The NBCRNA Continued Professional Certification Assessment or CPCA is a performance standard assessment. It assesses your knowledge in the four core knowledge areas of nurse anesthesia practice. CRNAs in their second four-year CPC cycle are eligible to take the CPCA.

What is the CPCA?

The Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA) 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:

The domains and the corresponding weighted percentages on the CPCA are: 

  • Airway Management (34%)
  • Applied Clinical Pharmacology (24%)
  • Applied Physiology and Pathophysiology (24%)
  • Anesthesia Equipment, Technology, and Safety (18%)


This three-hour, 150-question self-assessment can identify areas that may need additional study. 

The CPCA is available year-round, either in-person or online through Pearson Vue. All you need to do is complete the CPCA application via the NBCRNA portal, and then schedule the CPCA at the date and time that is most convenient for you. 

All CRNAs will have to take the CPCA at least once in its current form no later than six months before their certification renewal deadline.


CPCA overview

Take the CPCA your way: in-person or online!

When deciding on how to take the CPCA, in-person or online, consider the following:


  • PearsonVue centers are generally open during business hours Monday through Saturday. Schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible to get the best selection of times and locations. 
  • You will have to make time to travel to your selected location on assessment day. 
  • A proctor will assist you with checking in and will observe you throughout the assessment session. You will use the centers computer equipment and internet connections. 
  • The entire assessment session will be recorded. 
  • More Information for taking the CPCA in-person can be found here


  • You will need a personal computer with a webcam for successful delivery of the assessment. 
  • Make sure you have a reliable, fast internet connection to download your assessment and support a webcam stream. 
  • You will need a quiet, disruption-free, well-lit space and a desk that is clear. 
  • The entire assessment session will be recorded. 
  • More Information for taking the CPCA online can be found here

Ready to take the CPCA?

Log in to the NBCRNA portal and select the applications tile to begin. Instructions on completing the CPCA application can be found here.

CPCA Eligibility

The CPCA can be completed anytime during your second four-year CPC cycle up to six months before your credential renewal deadline.  If the CPCA is completed in the last six months before your credential renewal deadline additional fees will apply. Class A, Class B, and Core Modules are not required to be completed before taking the CPCA.

Preparing for the CPCA 

To gain an understanding of what type of topics are included on the CPCA, the NBCRNA has published a CPCA content outline that includes examples for review. Additionally, to assess your knowledge of the four core domains, and to familiarize yourself with question formats that appear on the CPCA, the NBCRNA has created a 160-Question CPCA Practice. Click here to learn more about the CPCA Practice.  

Cost of the CPCA 

Please see the 2024 fee schedule for information about the cost to take the CPCA.  

CPCA Scoring

The CPCA 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. CRNAs will be provided a preliminary performance report immediately upon completing the CPCA. An official score report will be provided within 1-2 business days, after the assessment has been verified and finalized by the NBCRNA. 

CRNAs will maintain their certification, even if they do not meet the performance standard, but will be required to complete additional focused continuing education in any area where the performance standard is not met.   





  • Q 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).
  • Q When do I need to take the CPCA?

    You are required to take a CPCA once every eight years. You can take it anytime 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.

  • Q What is the cost?

    The cost of the CPC Assessment is $295.

    CRNAs who do not fulfill their CPCA requirement up to six months before their CPC renewal deadline will be assessed a CPCA overdue fee when scheduling their CPCA. The overdue fee is $75 if taken between three months to six months from their CPC renewal deadline, and $125 if the CPCA is taken less than three months from their CPC renewal deadline. CRNAs will not be able to renew their credential without completing the CPCA requirement.
  • Q 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.

  • Q 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 with any additional questions.
  • Q What do I need to do for remediation if I have a weak area identified after my CPCA results are reported to me?

    If you have a weak area, you must take at least one (1) additional Class A credit in each identified domain. The CPCA domains are:

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

    Any remedial credits required are in addition to the CPC Program requirements.  

    For example:

    Suppose you need remediation in Airway Management at the time of your renewal. In that case, you must have a minimum of 61 Class A credits, one (1) of which must be completed after your CPCA score result is reported and within the Airway Management section of the CPCA content outline.

    Credits completed before your CPCA result was reported or completed in a different category will not satisfy the remediation requirement.

    Please review the CPCA Content Outline available on our website for additional information: CPCA Content Outline