By Cyndi Miller Murphy, MSN, RN, CAE, ONCC Executive Director

ONCC and ONS Congress have a long history together—one that dates back over 30 years. In fact, the OCN® examination was offered for the first time in 1986 at the ONS 11th Annual Congress in Los Angeles, CA. For a number of years, the test was only administered once a year at Congress.

In 2016, ONCC is celebrating 30 years of certification. Given this shared history, it seems apropos for ONCC to commemorate this milestone at Congress. The Certification Oasis, the hub for ONCC activities in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, will be the starting point. Look for a unique interactive display, “The Faces of Certification,” where you inflatable water parks can be a part of the celebration.  While you’re in the convention center, take a few minutes to see our walking timeline, depicting key points in ONCC history. If you’re certified, plan to attend the ONCC Recognition Breakfast for Oncology Certified Nurses, where you’ll receive a special anniversary gift. Throughout the conference, we’ll share photos and videos of certified nurses then and now and give away some fun prizes.

Much has changed since that first OCN® exam was offered in 1986. The test is no longer offered at Congress. Paper and pencil tests—including the sealed test booklets, number two pencils, and big pink erasers—have given way to computer-based testing. Today’s nurses take their exams throughout the year, at testing centers located close to home and across the globe. Although the OCN® test is still the most popular choice, there are now five other examinations for nurses to validate their knowledge in advanced practice, subspecialty areas, and pediatric oncology/hematology.

Throughout the years, ONCC’s presence at Congress has remained strong. This year, there’s more to celebrate than ever as we look back on the past 30 years and kick off the exciting times to come. Whether you’ve been certified for years or are planning to earn your credential soon, stop by the Certification Oasis and join in the fun.