CPAN® or CAPA® Eligibility Requirements

Think About Your Patients

Determining which exam is most relevant for you should be based on your patient needs and the amount of time patients spend in the specific phases described by the Perianesthesia Continuum of Care (as defined on page 7 of the ASPAN Perianesthesia Nursing Standards, Practice Recommendations, and Interpretive Statements 2015-2017).

Regardless of the setting in which you practice, if you have the hours required caring for patients in Postanesthesia Phase I, the CPAN exam is most relevant to your practice. If you have the hours required caring for patients in the Preanesthesia Phase, Day of Surgery/Procedure, Postanesthesia Phase II and/or Extended Care, the CAPA exam is most relevant to your practice.

Clinical Experience

In the two years prior to applying for initial certification, you must have at least 1,800 hours of direct clinical experience obtained in the two years prior to applying for initial certification.

Direct experience is defined as having bedside interaction with the patient and/or family in some capacity and participating actively in the individual patient experience. You do not need to be technically employed in a direct care position (staff nurse, for example). If your role (e.g., educator, manager, Clinical Nurse Specialist) involves bedside interaction with the patient and/or family in some capacity, those hours count towards meeting the experience requirement.

Dual Certification

To be eligible to sit for both the CPAN and CAPA exams, you must meet the licensure and direct care requirements and have:

  • at least 1800 hours of direct clinical experience caring for patients in Postanesthesia Phase I

AND

  • at least 1800 hours of direct clinical experience caring for patients in Preanesthesia Phase, Day of Surgery/Procedure, Postanesthesia Phase II and/or Extended Care.

Audit of Eligibility

Submission of an application indicates your agreement to comply with the terms of the audit process. A percentage of initial certification and recertification applications are selected for audit. However, ABPANC reserves the right to audit any or all applications and supporting documentation submitted by certification and recertification candidates.

If documentation requested during the audit process is not submitted or is unacceptable, examination candidates will be denied the opportunity to sit for an examination, have scores withheld, have recertification denied, or have the CPAN and/or CAPA credential revoked. Candidates and certificants have the right to request the Review and Appeal Process and information about this process will be provided to them.

Please note: A BSN degree is NOT required for CPAN and/or CAPA certification.

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