CNOR Practice Test

Prepare for your test with realistic questions.

The Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) administers the CNOR certification exam for those pursuing a credential as a perioperative nurse.

Click “Start Test” above to take a free CNOR practice test!

CNOR Cram Sheet

CNOR Exam Eligibility

To be eligible to take the CNOR exam, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must have a current and unrestricted RN license.
  • You must be currently working in the perioperative nursing field, whether full-time or part-time.
  • You must have at least 2 years and 2,400 experience hours as a perioperative RN. At least half of those hours must have been spent in the intraoperative field.

CNOR Exam Outline

The CNOR exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions, 15 of which are unscored, and you will be given a time limit of 3 hours and 45 minutes. The 15 unscored questions are called “pretest” questions and are used to evaluate the quality and validity of questions that may appear on future exams.

The exam is split into seven sections, each of which contains some mixture of task and knowledge statements.

1. Pre- and Post-operative Patient Assessment and Diagnosis
(28 scored questions)
  • Use two patient identifiers to confirm patient identity
  • Confirm correct operative site, procedure, and site marking
  • Assess patient data
  • Use health assessment techniques that are culturally appropriate and age-appropriate
  • Review the reconciliation of medication
  • Conduct an individualized psychosocial and physical assessment
  • Obtain a focused assessment that is relevant to the procedure at hand
  • Perform a pain assessment
  • Identify nursing diagnoses
  • Confirm DNR status and/or advanced directive status
  • Ensure appropriate patient and family teaching that relates to the procedure at hand
2. Individualized Plan of Care Development and Expected Outcome Identification
(15 scored questions)
  • Identify measurable patient outcomes
  • Identify specific interventions for each diagnosis
  • Address specific patient considerations in the care plan
  • Evaluate the patient’s responses to the care plan
  • Update the care plan as needed
  • Facilitate patient care using critical thinking skills
3. Management of Intraoperative Activities
(63 scored questions)
  • Monitor environmental hazards
  • Optimize behavioral responses to the surgical procedure
  • Prepare the surgical site
  • Select appropriate protective barrier materials
  • Evaluate the patient’s response to pharmacological agents
  • Manage anesthesia
  • Control various environmental factors
  • Use aseptic technique to maintain a sterile field
  • Wield tools appropriately
  • Maintain the patient’s privacy and dignity
  • Advocate for the patient’s rights
  • Prepare, label, and transport specimens correctly
  • Ensure that the correct implants are available and prepared
  • Prepare explants for final disposition
  • Ensure solutions, medication containers, and medications are labeled
  • Perform appropriate surgical counts
  • Perform universal protocol
  • Anticipate the need for intraoperative blood transfusion
  • Use proper body mechanics
  • Perform proper patient positioning
  • Intervene with disruptive or impaired behavior in patients and family members
  • Identify various wound classifications
  • Maintain wound dressings
  • Acquire the necessary equipment and supplies
  • Review the expiration date of products
  • Implement cost-containment measures
  • Evaluate and select products
  • Supervise and educate healthcare team members
  • Delegate tasks to personnel
  • Supervise visitors
  • Manage any HCIR presence in the operating room
  • Uphold environmental stewardship
4. Communication and Documentation
(20 scored questions)
  • Maintain accurate patient records
  • Collaborate with the interdisciplinary healthcare team
  • Communicate the patient’s current status
  • Communicate measurable patient outcomes
  • Document the perioperative education that has been provided to the patient
  • Document follow-up communication post-discharge
  • Document both preoperative and postoperative assessments
  • Document the transfer of care
  • Document the measures taken to prepare and track various trackable items
  • Evaluate the patient’s status
  • Implement effective solutions to identified patient communication barriers
  • Provide HIPAA-supported information about the patient
  • Read back for verbal orders
  • Document various surgical wound classifications
5. Infection Prevention and Control of Environment, Instrumentation, and Supplies
(30 scored questions)
  • Clean the environment properly
  • Use appropriate cleaning methods for instruments and reusable goods
  • Transport and store single-use items appropriately
  • Document sterilization and disinfection
  • Handle and dispose of hazardous and biohazardous materials properly
  • Utilize PPE
  • Adhere to the appropriate sterilization and monitoring procedures
  • Monitor storage area conditions and sterilization
  • Track outside instruments and materials
  • Wear proper surgical attire
  • Adhere to proper hand hygiene guidelines
6. Emergency Situations
(18 scored questions)
  • Identify urgent/emergency situations
  • Perform interventions for the following:
    • Malignant hyperthermia
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Cardiac arrest
    • Trauma
    • Hemorrhage
    • Local anesthetic systemic toxicity
  • Function as an interdisciplinary team member
  • Safeguard patients and healthcare team members from environmental hazards
7. Professional Accountabilities
(11 scored questions)
  • Function with Scope of Practice
  • Seek assistance for personal limitations
  • Report disruptive behavior
  • Uphold ethical and professional standards
  • Utilize professional growth resources and tools
  • Participate in activities for the improvement of quality
  • Participate in interdisciplinary team activities
  • Participate in professional organization activities

