Becoming A Certified Perioperative Nurse
Many fields of nursing have certifications that you can obtain to show your proficiency in your field and your commitment to providing excellent patient care. In surgery, becoming certified is an option through CCI (Competency and Credentialing Institute) at www.cc-institute.org.
CNOR (certified nurse operating room) certification will give you more job opportunities, increase your knowledge related to surgery, and enable you to provide better patient care. Becoming certified is an important step in your nursing career, read ahead to learn more about taking the steps to become a certified perioperative nurse!
The first hurdle to becoming certified is that you must work as a registered nurse for a minimum of two years and 1,200 hours of that must be perioperative. I know, I know, it seems like forever but trust me that it will fly by. Showing your commitment to learning all that you can in those first two years and gaining hands-on experience will really make you more prepared to take the test.
Secondly, you will need to sign up on the CCI website. Once you have signed up to take the test, it must be completed within three months. Often, people will begin to study and then apply to take the test once they feel good about the content. That way, they aren’t feeling rushed to study in those three months. CCI offers multiple resources from study guides to flashcards and also gives you the most important textbooks to reference. The AORN standards book is also a great place to go and review.
You will then take a 200 question test at a testing center. You will immediately receive a “Pass” or “Fail” result. There is also an option offered by CCI called the “Take Two” where you can pay a bit more, but be eligible to take the test twice in a 12 month period. Check out www.cc-institute.org for more info.
Once you are certified, you will be required to renew every five years by paying a fee and proving your ongoing competency. There are multiple ways to do this, from continuing education to working as a preceptor or even taking college courses. Check out the CC Institute website for specific information.
The most important thing about taking the CNOR exam is to be prepared, but not to get overwhelmed! If you have worked in a perioperative setting for two years, you already know so much. Review the textbooks recommended, review the AORN standards, and utilize study materials provided.
Good luck and know that it is so worth it to become a certified operating room nurse!