CPC Assessment Applications Now Open for First Testing Windows

Applications for the CPC Assessment (CPCA) are now being accepted for all eligible candidates to take the CPCA in the August and November 2021 testing windows. More windows will be available to take this self-assessment in the coming months and each subsequent year. CPC Assessment candidates are eligible when their CPC application (for the first 4-year CPC cycle) is approved/credential is renewed and their credential expiration date is before 6/30/2025.

READY TO SCHEDULE? Log in to the NBCRNA  portal to get started View helpful CPCA resources and information using the links below.


Watch these videos to find out more: Deciding the Best Way to Test or What to Expect on Test Day.

What is the CPC Assessment?

The CPC Assessment is a performance standard assessment, not a pass/fail exam. It assesses your knowledge in the four core knowledge areas (domains) of nurse anesthesia practice:

  • Airway Management
  • Applied Clinical Pharmacology
  • Human Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • Anesthesia Equipment, Technology, and Safety

Wondering what happens if you don't meet the standard, when you have to take the CPCA, or how it's scored? Scroll below for some frequently asked questions.

This three-hour, 150-question self-assessment can identify areas that may need additional study. It can be taken at home or other quiet, distraction-free location (with good internet access), or at a testing center--it's your choice.

It is different than the National Certification Examination (NCE). We understand that the knowledge required of an experienced CRNA differs from that required of a new practitioner. The CPCA is based on a nationwide practice analysis of hundreds of practicing nurse anesthetists to ensure the knowledge covered is common to all CRNAs, regardless of practice focus.

Check out the CPC Assessment TOOLKIT for a suite of helpful resources to help you learn about and prepare for the CPC Assessment. Whether you prefer to read, watch, or listen to information on the CPCA, the Toolkit has resources for everyone, including:

• Practice exams
• Content outline
• Overview video
• Podcasts, FAQs, and more

Where Are You on Your CPCA Journey?

Take this quick quiz to see where you are your journey towards taking the CPC Assessment.

How is the CPCA scored?

The CPCA is more like a self-assessment--it is not pass/fail and does not impact your certification. The pass/fail component was removed in February 2019.

It is designed to provide feedback on your strengths and weaknesses in different knowledge areas--similar to a self-assessment. Scores are measured against a defined performance standard to identify any areas where additional study is needed. 

Why does it take so long to receive my CPCA results?

The CPC Assessment results are not immediately available for August and November test-takers due to the data analysis required for validation. The NBCRNA takes multiple steps to assure that CPC Assessment scoring is fair, accurate, and consistent with previous administrations. Internally, we will ensure the August version of the examination has undergone a statistical comparison process called equating to assure that the performance standard level remains equivalent between assessment versions. NBCRNA is working on completing these multiple processes as soon as possible. When the results become available in November, future educational opportunities will be personally identified and communicated to you should you fail to meet the established performance standard.

Will my performance on the CPCA affect my credential?

No, your performance on the CPCA will not affect your CRNA credential as long as you successfully complete additional targeted continuing education--a minimum of one Class A credit--in any area where the performance standard is not met. The choice of additional continuing education, as well as the number of credits (at least one), is completely up to you. If you meet the standard, no additional credits are needed (outside of the standard CPC Program requirements).

When do I need to take the CPCA?

You are required to take a CPCA once every eight years. You can take it in any open testing window during your second 4-year cycle. The exact date is up to you, as long as the CPCA is completed at least six months before your credential renewal deadline.

To see your personalized CPC Program Timeline, log into your portal on the NBCRNA website.

What is the cost?

The cost of the CPC Assessment is $295 every eight years. That's an annualized cost of $37 per year.

Where can I take the CPCA?

You choose when and where to take the CPCA, either online in your home or other preferred setting, or at a testing center during testing windows.

Watch a video on deciding the best way to test or on what to expect on test day.

Did you participate in the CPC Assessment pilot?

More than 1,500 CRNAs participated in the NBCRNA CPC Assessment (CPCA) beta/pilot study. For participants, this attempt counts towards the assessment component of your CPC compliance and you will not need to take the assessment again in this first 8-year CPC period. Either way, it is not a pass/fail exam. You can reach out to NBCRNA at cpc@nbcrna.com with any additional questions.