Course Description

This 2-day review course can be used for nurses preparing to take the Orthopaedic Nursing Certification exam (OCN) or for those who would like to have a comprehensive review of caring for patients in a orthopaedic care setting. The course builds upon nursing workforce’s existing knowledge and experience in progressive care environments helping them learn the strategies necessary to successfully pass the Orthopaedic Nursing Certification exam.



At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify key components of musculoskeletal assessment and understand the physiology of the musculoskeletal system.
  2. Identify signs, symptoms, surgical and non-surgical interventions, and nursing plans of care for patients with degenerative joint disease.
  3. Differentiate various adult spine disorders and associated nursing plans of care.
  4. Differentiate various musculoskeletal tumors and discuss nursing plans of care.
  5. Identify the plan of care for the orthopaedic patient during the pre-, intra-, and post-operative periods.
  6. Discuss therapeutic nursing interventions for children with pediatric, congenital, and neuromuscular disorders.
  7. Describe common traumatic injuries and nursing plans of care for such patients.
  8. Discuss common sports injuries and treatment options.
  9. Compare treatment options and nursing management of metabolic bone disorders.
  10. Differentiate the clinical signs and symptoms and nursing plans of care for patients with specific inflammatory disease processes.
  11. Identify signs and symptoms and nursing plans of care for those patients with specific orthopaedic complications.


Course Topics

  • Test taking strategies
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Adult spinal disorders
  • Musculoskeletal tumors
  • Orthopaedics in the operating room
  • Pediatric/Congenital/Neuromuscular disorders
  • Orthopaedic trauma
  • Metabolic bone disorders


Contact Hours

11.5 Contact Hours Earned



Mary Clare Schafer, MS, RN, ONC, CRRN


Mary Clare has 33 years experience in the areas of Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation, encompassing the specialty areas of joint replacement, trauma, operating room, and spinal cord injury. She is certified in both Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, and has been a Clinical Educator in both realms of Nursing. She is a member of NAON (National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses) and ARN (Association for Rehabilitation Nurses). Mary Clare has also reviewed literary publications as well as served as a legal consultant in areas of malpractice and personal injury. She currently works as an Educator for the Kennedy Health System in Southern New Jersey.

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