Continuing Competence — the Foundation of Recertification
Continuing competence is the ongoing professional responsibility of orthopaedic nurses to obtain, integrate, and apply current knowledge and skills required to practice safely, effectively, and ethically in designated roles and settings.
It is also a shared responsibility among nurses, the profession, regulatory bodies, professional associations, educators, care organizations/workplaces, and certification agencies such as ONCB.
ONCB’s requirements for recertification are based on the need for all nurses to build on previous competence and integrate new evidence into safe practice.
Current fees for ONC recertification by continuing education are as follows:
- $230 NAON members, $345 non-members with LearningBuilder submission
- $280 NAON members, $395 non-members with paper submission
ONCs also can recertify by retaking the examination. Maintain continuous certification by testing before the expiration date of the current certification term. See “ONC Certification” on this site for additional exam information.
- Current, unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse
- 1000 hours practice during previous 5 years, plus
- 75 contact hours of education (minimum 50 hours in clinical orthopaedics, up to 25 hours in general nursing)
Orthopaedic nurses are everywhere! ONCB defines practice broadly for the ONC, to include direct patient care roles, education, case management, consulting, management, and other roles and settings related to musculoskeletal health.
The ONC credential holder is required to maintain current, unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse in order to recertify. ONCB members determined unrestricted licensure was critical to certificant performance within the full RN scope of practice. In addition, a minimum of 1000 worked hours in care or support of persons with musculoskeletal health concerns is required in the 5‐year certification term. Continuing nursing practice is critical to continuing competence, so the board identified a reasonable minimum number of hours. Finally, the ONC credential holder must earn 75 contact hours of continuing education, with 50 of those in clinical orthopaedics. This requirement reflects the certificant’s need to continue to build his or her knowledge in orthopaedics. The requirement for up to 25 contact hours in general nursing topics also reflects the certificant’s need for continued learning on general topics in order to provide holistic care for persons with musculoskeletal conditions.
A candidate for recertification by continuing education must meet all eligibility requirements for recertification, including the required practice hours, and pay all recertification fees.
ONCB offers two videos to review recertification requirements.
Incomplete or inaccurate applications may be subject to audit.
- Incomplete applications will not be processed without submission of a $20 incomplete application fee as requested by the ONCB.
- A letter or email will be sent describing the deficiencies in any incomplete or inaccurate applications, and the certificant will be given a deadline to address the identified areas.
- ONCB reserves the right to request supporting documentation from any applicant for recertification. This includes, but is not limited to, incomplete applications.
Recertification applications will be accepted with a postmark between July 1 and September 30 with payment of an additional $45 late fee. All continuing education, however, must have been earned before June 30 of the credential expiration year. The late fee will be added to the required payment when submitting through LearningBuilder. Certificants using paper applications should add the $45 to the regular fee to avoid having the application returned.
Recertification applications require a minimum of 6 weeks for processing. Please time your submission appropriately to ensure you receive a new certificate before any deadlines established by your employer. For example, new documents related to an application submitted in mid-June may not be available until late July. Applications are processed in the order received; no exceptions will be granted.
Any applicant who is denied recertification or desires a refund can request return of payment less an $85.00 administrative fee. Requests for refund of recertification fees must be received no later than December 1 of the year of credential expiration. Any requests received after that date will not be processed.
ONCB reserves the right to make fee changes at any time.