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CE Approval Process

New Criteria Requirements for 2013

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) implemented new criteria for the approval of contact hours starting January 1, 2013. AORN is developing a new online application that incorporates these changes that should be launched by the end of 2014. Prior to its launch, we must ask all applicants to complete a supplemental form in addition to our current online application for all new applications submitted on or after January 1, 2013. To review the new criteria contained in this form, select the document below

ANCC Update – Criteria Changes 

Supplement Form

Starting January 1, 2013, you must complete the following 2 items for your new CE Approval application (click links below to access): 
Supplement Form
Online Application 

Speakers/Authors with Commercial Interests

Commercial interest organizations are not eligible for contact hour approval. A qualified presenter from a commercial interest organization may speak on topics unrelated to product. See Definition of a Commercial Interest Organization

The Nurse Planner is responsible for ensuring that education content is not influenced by commercial interests.

If you have any questions, contact us at 800-755-2676, ext. 456.

Steps for Success

When planning continuing nursing education, specific steps for success can help you reach your education goals. To view these steps and save a copy, click the link below.
Steps for Success (PDF)

Access Current Applications 

How to Apply for Contact Hours

  1. Create new application. NOTE: Activity topics must support the definition of continuing nursing education as identified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) 

    Choose correct level:

    • Level I: AORN constituents

    • Level II: Non-profits and health care providers

    • Level III: Entrepreneurs or national/specialty nursing associations, and certain industries.

  2. Complete planning committee information. See instructions, page 6 (PDF)

    • Must have at least two members, one with BSN

    • Always include ANCC planning expertise

  3. Provide presenter/author information. See instructions, page 9 (PDF)

    All planners and presenters must declare whether they have a conflict of interest.   See instructions, page 10 (PDF)

  4. Disclose Commercial Support. See instructions, page 14 (PDF)

    • Keep education separate from promotional activities and disclose all commercial support of educational activities.

    • Commercial support must not influence the planning, development, content, implementation or evaluation of education.

    • If you are receiving commercial support, you must submit a Written Agreement for Commercial Support.

  5. State Purpose/goal. See instructions, page 15 (PDF)

    • Broad statement regarding the outcome of the activity.

  6. Write Objectives. See instructions, page 16 (PDF)

    • Describe expected learner-oriented outcomes in measurable terms.

  7. Develop Content. See instructions, page 18 (PDF)

    • Content must support outcomes and be directly related to the objective. Written as a topic outline.

  8. Include Teaching Strategies. See instructions, page 21 (PDF)

    • Lecture

    • Discussion

    • PowerPoint slides

    • Q&A

    • Demonstration, etc ...

  9. Upload or provide link to all marketing materials. See instructions, page 28 (PDF)

    • ANCC accreditation statement must appear on all promotional material before approval can be granted.

  10. Submit your application. 

  11. The review process 

    • Each application is reviewed by members of the Continuing Education Approval Committee (CEAC), a 16-member volunteer peer group of perioperative registered nurses, each holding a BSN or higher degree in nursing.

    The qualitative review process ensures that the application is:

    • accurate

    • meets ANCC criteria

    • is relevant to professional practice

    • meets the learning level of the target audience

  12. Wait for program review 

    • Review time: 3-4 weeks

    • Rush review: less than 3 weeks

  13. Review status categories 

    • Approved: Program approved for contact hours

    • Approved pending changes: Please make changes requested by reviews and resubmit for final review

    • Denied: Program denied approval

  14. Receive program approval 

    • All programs are approved for two (2) years from the approval date. 

  15. Print Certificate of Attendance and Evaluation forms. See instructions, page 32 (PDF)

    • Access approved applications. 

    • Click on "Eval/COA Forms" button

  16. Submit Post Activity Report 

    • Access the POA link in your store application

    • Submit 30 days after presentation or monthly for repeated programs


Go to the Online Application 

Go to Supplement Form 


For more information and for technical assistance, email the approval unit or contact by phone at 800-755-2676, ext. 456.

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Inc. is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Guidelines for Perioperative Practice


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