AANA-NBCRNA Leaders Reach Agreement on Changes to CPC Program and Make Progress on Other Matters

Dear Colleague,

We are very pleased to report that leaders of the AANA and NBCRNA have agreed to significant revisions to the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program and have also made great strides to improve the relationship between our organizations.

During the AANA's Annual Business Meeting in September, AANA members made clear their concerns and expectations regarding CRNA recertification and how their professional association and recertification body should work together on behalf of the profession. We were listening carefully, and we took swift action.

Recognizing the importance to providers and patients alike in ensuring a recertification process that is current, relevant, effective, and specific to CRNAs, the AANA requested that NBCRNA consider several modifications to the CPC Program. NBCRNA agreed to the following adjustments to the CPC Program and timeline:

  • A moratorium on the CPC program start date from Jan. 1, 2016 to Aug. 1, 2016. 
  • CPC core modules will be voluntary for the first 4-year cycle; any modification of the core module program for the second cycle will be based on data gathered and evaluated during the first cycle.
  • Core modules will address the same content areas as the CPC Examination while providing information on current trends in anesthesia and helping certificants prepare for the CPC Examination.
  • NBCRNA, in consultation with AANA, will explore additional options beyond retaking a CPC module for CRNAs who do not meet the performance standards of the "low stakes" CPC Examination during the 2020-2024 recertification cycle.

Anticipating the Recognition Agreement will be signed, the NBCRNA has agreed in principle that:

  • NBCRNA will offer certification and recertification solely to nurse anesthetists, as has always been the practice of the NBCRNA.
  • NBCRNA will establish a procedure through which 2 "active members" of the AANA are elected as directors of the NBCRNA.
  • NBCRNA will have a liaison on the AANA Continuing Education Committee.
  • One BOD and one staff liaison will attend each organization's respective meeting.

The organizations will ensure frequent and timely communication with CRNAs through quarterly teleconferences with stakeholders such as state leaders and chief CRNAs, updates at state association meetings, and other avenues. A communication plan is being implemented. AANA, NBCRNA, and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) will conduct joint strategic planning. This process is evolutionary. Both organizations are committed to the nurse anesthesia profession. The AANA and the NBCRNA will continue to work together to promote a certification program that positions the profession into the future.

As we continue to explore best practices in continuing education and recertification, the goal of AANA and NBCRNA leadership remains to promote the strength of the CRNA credential. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely,

Sharon Pearce, CRNA, MSN

President, AANA

On behalf of the AANA Board of Directors


Ed Waters, CRNA, DNP

President, NBCRNA

On behalf of the NBCRNA Board of Directors