What Do Orthopaedic Nurses Do? Implications of the Role Delineation Study for Certification

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The Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB) conducts a role delineation study (RDS) every 5 years. Results identify tasks performed by orthopaedic registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists, and musculoskeletal health conditions commonly seen by patients under their care.


The purpose of the study was to define current practice patterns among orthopaedic nurses and validate content for future certification examinations.


An online survey methodology was used to identify task and knowledge statements that represented orthopaedic nursing practice.


Of 5,634 e-mails sent, 1,194 valid responses were returned (response rate 22.7%). This is consistent with results of the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board's 2007 RDS (23.3% response rate) and is considered acceptable for an RDS.


Survey results were analyzed with assistance of psychometric staff at Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc., and used to review and revise examination specifications for the 3 certification programs. New specifications were implemented with March 2012 testing.

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