330 N. Wabash, Suite 2000 | Chicago, IL 60611 | Phone 888.561.ONCB | Fax 312.673.6971 | Email oncb@oncb.org

About ONCB


ONCB History

The Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB) was established in 1986 by the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) to promote the highest standards of orthopaedic nursing practice through the development, implementation and coordination of all aspects of certification for orthopaedic nurses.

Through the ONC® and APN exams, ONCB advances the care of the orthopaedic patient and promotes excellence in specialty nursing practice by encouraging professional development and clinical practice.


ONCB improves musculoskeletal health by providing orthopaedic nurses with certifications that promote their professional development and advance the practice of orthopaedic nursing.


Orthopaedic nursing certification is the standard of knowledge and excellence in musculoskeletal healthcare.


We believe excellence in orthopaedic nursing is demonstrated by orthopedic nursing certification.

We believe change should be embraced. We approach decision-making with knowledge and creativity, and remain dedicated to innovation in testing and certificant services.

Professional integrity
We believe integrity is essential in our relationships with certificants, patients and the specialty nursing community.

We believe strategic goals and strong leadership guide responsible resource management and cost-effective business practices.

We believe in creating passion for orthopaedic certification, nurturing nurses in professional development, and mentoring future leaders in specialty nursing certification.

We believe an environment of respectful collaboration will encourage diversity of thought and foster open, honest communication.

ONCB and the ABNS

ONCB is a member of the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). ABNS is an advocate for consumer protection by establishing and maintaining standards for professional specialty nursing certification. ABNS accredits ONCB’s ONC®, ONP-C® and OCNS-C® certification programs assuring the examinations are based on a defined nursing specialty and meet rigorous psychometric standards.