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What Is AONN+ Certification?

AONN+ has established its Oncology Nurse Navigator–Certified Generalist (ONN-CG) and Oncology Patient Navigator–Certified Generalist (OPN-CG) certifications for professionals in these respective professional fields. The educational criteria and curriculum were developed by the AONN+ Certification Task Force which is made up of experienced leaders within both navigator fields.

AONN+ created these certifications in response to its membership who have clearly stated that the knowledge, skills, and experience to be an excellent Oncology Nurse Navigator (ONN) required a different type of nursing certification than currently provided by any organization, including the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). ONS took the position that the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) designation, however, did include the functions and knowledge of ONNs. With the decision that ONS made to not pursue the development of a separate certification program for ONNs, AONN+ made the strategic decision in response to its members and other conference attendees to develop the ONN-CG program. George Washington Institute developed the OPN-CG exam, which AONN+ fully supported and provides for oncology patient lay navigators.

Where Can I Take the Certification Exam?

The certification exams are currently given twice a year: in the spring at the midyear conference and in the fall at the annual conference. The next AONN+ Midyear Conference is going to be held in Boston, MA on May 4-6, 2018.

Why Should I Get My AONN+ Certification?

AONN+ certification is unique to the field of navigation. The establishment of baseline competencies for oncology navigators centered on their roles, responsibilities, educational level of knowledge, and evidence-based best practices will help to ensure consistent delivery of optimized patient care across the care continuum. Your AONN+ certification will provide you with specific credentials and knowledge that can help you improve patient care and further your career development.

With certification, you gain:

  • Knowledge and expertise derived from a navigation-specific formalized testing curriculum and process
  • Patient treatment optimization with increased awareness of care options
  • Opportunities for career enhancement with prospective promotions and financial incentives
  • Recognition and respect from industry organizations, institutional leadership, peers, and patients as an integral member of the multidisciplinary oncology team

To date, more than 200 AONN+ members from more than 130 institutions and 9 advocacy groups across the nation have earned the Oncology Nurse Navigator–Certified Generalist (ONN-CG) and Oncology Patient Navigator–Certified Generalist (OPN-CG) certifications. Listed below is a representation of the institutions and advocacy groups that support and recognize national certification from AONN+.

Institutions

  • Johns Hopkins
  • Baylor University Medical Center
  • Dana-Farber
  • Emory
  • City of Hope
  • George Washington University
  • Sara Cannon/HCA
  • Greenville Health System
  • Kaiser
  • Memorial Hermann
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Northwestern
  • Sutter Health
  • UC Davis Medical Center
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Irvine
  • University of Texas Medical Branch
  • San Francisco Department of Health

Advocacy Groups

  • American Cancer Society
  • Cancer Navigators, Inc.
  • National Marrow Donor/Be the Match
  • Susan G. Komen
  • Native American Cancer Research Corporation
  • Blue Prints of Hope

Accreditation

AONN+ Certification Task Force Chairs are working diligently to obtain National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accreditation for the ONN-CG and OPN-CG certification exams. Click here to read more about the accreditation process.


For more information about navigation certification, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Certification Testimonial Headshot Daugherty Penny 350x320
"Last week I received my notice from AONN+ that I passed the first certification exam for Oncology Nurse Navigator Certified Generalist (ONN-CG). I immediately added this to my signature line and smiled – a lot! When I look at this new addition I know it doesn’t automatically make me a better Nurse Navigator, rather it inspires me to uphold the standards (and knowledge) expressed and queried in this first national exam and I feel a true fellowship to navigators all across the country. I am grateful to AONN+ and those who assiduously constructed this exam to provide a tangible national standard for us to aspire to as we each guide our patients and loved ones through the formidable labyrinth of their cancer diagnosis and treatment. You have taken what was a concept and shaped it into a world where the highest quality education for patient navigation is available. I feel like we in AONN+ are all part of an amazing phenomena where history is being made by us, as nurses, carving out a new path for our colleagues to come."

—Penny Daugherty, RN, MS, OCN, ONN-CG, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA


Conference Testimonial Headshot Lisa Whitaker 350x400
"If you’re a nurse navigator, you’re working in this great field, we have to be certified. We have to show that we have unity, that we have a purpose, that there is a mission, and AONN+ does that for us."

—Lisa Whitaker, RN, MSN, ONN-CG, Thoracic Nurse Navigator

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