• Certifications and Licenses
  • CNOR - Certified Perioperative Nurse

    • $370 exam fee
    • $395 application fee
    • Renews every 5 years

    COURSE FORMAT

    Online
    In Person

    About

    The Certified Nurse - Operating Room (CNOR) credential is for Registered Nurses (RNs) who work primarily in the Operating Room (OR) setting. To qualify, nurses must have two years in a perioperative setting. The CNOR certification requires strong knowledge and experience in:

    • Intraoperative Nursing

    • Infection Control and Prevention

    • Perioperative Assessment and Diagnosis

    • Communication and Documentation

    • Care Planning

    • Professional Accountability

    The Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) awards this credential by exam. Over 40,000 perioperative nurses are certified by CCI. These nurses are highly organized, detail-oriented, skilled communicators. The CNOR certification demonstrates that an OR nurse has the knowledge and expertise to provide the best care for surgical patients.

    Course Format

    Test Format: The CNOR examination is a timed (3 hours and 45 minutes), computer-based exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice items. Only 185 items are scored. The remaining 15 are pre-test questions used to gather statistical data for future exams. They do not affect the final results. 

    The CNOR certification exam is reviewed annually to prevent overexposure to material and reflect updated content in the primary references.

    Test Fees

    Applications cannot be processed without payment. 

    CNOR Certification Options:

    • CNOR Exam Application Fee $395 

    • CNOR Take 2 Application Fee $445

    The CNOR Exam Take 2 program allows a CNOR-eligible nurse to take the CNOR exam twice within 12 months if the first attempt is unsuccessful.

    Results

    The exam is scored electronically. Pass/Fail results are displayed on the screen immediately on completion of the exam, and detailed score results are emailed to the candidate within 24 hours.  

    Scores are determined by the number of questions answered correctly converted to a scaled score of 200 to 800. Candidates need a score of 620 to pass.  

    In Person

    In-Person Candidates may test Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays, year-round at a PSI testing center. 

    Online

    Online

    Candidates may take the examination via a Remote Secure Proctored Exam (RSPE) on their personal computer.

    Certification

    Obtaining CNOR Certification

    Prerequisites:

    To sit for the CNOR certification exam, nurses must meet the following requirements:

    • Hold a current, unrestricted RN license in the US

    • Current work experience full- or part-time in perioperative nursing, education, administration, or research

    • A minimum of two years and 2,400 hours of experience as a perioperative registered nurse (RN). A minimum of 50% (1,200 hours) of those hours must be in the intraoperative setting

    Steps to Obtaining CNOR Certification:

    1. Apply online by creating a CCI account

    2. Apply and pay testing fees online. 

    3. Schedule the CNOR exam within 90 days.

    4. Study for the CNOR exam.

    5. Take the CNOR exam with CCI’s testing partner, PSI Exams.

    6. Retrieve the results.

    Renewing CNOR Certification

    Nurses must renew CNOR certification every five years. Renewal requirements include:

    • Active, unrestricted RN license

    • Current employment in an intraoperative setting

    • A minimum of 500 hours worked during the past five years in education, administration, research, or clinical practice that impacts patient care in the intraoperative setting

    • Selection of recertification method (contact hours, points, or examination)

    Recertification by continuing education contact hours requires 125 contact hours offered by approved providers, 75 must be related to perioperative nursing. 

    Recertification by points requires 300 points. The CNOR Handbook contains a list of activities that earn points, including volunteer hours, participating in professional organization activities, research, and publishing in academic journals. 

    Recertification with CRNFA is a renewal option that allows RNs who are dually certified through the National Assistant at Surgery Certification (NASC) as a Certified Registered Nurse First Assist (CRNFA) do not have to pay for CNOR renewal.

    Renewal Fees

    Renewal costs $375

    Other Resources

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    Frequently asked questions

    How Long Should I Study for the Exam?

    The recommended study period to prepare for the CNOR certification exam is three months.

    What should I study for the CNOR exam?

    Four main references are recommended for CNOR exam prep. They are: 

    1. Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc; current edition. 

    2. Phillips N. and Hornacky A. Berry and Kohn’s Operating Room Technique. 14th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2021. 

    3. Rothrock JC, ed. Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery. 16th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2019. 

    4. Odom-Forren, J. Drain’s Perianesthesia Nursing: A Critical Care Approach. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2018.