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.