One of the questions that the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) commonly receives from nurses who’ve completed a continuing nursing education (CNE) program is, “How do these points count for ILNA and where can I put them on my learning plan?”

When deciding where to apply the points, first look at the course title, the content outline or description, and the objectives or learning outcome. Then ask yourself the following questions.

What is this program or course generally about?

For example, is it about treatment? End-of-life care? The role of the nurse? Decide what an offering is about at a high level, then look for that concept on your credential’s test content outline (i.e., blueprint). You may need to look at the subtopics listed in each major category for a specific topic. For example, a program on ethics would fit in the professional performance category on the OCN® content outline.

How many points can I claim?

One contact hour of accredited CNE equals one ILNA point.

Which category should I choose if the program applies to more than one category?

It’s common for a CNE offering to cover more than one topic. For example, a program about treatment might address symptom management, too. If the program is four contact hours or less, choose any one of the applicable subject areas and apply the points to that category. If the offering is worth more than four contact hours, divide the points for the program based on the amount of content that addresses each subject area. For example: a six contact-hour program on biotherapy may address both treatment and symptom management. If two-thirds of the program is about treatment, apply four points to treatment and two points to symptom management. Look at the objectives to help you determine how much of the program applies to each category.

When applying points for larger CNE offerings such as conferences or comprehensive online courses, first look to see if the provider lists the ILNA points for the offering. ONS and some other providers include this information for their programs. You can find the ILNA breakdown for many conferences and popular CNE offerings on the ONCC website.


Posted by Vicki Davis (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I really think that the division of points should be determined by the authors/presenters instead of making it difficult for the individual completing the CE.

Posted by Diane Daugird (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

The program concept is too complicated. The computer program is also difficult to manuever in. Creates a lot of anxiery about whether I'm understanding how to document my CEU's. Have also considered not re-certifying.

Posted by Linda Lewis (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I agree - it is VERY difficult to maneuver the site to figure our where to put it.

Posted by KAREN RAPOPORT (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I agree, it is difficult to decide how to divide the points. I plan to recertify this year, but I have concerns about where to apply the points

Posted by Brenda Lambers (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I was happy about the concept of requiring CEU's in areas of weakness instead of just requiring a huge amount of CEU's. I must agree though, that the site is difficult to navigate, and I am concerned that I will submit my plan, and then be told I "didn't do it right". What happens then? Will it be too late to submit more CEU's? It also seems like a system that forces you to get CEU's from ONS so you know how to divide them up.

Posted by Lisa Yocke (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I do have to agree that this is too difficult of a process. It should not be more stressful to figure out how this all works than the actual education itself. Also if my education is in CE broker, do you obtain those documented courses through their site?

Posted by Lisa Yocke (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I also too have considered not getting recertification because of the hassle. But I worked so hard to get the certification.

Posted by natash24 (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I also agree. Very cumbersome and poor website. Also, since I just do GI oncology, it can be hard to find CE's just for GI. I often read stuff on GI onc that has no formal CE attached and would love to be able to apply that to my renewal but it does not count at this time.

Posted by beth sanford (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

System is too complex, Unfortunately, the difficulty in keeping up with CEU's in this manner does discourage one from attempting to maintain certification.

Posted by Anne Kelly (not verified) 3 months 1 week ago

I have found this change in recertification process very challenging, I have been on verge of not doing it many times. However I worked hard to get my certification so will go thru the process this time but I hope it is reviewed and changed in the future. I think certification is important and the process should encourage people to learn and stay current. This may have been the initial intend but is not what the process turn out to be.

Posted by Virginia Newman (not verified) 3 months ago

I too think the computer site is difficult to navigate as well as discouraging when trying to keep up with the CEU's. I had trouble with sending in CEU's as well and worried I might not meet the requirement in the allotted time. Informatics needs to be involved.

Posted by Connie Flood, … (not verified) 3 months ago

I agree the ILNA is a good concept; testing to find areas Of deficiencies is a positive step in maintaining oncology knowledge and acquiring CE's in those specific areas ia also great, but finding & navigating, logging in to chart CE's gives me headaches, i value my certification and ONS, but also considered not renewing.

Posted by Lisa Masten (not verified) 3 months ago

I agree ilna coding is difficult for recertification and for those presenting programs. As part of a large local ons chapter that puts on a huge (and quality) program every year (approx 10 ces) I find your instructions very difficult to figure out the appropriate coding for our program. I emailed a question via ONCC site and never recieved a response. I feel that if ons approves my program for ce they should include the ilna as well. Also ce approver doesn't use objectives as ilna does but instead focuses on outcomes. Seems like a huge disconnect between the 2 systems. In addition the time line for ce and approval for a program is way too long, it requires 6-8 weeks (4-6 weeks for ce approval and 2 weeks for ilna coding approval). Definately need to update and simplify the ilna coding.

Posted by Angela Bonner (not verified) 3 months ago

This new method of recertification is so difficult and time consuming I feel you will have a lot of nurses that will not renew their certification. You end up spending a fortune obtaining CE's not to know if they will even count towards your renewal. CE's through ONS is so expensive most cannot afford to spend that much plus the renewal fee. What happens after you pay all this money for CE's and you end up not getting approved? You have to retest? I do think many nurses will reconsider getting certified and re certified since it has gotten so difficult. Please come up with an easier method.

