Prep for CNOR FAQs

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about preparing for the CNOR exam online course. 

  • Does AORN confer the CNOR credential?

    AORN does not administer the CNOR® exam. CCI administers the exam. Please visit their website at for the latest information regarding the exam, registration, and test dates, as well as resources for your success. We advise you to register for the CNOR® exam before purchasing our review course. That way, you will have a specific goal date in mind as you study.

    The AORN Preparing for the CNOR® Course is strictly a certificate course to be used as a review for the CNOR® exam.

  • What is included when I purchase the AORN Preparing for the CNOR® Exam online course?
    You will receive a four-month online access to:
    1. Fifty-seven learning modules, a pretest, a 200-question practice exam, and an evaluation. The learning modules vary in length from 9 pages to 150. Most of the modules are under 50 pages.
    2. Online access to the current AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice if you don't already have online access.
    3. Additional reading assignments (e.g. Guidelines, scholarly websites, peer-reviewed journal articles) to supplement the course content.
  • What if I need more than four months for studying?

    You can extend your study time for the course for a fee of $50/month for up to four months. You must pay for the extension before the original course time expires. Extension months must be consecutive.

  • How many practice questions are in the course?

    There are over 500 questions. Fifty are in the pretest, 200 are in the practice exam, and the rest are interspersed throughout the course.

  • If I take the AORN CNOR® review course, do I have to study?

    Yes. Preparation for the CNOR® certification exam should not be taken lightly. The AORN online review course will help you identify your areas of strength and weakness.

  • How much time is really needed to study for the exam?

    You should give yourself anywhere from 12–20 weeks to fully prepare yourself for success.

    The AORN review course provides an extensive review of current perioperative guidelines; the nursing process related to preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative patient care; perioperative communication; equipment and instrumentation; medications and medication safety, disaster and emergency management; professional accountability; and much more!

  • Does the course have contact hours?

    Yes. The course is worth 49 contact hours. To earn the contact hours you must complete the practice exam within the course with a score of 90%. After completing the practice exam you must submit the course evaluation. Your record will be updated with your contact hours on submission of the evaluation.

  • What other resources are recommended after I purchase the AORN Preparing for the CNOR® Exam online course?

    We recommend that you have access to the latest edition of two publications: Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery and Drain's Perianesthesia Nursing: A Critical Care Approach.

    As stated above, additional reading assignments are included in the AORN course and these publications are cited. The learning modules include citations to current perioperative articles, scholarly websites, and clinical guidelines for you to review.

    If you want additional study materials, you may benefit from accessing:

    • AORN Medication Safety Assessment (Adult) Specialty Module
    • Berry and Kohn's Operating Room Technique
    • Competency for Safe Patient Care During Operative and Invasive Procedures
    • Use a current medical/surgical nursing textbook to review acute and chronic disease processes that require surgical interventions and common laboratory blood testing values including arterial blood gas (ABG) interpretation.
    • Use a scholarly website or current pharmacy textbook to review all medications.
  • Does AORN offer a consult line for the CNOR® prep course?

    No. AORN does not offer a consult line for the course.

  • Are the questions in the AORN online course the same type of questions as are on the exam?

    No. The questions in our review course are based on the specific content that we provide. Our questions are challenging; they are fact and scenario-based. The review course contains content that our nurses think you need to know in order to pass the CNOR® exam.

    It is also important to note that the questions on the CNOR® exam are not comparable to the post-test questions in the studies from the AORN Journal. Rather, the questions test your ability to think critically and pull knowledge together from many sources.

  • What types of questions can I expect on the CNOR® exam?

    The CNOR® exam tests you on your knowledge and skills that are required to competently practice in the perioperative clinical environment.

  • Can I make a printed copy of the prep course?

    No. Our program is copyrighted, therefore, you cannot copy it. You can take notes online or on paper as you go through the course. It is very important to take notes during the course as a hard copy of the material is not available.

  • How do I get my course certificate?

    After you complete the course and submit your evaluation, you can print your certificate from the course website.

  • What are the criteria of the money-back guarantee?

    If you take the CNOR® exam and you do not pass the CNOR® exam, you can either:

    • Receive a refund on the cost of the review course; or
    • Retake the review course at no charge. If you decide to take the review course again, you should make sure that you have selected a date to retake the exam.

    The following five criteria must be met to qualify for the money-back guarantee.

    • You must complete the course before taking the exam.
    • Take the CNOR exam no sooner than three months and no later than six months after purchasing the course. Ample time must be allowed to study the content and the exam should be taken while the content is still fresh. Those who take the CNOR exam either within three months of purchasing the course or after six months, will not qualify for the money-back guarantee.
    • Provide AORN customer service a copy of the assessment letter from CCI indicating that you did not pass the exam.
    • Send refund claim to AORN customer service within 60 days of taking the CNOR exam.
    • Email all refund claims to
  • How often is the course updated?

    The course is updated every two years. In addition, as guidelines are developed or revised, we update the course content.

  • What are the computer specs for the course?

    Visit our Computer Specifications for Online Learning web page for more information.