exam outline for the CNOR exam, which contains 200 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 3 hours and 45 minutes

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CNOR Exam Registration

To register for the exam, you must create an online CCI account and fill out the application. You will be asked to provide your contact information and your RN license information. Once the application has been filled out, you will need to submit it along with the $445 examination fee.

Once your application is approved, you will be sent instructions on how to schedule your exam at a PSI testing center. You will have the option to choose between taking the exam in-person or taking it remotely on your own computer at home.

Test Day

In-person Testing

You should arrive at the testing center at least 15 minutes early to allow time for the check-in process. During this process, your photo ID will be checked and your photograph will be taken. You may also be asked to have your palm vein scanned biometrically for security purposes.

Once the check-in process is complete, you will be asked to leave all personal items (bags, cell phone, food, hats, calculators, etc.) in a locker before entering the testing room to begin your exam.

Live Remote Proctoring

You should sign in to your account to start your test 30 minutes before your scheduled starting time.

Your testing environment should be quiet, well-lit, private (others should not be able to come and go from your testing area), and clear of anything that is not explicitly allowed.

The check-in process for your online test includes taking pictures of your ID, your testing environment, and your face. Throughout your exam, a proctor monitors you via your webcam.

Once your exam begins, you cannot move your webcam, mumble, or speak out loud. Failure to follow the rules of the exam and the instructions of your proctor could result in the cancelation of your exam.

How the CNOR Exam is Scored

Your CNOR score is determined by taking the number of questions you answered correctly and converting that to a scaled score between 200 and 800. You must achieve a scaled score of at least 620 to pass.

As soon as you finish the exam, you will be provided with a preliminary score report that simply denotes your pass/fail status. PSI will email your official score report within 24 hours after you take the exam.

Retaking the CNOR Exam

If you fail the exam, you are allowed to retake the exam at the start of the next exam period. You will have to pay the full examination fee for each retake.

When you retake the test, the questions will not be the same as the exam you took previously.

Online CNOR Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online CNOR prep course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The Certified Perioperative Nurse course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 1,400 CNOR Practice Questions
  • More than 500 Electronic Flashcards
  • Over 20 Review Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The CNOR prep course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their CNOR exam. Click below to check it out!

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How difficult is the CNOR exam?


The CNOR exam is considered to be a difficult exam. CCI recommends spending at least 3 months studying prior to the exam.


How many questions are on the CNOR exam?


There are 200 multiple-choice questions on the exam, 15 of which are unscored.


How long is the CNOR exam?


The time limit for the exam is 3 hours and 45 minutes.


What is the passing score for the CNOR exam?


To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 620.


How much does the CNOR exam cost?


The examination fee is $445.

By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: May 14, 2024