Posted by Teresa Ellis (not verified) 3 months ago

I was happy about the change in requiring CEUs and I am sure the intent was good. The implementation of this new system leaves a lot to be desired. The process of applying points and navigating the site is more stress causing than obtaining the education itself.
It has made me consider not re-certifying several times, but I have worked hard to keep this certification for 19 years. It is a shame to implement a process that discourages nurses rather than encourage them to maintain certification.

Posted by Laraine Peterson (not verified) 3 months ago

I agree that it should not be up to the nurse to figure out the ILNA coding. Each nurse can have their own interpretation of the ILNA categories. The organizers should present the objectives to ONS and have ONS decide how to divide the points. This new system has caused stress amongst my colleagues. Some have submitted for ILNA approval and waited a long time for a response. I agree it may discourage some from re-certifying.

Posted by Amy Krus (not verified) 3 months ago

I agree with all the comments. The system is very hard to navigate and finding the CE's is getting harder, especially with the break down of points earned. Any CE I do is at my own cost and when I am only able to account for a minute portion of the CE, it becomes very expensive! I really wish they would look at this and change a few things. I like the idea that I need to get the CE's in the areas of weakness, but when it is broken down to where you only receive credit for the small amount it becomes very frustrating. This is one thing that is actually discouraging our new nurses from even getting certified.

Posted by Pennie Charron (not verified) 3 months ago

I have not had a problem with the system and I paid for a yearly fee for and they had 40 CE Oncology courses and it was 49 dollars for a year and I was also able to get the courses I need for the states I am licensed in. Other than those I use ONS Journal courses it does take time but they are free.

Posted by Pam Asfahani, … (not verified) 2 months 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your feedback! We’re working to make the process easier for nurses, and hope you’ll bear with us as we incorporate your suggestions. We know you worked hard for your certification, and we want to help you maintain it. Here’s a bit of information about determining the category where you can points from CE programs.
ONCC is encouraging CE providers to include the ILNA categories for their offerings. ONS, APHON and a few others do this, and we’re working to make that a more widespread practice.
Remember that CE offerings of 4 points or less do not need to be divided among categories. For example: If a 3 contact hour offering is about psychosocial, survivorship, and end-of-life care, you can apply the 3 points to any one of those areas.
ONCC has a list of many CE offerings and how they apply for ILNA points at You can also find examples of programs that apply to different subject areas at These lists can be especially useful when you’re taking a similar program – it’s likely the points would apply to the same category.
ONCC can provide the ILNA category breakdown for chapter programs. Refer to for more information or contact us at
If you have a question about how any program applies – please contact us at 877-769 ONCC or – we’re here to help.
Thanks for your patience as we work through the issues.

Posted by Pam Asfahani, … (not verified) 2 months 4 weeks ago

Thanks for sharing your concerns about finding CE for ILNA points. We realize that CE can be expensive, and many nurses pay for CE programs out-of-pocket.

ONCC offers a list of providers that offer free/low-cost accredited CE – both Continuing Nursing Education and Continuing Medical Education. You can use either for ILNA Points. Check out the list of more than 20 providers who offer free or low-cost CE under Online Continuing Education Resources at

We also include links to a few free/low-cost CE programs, and how you can use them for ILNA points in a monthly email to all certified nurses called Certification Insider. In May, look for a Big List of Free CE for ILNA Points – we’ll distribute it at the ONS Congress and also by email in early May. It will have more than 30 free offerings and their ILNA categories.

Posted by Pam Asfahani, … (not verified) 2 months 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your comments about LearningBuilder, the online tool where you enter and submit your points.

We’re working with the vendor to improve the functionality and make it more user-friendly. We look forward to rolling out enhancements in just a few months. Please stay tuned for more information soon.

Please be assured that if you enter points in the wrong subject area, your renewal will not automatically be rejected. ONCC staff will work with you to help you apply the points.

If you’d like help navigating LearningBuilder, please contact us at 877-769-ONCC or We’re here to help.

Posted by Teresa Hill (not verified) 2 months 3 weeks ago

I am due to renew this year and this process it TOO complicated! I liked the old system so much better and feel that this change is going to cause many to just drop their certification. I have to maintain my NP certification and it is much easier. I am really not sure if I am going to go to the trouble to maintain. Makes me sick since I have been certified for many years.

Posted by Belinda Kamann (not verified) 2 months 3 weeks ago

Just starting to look into recertification and had to call office as I had a hard time understanding even starting this process.Now after reading the above comments, I have to agree that the old system is more user friendly as time management is a concern.I am considering not renewing again but remember studying so hard to take the initial test.If I do renew, this will be my last time to do so.I understand that this is meant to save us from only strengthening our weak areas but it seems to be a complicated process.

Posted by Richard Morneault (not verified) 2 months 2 weeks ago

After reading all the comments posted about ILNA I was amazed about all the negative postings. I am definitely not a computer expert but after spending some time reading the instructions and investigating the site I find it easy to navigate. I also like how I only need to get 25 points (minimum) instead of 100! As far as CE's the ONS website has many free offerings and I get several from my local chapter too. Now as far as submitting programs to ONS for CEU's, I do agree that the ONS has a difficult lengthy process that discourages CE programs. ONS, that needs to be looked at.
I worked hard to get my OCN. I am proud of my credential and will do what is required to maintain it.

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