NBCRNA Reviewing Future Alternatives to CPC Program Exam

February 15, 2017 -- The AANA and NBCRNA Boards of Directors and staff continue to work together and provide input on joint and other projects. AANA has provided valuable feedback about the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program—specifically regarding the exam component—and NBCRNA is
listening. We want to further strengthen the credential and are working together to build more choice and convenience into a certification process that is based on standards that everyone can trust.  

NBCRNA continues to evaluate the CPC Program and is open to, and is currently looking at future alternative methods to the CPC Exam that meet the same goals and rigor of a traditional summative assessment. NBCRNA is evaluating the effectiveness and ability to operationalize several future alternatives including:
1. The MOCA-Minute concept
2. Self-assessment followed by additional CE
3. Simulation

With the MOCA-Minute, NBCRNA is closely monitoring this American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) pilot project, and are following their efforts to address the unanswered questions with regard to validity, reliability, long term costs, and establishing a passing standard.

Regarding the self-assessment concept, NBCRNA is aware of programs that are using self-assessment in conjunction with focused continuing education. The CPC Program has a built-in self-assessment in the Class A component, and as the AANA collects and reports data on the self-assessment of Class A, evaluation can be made regarding the relationship between self-selected continuing education and incorporation of knowledge into practice. How this will translate into future alternatives for the CPC Exam is yet to be determined.

Simulation is also being considered as a future alternative method of summative evaluation. Cost, access, and reliability are all factors that will need to be considered. Simulation is included in the NBCRNA Reentry program which will provide an opportunity to evaluate its usefulness in the CPC
Program as well.

As other options come to the attention of NBCRNA and AANA through internal investigation or external recommendations, their value to the overall program will be considered as future alternatives to any of the components, including the CPC Exam. The CPC Program is designed to be modified based on evidence. NBCRNA is not set on any one method or vehicle to meet the program goals.

In addition, NBCRNA is in the process of developing a formal research project that will compare multiple assessment formats including an open resource format, a closed book format, and other options suggested by the literature and CRNAs throughout the country. The research will additionally include a review of remote and live proctoring. The results of this study will inform not only the NBCRNA, but the entire community of health care educators, of the best assessment methods—whatever those may prove to be—to achieve the goals of the CPC Program.

The CPC Program will evolve greatly over time as new and improved technologies and new research become available. AANA and NBCRNA will also continue to work together to further strengthen the credential and pave the way for a solid future for the profession.