Taking the CNOR Exam

The CNOR exam is given to nurses that wish to pursue certification in the field of operating room nursing. The examination is offered by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to qualified candidates that have achieved a minimum amount of experience in surgical nursing and have acquired a considerable amount of knowledge related to the care of the surgical patient. The CNOR test requires a great deal of preparation. The test is given in multiple choice format at a testing center and requires that candidate to provide both an authorization to test and identification before they are allowed to sit for the exam. Understanding what to expect from the examination can help to alleviate some of the stress associated with test taking and can help the nurse candidate to accomplish their goal of obtaining the title of CNOR.

Before taking the CNOR test, candidates must have a minimum amount of employment in the area of surgical nursing and must have at least two years of experience as a registered nurse. Candidates must apply for an authorization to test from the AORN, which documents their experience and licensure and qualifies them for the CNOR exam. After application, candidates are sent a form in the mail known as an authorization to test. This letter must be provided to the testing center upon arrival before the candidate is allowed to test.

The test requires a fee that is sent along with the application. Once the authorization to test has been received, the candidate can schedule their CNOR exam. The examination is given via computer at a testing center located near the candidate. Some paper and pencil exams are given at conferences, but these take much longer to score and results are not immediately available to the candidate as they are with the computer based test.

Candidates enter the testing center and are required to show two forms of identification as well as the letter with the authorization to take the CNOR test. The candidate is then taken to the computer and will be provided with scratch paper and pencil. No other items are allowed in the testing center. Lockers are usually provided for small personal items where the candidate my lock up their wallet and cell phone before the test begins.

Upon completion of the computer based test, the candidate is provided with the results of the exam. If they have successfully passed the exam, they are given a congratulatory letter and will be mailed a packet with their certificate at a later date. They may begin using the title of CNOR immediately. If a passing score was not achieved, the candidate is given a letter with a score report with areas for suggested improvement. The candidate can schedule another test for a later time after paying an additional fee for retesting.

The CNOR examination is quite difficult and requires a great deal of time to prepare. Operating room nurses should plan to take a minimum of two to three months to prepare for the CNOR test, which covers many aspects of surgical nursing and the care of the surgical patient. The test is usually given via computer at a testing center after successfully qualifying to take the exam. Understanding what to expect when preparing to take the CNOR test can help the candidate to better prepare.

Benefits of Becoming a CNOR

Nurse professionals obtain the designation of CNOR after completing the CNOR examination for operative nurses. The exam is given by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) for registered nurses that have achieved a minimum number of hours of employment in the field of surgical nursing. There are numerous benefits to obtaining certification in any field of nursing, particularly in the field of surgical nursing. Certified nurses often earn higher wages than their non-certified colleagues and usually have a greater potential for advancement and are afforded greater networking opportunities. Certification documents that the nurse has attained a high level of knowledge and understands the standard of practice in operative nursing. Certification also gives nurses a great sense of personal satisfaction, both in their ability to provide excellent care to patients and also in the accomplishment of the goal of certification itself. The benefits for obtaining CNOR certification can be substantial.

Nurses that have obtained the designation of CNOR have taken and passed the difficulty CNOR exam. These nurses have demonstrated that they have not only met the minimum requirements for taking the exam, but also have a depth and breadth of knowledge that comes with the credential. Nurses that have passed the CNOR test have shown they have a great deal of specific knowledge of operative nursing across the field of healthcare. They have shown that they understand how to best care for surgical patients and provide excellent patient safety in passing this exam.

Certified nurses in any field often are paid a higher wage than non-certified nurses. Employers are known to pay premium wages to nurses that have shown the dedication required to pass certification examinations. This is particularly true in the case of the CNOR certified nurse, as the test requires a great deal of preparation and dedication by the nurse. Employers also often grant additional opportunities for leadership and management positions to nurses that have taken the time to pursue the certification of CNOR.

Passing the CNOR exam also gives the certified nurse the opportunity to network with other certified nurses. Networking with other individuals may give the nurse additional advantages in employment and will help the nurse to be able to keep abreast of the latest research and knowledge in the field of operative nursing. Networking also allows nurses to participate in local and national events in operative nursing and may also offer additional leadership advantages.

CNOR certified nurses provide the best care to their patients as they have demonstrated their knowledge by being able to pass the CNOR exam. Patient satisfaction is greater with certified nurses and these nurses operative more confidently knowing that their knowledge of their specialty has been validated by passing the exam. A great sense of personal satisfaction is also obtained by providing excellent care to patients and in completing the goal of achieving certification.

There are many benefits to choosing to become a certified nurse, particularly in the field of operative nursing. Those that have achieved the title of CNOR have demonstrated their vast knowledge of patient care and safety in the surgical setting and are able to provide excellent care to these patients. Opportunities for increased pay and opportunities are also often afforded to the certified nurse. The benefits to obtaining certification, especially as a CNOR are great.

