Advance practice nurses who plan to take the ONP-C® examination must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have three full years of experience practicing as an RN or APRN, or with an equivalent license as described below.
- Hold a Master’s degree or higher in nursing from an advanced practice (APRN) nursing program with preparation as a nurse practitioner (NP).
- PLEASE NOTE: CANDIDATES FOR THE ONCB’S NP EXAMINATION MUST HAVE EARNED THEIR GRADUATE DEGREES IN THE UNITED STATES. WHILE ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION MAY HAVE BEEN EARNED IN A FOREIGN NURSING PROGRAM, CANDIDATES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO TEST FOR ONCB’S ONP-C CREDENTIAL IF THEY EARNED THEIR MASTER’S DEGREES ABROAD. ONCB’S ONP-C EXAM WAS DEVELOPED AROUND THE ROLE OF NURSE PRACTITIONER AS DESCRIBED BY AGENCIES SUCH AS THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES OF NURSING, AND BASED ON APPROVED CURRICULA IN COLLEGES OF NURSING IN THE UNITED STATES. EQUIVALENCY WITH FOREIGN GRADUATE PROGRAMS CANNOT BE DETERMINED.
- Have a minimum of 2,000 hours of advanced practice nursing work experience within the past three years and presently be functioning as an NP who cares for patients with musculoskeletal conditions (e.g., FNP, AGNP, PNP). NPs who are enrolled in orthopaedic fellowships or post-graduate nurse practitioner residency programs through accredited colleges or universities can use program practice hours to meet the APN practice requirement for ONP-C certification. Please note: These fellowship/residency hours do NOT count in the 3 years of minimum RN practice to test for the ONP-C credential.
- Hold a current, full and unrestricted license as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States, or its possessions, OR hold a current, full and unrestricted license to practice as a first-level, general nurse in the country in which the candidate’s general nursing education was completed, and meet the eligibility criteria for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States in accordance with requirements of any of the following agencies:
- CGFNS , International
- Educational Credential Evaluation
- Foreign Academic Credentials Services, Inc.
- Foundation for International Services, Inc.
- International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
- International Education Research Foundation Credentials Evaluation Service
- Josef Silny and Associates
- World Education Services, Inc.
The foreign-educated nurse who holds active certification from the following may submit a copy of his or her certificate in lieu of additional education verification:
ONCB and its test vendor PSI do not discriminate among exam candidates on the basis of age race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or marital status.
ONCB reserves the right to review any examination application to confirm candidate eligibility. This may be done for cause or as part of a quality assurance activity. Candidates will be notified of findings.
Denial of eligibility of an individual to take the certification examination may be appealed. The candidate shall assume responsibility for providing adequate documentation to support the appeal. Examination eligibility criteria shall not be altered. An Appeals Task Force will be named by the ONCB President, to include one ONCB Public Member and the Test Committee Chair, with Test Committee members involved as appropriate.
Nonreceipt by ONCB of a paper application to take a certification examination may be appealed. The candidate shall provide evidence that the completed application and fee were mailed (e.g., postage or shipping receipt with date of shipment and receiving address clearly identified). Without such proof, ONCB cannot be responsible for nonreceipt of paper applications.
Examination scores may be appealed only on the method of scoring. Any unsuccessful candidate can challenge a specific question following the exam by contacting the test vendor in writing. Challenges to any question should be made no later than 6 months after the examination date. Candidates will not be given an opportunity to view any specific items after the examination has been completed. No fee is assessed for this appeals process. However, a fee may be assessed by the test vendor if hand scoring is requested by the candidate.
Please contact ONCB for specific information on filing an appeal if you believe you have grounds based on the above information.