Geraldine Carlos | BSN, CPAN, CAPA

My Certification Story

After many years as a nurse, I found my calling in Perioperative Nursing. I had been in ICU for 10-12 years and ventured out to PACU/Preop Nursing and I never looked back. I have been CPAN certified since 2007 and CAPA certified since 2012. I worked to achieve CPAN and CAPA certification for my patients, and am proud to maintain it. When I certified, I was lucky enough to work at a hospital that reimbursed my test fee, but even if it weren’t I still would have done it. I had done Process Improvement projects in Hawaii where Clinical Ladder program is an incentive for nurses. I have been gone to conferences and seminars . Now that I am in Seattle my new home, I never thought of any other place to serve but to be a perioperative RN.

My Study Strategies

I used the ABPANC website as my main source of information. At that time, there were fewer study resources that they are today. I also used materials from ABPANC’s Reference list, especially the Core Curriculum and Standards. My hospital library had many of these references. I also took several ABPANC practice exams, and attended a perianesthesia review course. Now that I am certified, I find great reward in the lifelong learning process. I am able to update my CEU's on the website, which is so helpful to keep up on the CEU needs before recertification.

My Benefits

As a dually-certified nurse, I am considered an expert by my colleagues. I am always asked to be part of committees that work on improvements in patient care etc. When was in Hawaii, I was awarded in 2009 Nurse Excellence Award in Clinical Practice for my certification and QI projects. I continuously held a Clin 1V RN in our Clinical Ladder while in Hawaii from 2004-2010. Now, I am a Clinical Supervisor in the Preop/Phase 2 area in the hospital I'm presently working. The biggest benefit, however, is the validation of my perianesthesia knowledge that helps me be the best nurse I could be for my patients.

My Advice

Don't give up, keep on pushing yourself.