Requirements for Becoming an Operating Room Nurse

The Certified Operating Room Nurse has taken and passed the examination given by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, the AORN. Candidates for the examination ear the title of CNOR upon passing the exam. The AORN has strict requirements for those operating room nurses that are interested in obtaining certification including employment requirements and experience. Candidates must also prepare for the examination for several months. The examination is quite difficult, and nurses that have earned the title of CNOR have demonstrated that they have learned a great deal about operative nursing.

The CNOR exam has several requirements that must be met before candidates are allowed to take the examination. Nurses that wish to pursue certification should carefully consider whether they meet the requirements necessary to apply for an authorization to take the CNOR test. Nurses must be currently licensed as registered nurses (RNs) in the country in which they practice. Only those licensed as RNs may apply. Nurses must also have a minimum of two years of experience in perioperative nursing with at least 2,400 hours as a registered nurse working directly with operative patients. Nurses must also have current employment in the field of operative nursing to be eligible to apply.

The AORN maintains a list of positions the RN may hold that are acceptable to apply to take the CNOR test. The nurse must work with surgical patients in a staff or management role. The AORN also considers researchers and educators provided they have experience caring for surgical patients. The positions the AORN finds acceptable can be found on their website.

Candidates for the CNOR must be prepared to take several months to study for the CNOR examination. The test is very difficult and covers a broad range of topics that are applicable to the care of the surgical patient. CNOR candidates may want to consider purchasing a study guide or forming a study group to help them to prepare for the test.

Topics that may be covered on the CNOR test include infection control, operative patient assessment, nursing diagnoses that apply to the surgical patient, intraoperative procedures, nursing plans of care, communication, sterilization, emergencies, transport of patients, management, communication and professional accountability. Candidates are tested on their understanding of not only the topics, but also on their ability to apply their knowledge to situations that may arise in the surgical setting. CNOR candidates must take adequate time to prepare for the test and all that it covers.

The AORN has set several requirements for those nurses that wish to take the CNOR examination. Requirements include a minimum amount of employment, licensure as a registered nurse and ongoing experience in the field of operating room nursing. Candidates are also required to adequately prepare for the examination, which the AORN recommends as two to three months of study and preparation. The CNOR test covers many topics that are essential to the field of operative nursing, and candidates must take the time to learn and study all of them. It is important for the surgical nurse that is interested in pursuing the CNOR to understand the requirements that are before them.

The Operating Room Nurse

Operating room nurses work in a variety of areas in healthcare helping the surgical team to function smoothly. These nurses can be found in hospitals, surgical centers and outpatient clinics helping with surgeries. Nurses that work as operative nurses may work to help patients that are getting ready for surgery are undergoing a surgical procedure or who are recovering from surgery. Operating room nurses may choose to pursue certification as a Certified Nurse – Operating Room (CNOR) which demonstrates their knowledge and experience in the field of operative nursing. Choosing to become an operating room nurse can be a very satisfying and fulfilling career choice.

Nurses that have taken the CNOR exam are identified as Certified Operating Room Nurses. These nurses may work in any number of areas in the healthcare field. Operating room nurses have always worked in hospitals in a variety of roles, helping patients that are admitted to the hospital for surgical procedures of all types. As many surgeries have moved outside of the hospital setting, operative nurses can also be found in freestanding outpatient surgery centers and even working in medical clinics within doctor’s offices. Nurses that use the title CNOR have taken and passed the CNOR exam and can be found working in many areas of medicine.

Operative nurses also work in many roles within the field of surgical medicine. While there are many types of surgeries that are performed each day, operating room nurses usually work in one of several areas of operative nursing. These roles are generally defined as preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative nursing roles. The preoperative nurse works to help patients prepare for surgery. They may start IVs, administer medications and provide education to help the patient prepare for upcoming surgery.

Intraoperative nurses work inside the surgical suite in several roles. Some nurses work as circulating nurses, keeping count of instruments and supplies, preparing paperwork and obtaining instruments outside the sterile field. Some intraoperative nurses work directly with the doctor as scrub nurses, helping to hand the surgeon instruments and ensuring that the sterile field is maintained. Other intraoperative nurses may work with the surgeon to help perform various procedures. There are many areas of surgery for the intraoperative nurse to assist.

Postoperative nurses work with patients immediately after surgery. They help the patient recover from anesthesia and help with the side effects of the anesthesia and surgery itself. Postoperative nurses are trained to identify potential problems and to respond to emergencies that may happen as the patient is awakening from the surgical procedure.

The operating room nurse serves in a variety of roles in the healthcare field. These nurses may take a certification exam to obtain the title CNOR. Operative nurses work in a variety of locations including hospitals, surgery centers and medical offices. They also work in a variety of roles within these locations including preoperatively, in the surgery itself or postoperatively, helping patients to recover from the surgical procedure. The operating room nurse fills an important role in the healthcare system.

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