Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does “accreditation” mean?

When an organization is “accredited,” it means that it has gone through an “accrediting” evaluation process and earned the “accredited” credential. An accredited organization or program has demonstrated evidence of implementation of all relevant standards in accordance with professional best practices evaluated by an outside organization. This is a voluntary, yet rigorous, process. Regulating bodies often require accreditation to be licensed or certified. Accreditation standards may vary by state and be renewed every 2 to 4 years.

Different regulating bodies have their own standards for evaluation. AONN+ Foundation for Learning, Inc, is accredited by the regulating body American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation is a way to determine if a certification or licensing program meets an objective set of criteria. When an organization is designated as “accredited,” it ensures that it has been assessed by an impartial body and has met a recognized standard. The certifications awarded by an accredited organization certify that clinical nurse and patient navigators have demonstrated effective navigation services across the cancer care continuum within their scope of practice.

Accreditation recognizes the navigation professional for leadership among peers, patients, and other industry organizations, and as an integral member of the multidisciplinary oncology team.

Currently, the AONN+ Foundation for Learning, Inc, awards certifications for Oncology Nurse Navigator (ONN-CG) and Oncology Patient Navigator (OPN-CG). These AONN+ Foundation for Learning, Inc, certifications distinguish certified navigators from holders of other nursing certifications provided by other organizations. They are the only nationally accredited certifications for oncology nurse and patient navigators.

How did AONN+ Foundation for Learning become accredited?

Accreditation from the ANSI National Accreditation Board has been a priority for AONN+. In response to the needs of AONN+ members for a professional credential that recognizes the knowledge, skill, and role of oncology nurse and patient navigators, the AONN+ Foundation for Learning, Inc, Certification Advisory Commission was formed to steer the accrediting process. Made up of experienced leaders within the field of navigation, the AONN+ FFL, Inc Certification Advisory Commission developed the educational criteria for the certification exams.

What is ANSI?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1918. ANSI works to promote the business interests of the United States here and abroad. It provides a framework for fair standards development and quality conformity assessment systems and for safeguarding their integrity. Its membership is comprised of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide from diverse businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations.

Why does this matter for me?

Accreditation of a professional certification program indicates that the program has met recognized national and international credentialing industry standards for development, implementation, and maintenance of certification programs as determined by an impartial outside evaluator.

Attaining accredited status is evidence of an organization's commitment to quality, adherence to widely recognized professional standards, and the allocation of resources toward continuous improvement.

The certificant and the public can be assured that appropriate professional knowledge and skills have been included and that the program is professionally and financially sound.

I’m already certified; does this change anything for me?

Nothing changes for those already certified. Those who took the exams prior to achieving national accreditation will be grandfathered into the nationally accredited certification. Due to the large number of certifications issued prior to national accreditation, AONN+ FLL will not issue new certifications with the accreditation logo until a certificant renews their certification.

I’m not certified yet; will certification requirements change?

Certification requirements for candidates do not change. Please refer to the AONN+ FFL Inc, ONN-CG and the OPN-CG candidate handbooks and AONN+ FFL, Inc, certification web pages for additional information.

Will the cost of the certification exams stay the same?

Accreditation does not affect the examination fees. Currently the cost to take the certification exam for AONN+ members is $150, and for nonmembers, $300.

Will there be any changes to the certification exams?

The AONN+ FFL, Inc OPN-CG and ONN-CG exams as defined by the Testing Blueprint will not change as a result of accreditation.

Does this change the way I should prepare to sit for the certification exam?

Accreditation does not change how candidates prepare for the certification exams. Candidates preparing for the AONN+ Foundation for Learning, Inc ONN-CG or OPN-CG exam can utilize the Recommended Study Materials found on the AONN+ FFL, Inc pages.

What if I have a thoracic "certificate"?

AONN+ FFL, Inc Certification Advisory Commission has decided to suspend the Oncology Nurse Navigator-Certified Generalist Thoracic℠ [ONN-CG(T)℠]. Those currently certified can retain their certification if they continue to meet the requirements and renew their certifications.

For more information, please read the official Notice of Suspension.

Attention all candidates preparing for the AONN+ FFL, Inc ONN-CG and OPN-CG certification exams: Please note the Authoritative References List for both exams has been updated for your consideration.

The Authoritative References List provides a concise yet detailed guide to informative oncology navigation peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. It serves as a valuable tool for all oncology navigators, especially those preparing for certification. This list is intended for use as a study aid only. The AONN+ FFL, Inc does not intend the list to imply endorsement of these specific references.

In addition, for your exam preparation, please reference the ONN-CG and OPN-CG exam blueprint and accompanying candidate handbook to identify subject domains by certification exam.