance of life-long learning and the maintenance of current knowledge. Because one of the primary purposes of certification is to protect the public, there is tremendous value in ensuring that each certified nurse has broad current knowledge in all of the content areas represented by the ONCC credential held by the nurse."
The ILNA method begins with a certified nurse completing an online assessment of the subject areas that correspond to the certification test blueprint. The assessment is not a test; the nurse will not pass or fail. The purpose of the assessment is to provide the nurse with information about his or her knowledge strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas in which further professional development is needed in order to renew certification. It will be important for nurses to take the assessment early in their certification renewal cycle in order to provide enough time for them to complete professional development in the areas identified by the assessment. Those nurses who are renewing certification for the first time will not need to take the assessment because the score report of their certification examination will be used to identify their learning needs for the first recertification cycle.
Following completion of the assessment, the nurse will complete professional development activities to earn the required number of points for certification renewal in the content areas identified by the assessment. These professional development activities may include the nurse’s choice of accredited continuing nursing education, continuing medical education, academic education, professional presentations or publications.
The number of points required, as well as the content areas will vary from nurse to nurse, depending on their performance on the assessment. However, regardless of their performance on the assessment, all renewal candidates will be required to earn a minimum of 25 points. Those who have no identified knowledge gaps will be able to select the content of the 25 points. One contact hour of continuing nursing education will equal one point.
According to ONCC Executive Director, Cyndi Miller Murphy, RN, MSN, CAE, “We believe certified nurses will find ILNA to be very beneficial to their professional development. The identification of knowledge gaps will be very advantageous. Most nurses will be able to renew their certification by completing fewer, more meaningful professional development activities than in the past. Given the challenging economic times, and growing demands on nurses, this focused renewal method will appeal to most certified nurses.”
ILNA will be available to nurses who will be renewing ONCC certification in 2016 and later. The first group of nurses who will be eligible to renew by ILNA will be those who attain or renew certification in 2012. Those candidates will be provided with the information they will need to complete ILNA for their certification renewal in 2016.
ILNA may be used by Oncology Certified Nurses (OCN®), Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioners (AOCNP®), Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS®), Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (CPHON®) and Certified Breast Care Nurses (CBCN®).
Because no current certification test blueprints are available on which to base an assessment for the Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN®) and Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurses (CPON®) credentials, nurses who hold these certifications may continue to renew by the Oncology Nursing Certification Points Renewal Option (ONC-PRO). AOCN® and CPON® certified nurses will be required to earn 100 points in professional development activities, the majority of which must be specialty-focused.
Nurses who choose not to complete the assessment will have the option of retesting for certification renewal, or earning a minimum of 100 points that correspond to the weighting of the subject areas on the current certification test blueprint.
The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance patient care and professional practice by validating specialized knowledge in oncology nursing and related specialties. Learn more about ONCC at www.oncc.org.