Donna White | BSN, RN, CPAN
My Certification Story
My journey started out three years ago when I was new to PACU. I started to familiarize myself with the ASPAN Standards of Care and quickly realized my unit was falling short of those standards even though it stated we followed them in our policy. Something had to be done. In addition to bringing these shortcomings to attention at our monthly meetings, I started asking myself, "How can I improve my knowledge and career as a nurse?" Becoming CPAN certified was my answer. After going to a weekend seminar and months of studying, I am CPAN certified and thrilled with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I encourage all nurses to certify in their specialty. You will be able to care for your patients with more knowledge and confidence than ever before.
My Study Strategies
I found that using the study guidelines from the website was useful as well as the core curriculum book, ASPAN Standards of Care, Wong's Pediatrics Nursing, and Drain's Perianesthesia Nursing books. I also made notecards to study. I set aside two hours a day during the week and four hours a day on the weekend to study.
Since being certified, my co-workers were all very supportive and celebratory. My name and certification was published in our monthly hospital newsletter. I will be meeting with my manager soon for my yearly evaluation and I'm hoping this will give me the extra push for better compensation.
There were two RNs before me from my unit who did not pass the exam. I don't believe they gave themselves enough time to study and prepare, nor do I believe they used enough references. My advice would be to have a plan, at least 4-5 reference books and four months to study, knowing you will be studying pretty much every day.