AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Why Get Your CNOR® Certification?

A Conversation with James Stobinski and Carissa Homme of the Competency and Credentialing Institute


Why Get Your CNOR Certification?

August 25, 2019   

Earning CNOR certification for most perioperative nurses is a personal decision because employers don’t always require it. However, a growing number of employers are asking for credentialed nurses when hiring and are paying credentialed nurses more.

As of August 1, 2019, the total number of nurses in the world that hold a certified nurse in the OR (CNOR) certification is 41,159.

To earn the certification, a nurse must confirm eligibility, study, complete the application, and then take the test, which includes 200 multiple-choice questions across nine subject areas completed in three hours and 45 minutes. Upon passing the exam, the CNOR credential is then conferred for five years and requires ongoing professional development activities in order to meet recertification requirements.

Reaping the Benefits of CNOR Certification

The CEO of CCI, James Stobinski, PhD, RN, CNOR, CSSM(E), says “for those who do choose to earn certification they will find the process tremendously helpful over the course of a career.” Here’s why:

  • Certified nurses have a wider range of professional opportunities and over the span of a career may earn more money.
  • Maintaining your certification will challenge you to far exceed licensure requirements or employer mandates for the nursing profession.
  • Certification enhances your continuous professional development and gives you access to a wealth of resources from your certification body.

“Certified nurses, especially those who combine certification with baccalaureate-level education, generally provide their patients with better outcomes,” he adds, noting that over the course of a perioperative nurse’s career, “certified nurses also will earn more, based on data from AORN’s annual salary survey, particularly for those working in a Magnet or Pathway to Excellence facility.”

The intrinsic factors can be just as important for a nurse to pursue certification, according to Carissa Homme, PhD, CCI Manager of Test Development and Certification. “We survey nurses annually and ask them why they pursue certification—they overwhelmingly respond it’s for personal fulfillment and to practice at the top of their profession.”

Streamlining CNOR Recertification

Beyond passing the exam, becoming certified is a lifelong commitment.

CCI has developed a progressive system for recertification and offers a variety of options and resources to maintain competency in the field, especially as practice changes emerge rapidly, Stobinski explains.

“Through our learning management system offered as part of our recertification mechanism, we quickly react to changes in guidelines for perioperative practice and current hot topics to build a base of learning activities and increase competency in a given area.”

Learn More About CNOR Certification

To find out more about the certification process, visit the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) website and learn how to best prepare for your exam with AORN’s Prep for CNOR course.

CNOR® is a registered trademark of CCI. All rights reserved.