Frequently asked questions

Use the information below to help you navigate some of the frequently asked questions that CNML test takers bring to AONL.

Is there a time limit on the experiential requirement as to when the experience occurred? 

There is no defined time limit, but the practice should be recent enough that the applicant’s executive nursing practice was guided by the AONL Nurse Executive Competencies.

Where can I take the CNML exam?

AONL offers testing locations in all 50 states. We also offer testing locations internationally abroad. Find the nearest testing location

How do I prepare for the CNML exam?

AONL offers practice exams and in-person review courses for people interested in taking the review course. The following are recommended resources to assist you in your preparation. CNML exam resources

Am I qualified to take the CNML exam?

To be eligible for the CNML exam, a candidate must meet the target practitioner definition and fulfill one of the following requirements for education/work experience.

A valid and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse; and
A baccalaureate in nursing degree or higher plus 2080 hours of experience in a nurse manager role


A valid and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse; and
A non-nursing baccalaureate degree plus 3120 hours years of experience in a nurse manager role


A valid and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse; and
A Diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing plus 5200 hours of experience as a nurse manager

How much is the exam?

Exam: $300 AONL | $450 non-member

Register for the exam

How do I get my recertification?

Attaining certification is an indication of mastery of a well-defined body of knowledge at a point in time. Periodic recertification is required to maintain certified status. Initial certification or recertitfication of certification is valid for three(3) years. A certificant may renew the CNML credential through one of two routes

1) Successful re-examination
2) Documentation of 45 contact hours of continuing professional education over the 3-year period and payment of the renewal fee. Recertification $200 fee for AONL or AACN members and $275 fee for non-member - Recertification application

Who is on the steering committee? 

  • Elizabeth Abderrahman, MS, MBA, CNML, RN, Murphy, TX
  • Julie Gorczyca, RN, MHSA, CNML, Grand Blanc, MI
  • Wanda Johanson, RN, Aliso Viejo, CA
  • Julie Krebs, BA, Aurora, CO
  • Susan Nelmark, MA, RN, CNML, Duluth, MN
  • Tanya Osborne-McKenzie, MSN-MBA, RN, CCRN, BSN, CNML,Salinas, CA
  • Tamara Sebolt, RN, MSN, CNML, Iowa City, IA
  • Sharon Tobias, MSN, RN, CCM, PCCN, CNML, Cary, NC
  • Pamela Thompson, MS, RN, CENP, FAAN, Washington, DC

Can I take the exam as an international nurse leader?

International nurse leaders have to download the international request document.