Best way to study for OCN exam?

  1. I'm taking the OCN exam this November to get oncology certified. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to study for this?

  2. Visit amyrae76 profile page

    About amyrae76

    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 72; Likes: 6


  3. by   mzjennx
    Im studying up myself. I been doing CE with ONS. I did Cancer Basics, which I thought was a great intro. I am going to take Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs and Symptom management CE next. I hope these classes will help me to prepare for the OCN. They have a OCN prep class too. These CE are all online.

    The books I have are the Comprehensive Cancer Nursing from and from ONS Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing. I hope these books help me. I plan to take my test in 2012. Gives me some time to read, review and study.
    Last edit by mzjennx on May 31, '11
  4. by   mzjennx
    The OCN blue print is here

    I hear it is super hard. When are you planning to take your?
  5. by   amyrae76
    I'm using the ONS Core Curriculum book as well, and I also bought the accompanying study guide with practice questions. I'm taking the test in November, so hopefully plenty of time to prepare. Good luck to everyone!
  6. by   shortsuzy87
    Hello! I'm taking the exam in August 2011. I'm jumping into it rather fast, but the physician I work for is great about letting me pick his brain. I'm currently in the ONS OCN prep course.
  7. by   amyrae76
    Are you doing that online self-paced class through ONS, the one that's like $160? What do you think of it? Is it helpful? I'd kind of like to do that but I don't want to spend the $$. My work will pay for us to do a one-day review course here in town, so I'll do that, but that ONS online thing looks cool.
  8. by   shortsuzy87
    Yah, that's the course I'm taking. I was lucky because my job paid for the fee! That's why I really want to pass! My way of saying thank you to them!

    I'm not too far yet, first lesson only because I'm taking a lot of notes, but so far I really like it! I was studying before the course, but now I have a specific direction and goals.
  9. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    I am so glad to see this thread for ideas. I plan to start studying for this exam later this year. I wanted to become certified in med surg first so I am taking that in September. Our unit is med/surg oncology so we have both types of patients.
  10. by   apple84
    ons core curriculum.. they also have a book of questions and answers with rationale.

    also can get practice questions from the oncc website for a fee
  11. by   dreavt
    I signed up in January 2011 and passed in May! It was tough but not absurdly so -- however IMHO *you must study* no matter how many years experience you have. The questions are just too detailed and in too many subspecialities of oncology for any one human to just wing it. Do know that it's different than the NCLEX in that you can go *back* and change answers -- that can be a bad thing, but if you use it judiciously it allows you to move on from a tricky question and than go back later if another question triggers the answer.

    I used this book which I borrowed from a coworker:

    BUT FIRST I did the study guide:

    I went thru the study guide cover to cover answering all the questions, checking my answers, reading the rationale and taking notes about what I did not know. I found some chapters (i.e. a lot of the psychosocial stuff) really easy, barely missed any questions -- so I skipped those chapters in the text book when actually studying. Other chapters I would get many questions but there were subcategories I clearly needed to brush up on; and other chapters I missed so many that it was obvious I needed to really focus on that chapter/subject matter.

    That part took several weeks because I wouldn't do many chapters at a time. Then I crammed with the actual text book for about 1 1/2-2 weeks.

    Good luck!
  12. by   amyrae76
    Thanks, dreavt! Those are the 2 books I have, too. I'm doing the ONS online self-paced course that has me reading content from the book, but I'm not a big fan of the outline format of it. Other people have done what you did, so I think I'm going to switch to the study guide and start doing questions, questions, and more questions. Fingers crossed!
  13. by   NYCRN6
    Hey everyone! I am studying for the OCN exam also. Thanks for posting in this thread... I am terrible with standardized testing, but I feel over the years I have improved. Let's hope that this mind-set comes with me during the test!

    I am in the ONS review class starting 8/23-12/14. Anyone else?

    I also will probably purchase the workbook judging by multiple recommendations to do so for practice questions.

    Please feel free to PM me for support!
    It'd be nice to get to know people who are taking this test and learn from everyone.

  14. by   jovigirlrn

    I am in the OCN review online review class that ends on November 15th, and taking the exam a week later, so I'm just about right where you are. I have the Core Curriculum and it's SO difficult to read and stay focused - the outline format is . Also have the Core Curriculum Study Guide with all the questions and I have to agree that doing the questions with the rationals is probably the best way to go, at least for me. When I took NCLEX 2 years ago, doing questions helped me tremendously.

    I found another book on amazon that is all question and answer. It also has a website that you register with using the access code in the book, and it is all question and answer with rational. Now that's my kind thing - computer. Here's the link for it:

    It was published in April 2011 and is "supposed" to be more up to date on the exam than the ONS books which were published in like 2005.

    If anyone has any other ideas on how to study for this exam, or any clue's about what to focus on for the exam, please let us know if you can. Someone recently told me that they talk alot about cancer meds, both oral and IV. I wonder if this exam is like NCLEX where everyone gets different questions, or does everyone get the same questions and the same number of questions....