Understanding the Differences Between Two Specialty Nursing Certifications.
Certification validates a nurse’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in a defined role. The Certified Operating Room Nurse (CNOR) and the Certified Ambulatory Surgery Nurse (CNAMB) are two certifications that demonstrate commitment to exceptional patient safety. While both certifications validate professional competencies, they differ in eligibility standards, are applicable in different surgical settings, and have a different scope of practice. Discover what credential is best suited for your area of practice.
The eligibility requirements for CNOR and CNAMB certification differ in terms of education, experience, and exam content.
CNOR eligibility requires a nurse to have a current RN license, a minimum of two years of experience in perioperative nursing, and at least 2,400 hours of perioperative nursing experience within the past five years. The CNOR exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering various subject areas related to perioperative nursing, Infection Prevention and Control of Environment, Instrumentation and Supplies, Management of Intraoperative Activities, and Individualized Plan of Care Development and Expected Outcome Identification. Once earned, CNOR is valid for five years.
CNAMB eligibility requires a nurse to have a current RN license, a minimum of two years of experience in ambulatory surgery nursing, and at least 2,000 hours of ambulatory surgery nursing experience within the past five years. The CNAMB exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering various subject areas related to ambulatory surgery nursing, including, Intraoperative Care, Postoperative/Transfer of Care, and Management of Personnel, Services, and Materials. Once earned, CNAMB is valid for three years.
The surgical setting each credential is designed for is the most substantial difference between CNOR and CNAMB.
CNOR certification is designed for perioperative nurses working in inpatient settings, such as acute-care hospitals or surgical centers. Inpatient care requires hospitalization for its patients.
CNAMB certification is designed for perioperative nurses working in outpatient settings, such as medical offices and clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, hospital outpatient departments, and dialysis centers. Ambulatory surgery centers do not require an overnight hospital stay.
Scope of Practice
The scope of practice for CNOR and CNAMB certification differ in terms of both the complexity and invasiveness of a patient’s surgery.
CNOR-certified nurses work in inpatient settings. These nurses work in a team-based environment to provide surgical care to patients who require complex and invasive procedures. They may assist with surgeries such as open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, and transplant surgery.
CNAMB-certified nurses work in outpatient settings. These nurses focus on providing surgical care to patients who require less complex and invasive procedures. They may assist with surgeries such as cataract removal, hernia repair, and biopsy procedures.
While CNOR and CNAMB certifications both validate a nurse’s knowledge and skills, they differ in eligibility standards, and surgical settings and have different scopes of practice. Both certifications demonstrate a commitment to excellence in perioperative nursing and provide a pathway for career advancement and professional development.