CPAN - Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse

  • $350-$424
  • Renewals every 3 years

COURSE FORMAT

Online
In Person

About

Nurses working in post-anesthesia care units (PACUs), specifically caring for patients in Postanesthesia Phase I, should consider studying for the CPAN certification. This certification is closely related to the Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) certification, more for those working in ambulatory settings and Postanesthesia Phase II. Nurses can also apply for dual certification if eligible.

The American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc. (ABPANC) offers the Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) program. The CPAN certification recognizes a nurse for experience and expertise in the unique nursing specialty of paranesthesia nursing. The Accreditation Board has accredited the program for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) since 2004. Becoming a CPAN demonstrates to patients, employers, and the public that a nurse’s knowledge reflects national standards and a commitment to patient safety.

Eligibility

Nurses who have an unencumbered RN license in the U.S. or its territories are eligible depending on clinical experience. In the two years prior to applying for initial certification, the nurse must have at least 1,200 hours of direct clinical experience obtained within those two years. Direct experience is defined as bedside care of the patient and/or family in some capacity, with active participation in the individual patient experience. This includes direct care nurses (staff nurses) and educators, managers, and Clinical Nurse Specialists as long as their hours meet the definition.  

Fees

Examination fees are $350 for ASPAN members and $424 for nonmembers.

Course Format

The CPAN Exam

Studying and reviewing questions prior to the exam is highly recommended. The CPAN exam is offered during two open periods per year – one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The candidate must register during Spring or Fall registration windows for a test date. Exams may be canceled with fee refund or rollover within 48 hours prior to the exam.

Renewal

The CPAN certification is active for 3 years, after which you must recertify. To determine recertification requirements, it is recommended to consult the ABPANC Recertification Handbook online. There are currently two different options for recertifying:  

  1. By re-examination

  2. By contact hours through ABPANC’s Continuing Education Program (CEP). 

The re-examination option requires the same fees as initial certification, while option 2 is a lower cost. The contact hour requirements are different for each subsequent recertification period, and the handbook must be consulted for details. Generally, the required number of CEP hours is around 90.

Renewal Fees:

  • By Re-examination

    • APAN Members $350

    • Non-members $424

  • By Continuing Education (CE)

    • APAN Members $194

    • Non-members $315

Other Resources

The ABPANC offers some materials online, such as test blueprints, a 12-week study plan, and study references. A downloadable Certification Candidate Handbook is also available at the same website. Four practice exams can be purchased for a fee of $100.

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Frequently asked questions

What are some certifications I can pursue after obtaining CPAN certification?

You can pursue Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia nurse (CAPA), among others.

Can I earn a CPAN online?

Yes you can earn a CPAN online.

What organization offers the CPAN?

The American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc. (ABPANC) offers the CPAN exam.

What other certifications should I consider after getting the CPAN?

After obtaining the CPAN, you might also pursue the Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia nurse (CAPA).