Ortho Certification

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    I am interested in getting my Ortho Certification.Some RN's on my floor said that it is extremely hard. What helped you the most when studying: A review course?flashcards?study groups?Any other ideas?
    How long did you study before taking the test?Did you pass the first try?
    Any help ,suggestions and ideas are helpful. Thanks everybody
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  4. 9 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Yes I have heard it is hard too....but I still would like to do it either this year or next year....
  6. 0
    Hard doesn't begin to describe it. I passed it first try, but then I am a good test taker......not bragging just good at choosing multiple choice questions. I took it in 89, 94, and 99 and it never seemed easy any of those times.

    I worked on an ortho unit in a teaching hospital affiliated with a medical school, so listening to residents and attendings discuss cases helped a lot. I also read the "Core Curriculum" put out by the ortho nurses certification board. Read it cover to cover several times. It's basically an outline and really dull, but REALLY helpful. Also belonging to Naon and coordinating speakers for our chapter was a big help.

    Good luck!
  7. 0
    I took the exam 3 years ago. I studied with a co-worker for 3 months prior to the exam from the study guide that you can purchase from NAON. It is a difficult test but not as difficult as some would lead you to believe. I worked in the OR for 5 years doing Ortho and in a clinic setting for 3 years prior to testing. There were some very obscure questions that we as nurses don't deal alot with but study like you did for your boards and you'll be fine. There are a lot of herbal questions and alternative therapy questions but it was ok. Can't say I remember much of what we studied anyway now. You'll do great!
  8. 0
    I know I am joining this forum late but I plan to take the ortho certification exam next year and the medsurg this year.

    Can any of you tell me about any incentives to receiving these certificate? I am mainly doing it to advance in my position but is there any thing else? thanks for any info
  9. 0
    My place had a clinical ladder. Nurse I was a new graduate. Nurse II-IV were the levels an ADN may advance to.

    Nurse V was restricted to BSN/MSN in Critical Care.

    With each level there were parameters to be met...committees, teaching, evaluation and certification starting with level III.

    Each plateau also came with a 7.5% raise! I have been retired from there for quite a while so I am not sure if they still have it. Two certifications gained nothing more for me so I never did the MS but once. I did keep the ortho. That ONC still hangs on my wall even though I retired.

    See what your employer has in the way of promotions/clinical ladder.
  10. 0
    I just took the exam and yes, it was difficult but less so if you study from various resources. I have taken the oncology and med surg exams and it was not as hard as the oncology, which is where I have most of my nursing hours.
    I went through the Table of Contents in the Ortho Core Curriculum and made a few notes on every item. Just key points.
    Also, I used the flash cards from LLC online which helped, and the Core Curriculum review on the NAON education website. The NAON self assessment CD is good to do but much easier than the exam questions, do not study solely from that.
    Study pain!! Epidurals, femoral nerve blocks and the side effects of pain meds as there were a lot more questions on that subject than my review indicated. You don't have to know every muscle and nerve, concentrate on those that are relevant to or innervate the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.
    If you have any questions email me while it is still fresh in my head!
  11. 0
    Hi,
    I have the med surg and oncology certs. and just did the ortho exam yesterday. Incentives probably differ by institution but for me they include a $500 a year bonus for each cert.
    We get $1000 to attend one Congress a year too. Otherwise, I can't think of any more reason to do it than advancing your career, as you mentioned.
    Good luck with both exams!
  12. 0
    By the way, I have very little direct ortho experience, mainly gained in med/surg and oncology so if I can pass with a good mark and by self study and no review groups, then anyone can do it if they apply themselves to thorough studying with a nursing focus.
  13. 0
    Me too...I plan to get certified this year. I second the rjsmax' reply. The nurses I've talked to said the same ,'...its a tough test, but not as hard as everyone leads you to believe..study and you'll do fine..' Me personally, when people tell me, 'no' or 'its sooo hard' I take that on as a personal challenge...heheee! best wishes to you


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