In the world of healthcare, certifications play a crucial role in ensuring that professionals possess the knowledge and skills required to provide safe and effective patient care. Both the Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR®), administered through Competency & Credentialing Institute, and the Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA), administered through the National Assistant at Surgery Certification (NASC), are highly respected in the perioperative field and, in years past, have been attainable through dual recertification. However, after considering the importance of accreditation to both organizations, changes have been made to the recertification process for holders of both credentials.
Accreditation: What Is It and Why Is It Relevant?
Accreditation is the process by which an independent body evaluates and recognizes if a certification organization meets established standards of quality, integrity, and competence. For certification organizations, such as CCI and NASC, accreditation is essential to ensure that certification programs remain relevant and rigorous, ultimately benefiting patients by upholding the highest standards of patient care.
While reviewing practices relating to the accreditation and recertification of CNOR® and CRNFA, both organizations mutually determined the dual certification methodology would require a number of changes to continue to meet the evolving accreditation standards. For this reason, nurses can no longer recertify their CNOR® and CRNFA credentials together as part of a dual certification process, aiming to maintain each credential's value, credibility, and relevance.
What Does This Mean for Nurses Who Hold Both Certifications?
Nurses are now required to recertify each credential separately, following the specific requirements and guidelines set forth by CCI and NASC, which includes submitting professional development activities for recertification requirements directly to each organization. CCI and NASC must independently be able to verify with documentation that each of their certificants has met recertification requirements.
Nurses must also pay recertification fees separately to each organization. CCI and NASC individually determine their fees for recertification, and each certificant is responsible for both recertification fees to maintain their certifications.
Questions & Answers
How much will it cost for me to renew both certifications?
It will cost $425 to renew your CNOR®. CCI offers a $50 discount if you recertify between January 1st- June 30th. For more information related to CRNFA recertification pricing, please visit NASC's website.
Can the activities be the same for both credentials?
Yes, the continuing education earned may be the same for both credentials; however, for CNOR®, all continuing education must be earned within your accrual period and meet the eligibility requirements required to recertify.
When an individual initially obtains their CRNFA, will CCI be able to adjust their CNOR® cycle to match the CRNFA certification cycle?
This is something that CCI cannot do. All CNOR® certificants have an option of a 1-year extension on their certification period; however, that 1-year extension may not sync the cycles completely, but it will allow you extra time to complete activities for recertification.
What if my CNOR® and CRNFA credentials are on different accrual period timelines?
If your CNOR® and CRNFA credentials are on different accrual periods, you will be responsible for earning the required continued education per credential within each accrual period. CNOR® has a five-year accrual period. All continuing education must be earned within your accrual period to count toward recertification.
Do I need to differentiate intraoperative categories and general perioperative categories?
If your CNOR® is being recertified by contact hours, it requires 125 contact hours offered by approved providers. Of the 125 contact hours, 75 must be related to perioperative nursing. You are not required to earn contact hours specific to intraoperative categories. The CNOR® recertification book provides more information related to recertification via contact hours.
Can I still use contact hours?
If your CNOR® is due to be recertified between now and 2025, you can recertify via 125 contact hours or 300 activity points. With the points method, a maximum of 50 contact hours can be used. 1 contact hour is worth 2 points.
If your CNOR® is due to be recertified in 2026 or after, you are required to recertify via point activities. With the points method, a maximum of 50 contact hours can be used. 1 contact hour is worth 2 points.
Where can I find more information on the recertification process for each credential?
For more information related to CNOR® recertification, please visit the following website, depending on what year you are due to recertify. If you are due to recertify by the end of this year, download the 2023 CNOR® Recertification Checklist.
For more information related to CRNFA recertification, please visit NASC's website.
We're Here to Support You Through This Transition
While these changes may present challenges for nurses who previously held dual certifications, updating the recertification process for CNOR® and CRNFA reflects the evolving nature of healthcare accreditation standards. As healthcare continues to progress, these changes ensure that certifications remain a reliable measure of expertise and competence in perioperative nursing and surgical assisting. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
If you have any questions regarding these changes and how they apply to you, do not hesitate to contact our credentialing associates for support. They can be reached M-F, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM MT by email at email@example.com.