The Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program began on August 1, 2016 for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Continued, or lifelong, learning is a key component of the CPC Program. As providers of continuing education (CE), the NBCRNA recognizes your critical role in this transition and the ongoing process that follows the transition. The information on this page is intended to provide information to answer your frequently asked questions, and provide resources as you think about how your CE programs will fit within the CPC Program framework.
About the CPC Program
The CPC Program is an 8-year program, comprising two 4-year CPC cycles. It consists of 4 major required components:
- Class A credits (assessed CE): 60 credits every 4 years
- Class B credits (professional development): 40 credits every 4 years
- Core Modules*: 4 every 4 years (one in each of four core areas)
- CPC Assessment: Once every 8 years; meet the performance standard for the first examination
*Core modules will be an optional component for the first 4-year CPC cycle (2016-2020 or 2017-2021, depending on the certificant's recertification date). Four Core Modules will become a required component of the CPC Program beginning in 2020/2021.
Call for NSPM Core Competency Module Development
The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is soliciting the development and offering (hosting) of a new category of Core Competency Module that will be used by nurse anesthetists who seek to maintain their subspecialty certification in Nonsurgical Pain Management (NSPM-C). This offering will need to be prepared and ready for use by January 1, 2020. Download the information packet for more information.
CE Vendors FAQ's
Q What are the Class A requirements?
60 Class A credits per 4-year CPC cycle. You can choose to apply excess Class A credits to your Class B requirement.
Q What are Class A activities?
When thinking about Class A activities think of three things:
- Is it prior approved? Has an organization like the AANA reviewed and prior approved it?
- Is it related to nurse anesthesia? Does the content relate to the practice of nurse anesthesia or the improvement of the delivery of anesthesia care to patients?
Is it assessed? Does the activity evaluate the learning that was achieved from engaging in the activity? Does the activity provide an opportunity to inform or aid the learner in their improvement of their practice? Depending on educational activity, self-assessment, demonstrations, polling, case studies, simulations, and post-tests can all be valid forms of assessment.
Q What does "prior approval" mean?
An authorized organization, like the AANA, has reviewed the educational activity and supporting materials and has confirmed that it meets established criteria for continuing education. In some instances, prior approval can also refer to organizations that have been accredited to provide continuing education.
Q What are Class B requirements?
40 Class B credits per 4-year CPC cycle. You can choose to apply excess Class A credits to your Class B requirement.
Q What types of activities would qualify for Class B credits?
The following are categories of activities that would qualify for Class B credit.
- Class A: Assessed Continuing Education (CE)
- Non-Prior Approved and/or Non- Assessed CE
- Academic Credits
- Publications (Book or chapters) and Peer Reviewing
- Publications related to grants
- Teaching in the clinical setting
- Administrative roles in the clinical setting
- Subspecialty clinical practice roles beyond those routinely scheduled
- Integrating a new clinical practice technique
- Service in committee or elected roles
- Service in mission work
- Service in advocacy or public relations
- Research or practice inquiry
Q How will I document and report Class B activities to the NBCRNA?
Each category of activity has its own documentation requirement. Generally, however, it would be very brief and simple, and include a description of the type of activity; what was involved including a description what took place; and the contact information for someone who would be able to verify the activity and your participation.
Full information and reporting documentation can be found in the Table of Class B Requirements.
The CRNA will NOT be asked to send any of this to the NBCRNA, but rather keep this information to document their involvement/participation for their records. CRNAs only need to submit this information if they are audited and it is requested.
Q Why are you requiring Class B activities?
CRNAs as a group have repeatedly requested credit for participating in activities that, while important and enriching to their practice and profession, have not met the standards and guidelines of traditionally acceptable CE. By creating a new category, and including professional development activities (Class B requirements), the CPC Program supports the expanding role of advanced practice registered nurses in the future of healthcare delivery and leadership. The Class B requirement acknowledges the diversity of professional activities and experiences of nurse anesthetists, who are increasingly called upon to attain competencies beyond clinical knowledge and practice.
Q What are core modules?
The core modules are educational content that is specifically geared toward the knowledge, skills and abilities expected of all nurse anesthesia practitioners, regardless of their employment (i.e. clinician, educator, administrator or researcher). The core modules provide a means for nurse anesthetists to stay informed about the current literature. Using a common set of objectives, continuing education (CE) providers will develop CE programs that address the areas of anesthesia practice which apply to all CRNAs, regardless of practice focus.
Q What type of content will core modules cover?
Core modules will address four core areas of nurse anesthesia that apply to all CRNAs, regardless of practice focus:
- Airway management technique;
- Applied clinical pharmacology;
- Human physiology and pathophysiology; and
- Anesthesia equipment and technology.
Q Where will I find core modules?
Core modules will be available from individual CE providers who participate in the core module program. NBCRNA will not produce core modules. NBCRNA will provide a list of recognized core modules on its website, as they are recognized by NBCRNA and approved by AANA.
Q Will core modules be online?
All core modules are expected to be online; however, some CE providers may also choose to offer them (in part or in whole) during a face-to-face live CE event.
Q How long will core modules be? How much credit will they offer?
The CE provider will determine the length and cost of the modules they produce. The AANA, or another prior-approval entity, will determine the Class A credit value of each module.
Q Why is NBCRNA requiring the core modules component?
The intent of the Core Modules is to ensure that practicing CRNAs, regardless of their area of employment, will be exposed to current knowledge in the field of anesthesia.
Q What is the value of the core modules?
Core Modules represent an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of evolving evidence-based knowledge (evidence that informs practice) from the literature. This provides the potential to reduce the historical lag time that has existed between the discovery of new information and the implementation of that knowledge at the patient level.
Q What does "recognized" mean?
The NBCRNA undertakes a peer-reviewed process to determine whether the modules meet predetermined criteria related to objectives, literature, and assessment. Recognition by the NBCRNA is not CE approval. The AANA or a similar organization undertakes a prior approval process based on a different set of criteria and for a different purpose. However, the Recognition Process and the CE Approval Process combined should establish that the core modules will meet the needs of nurse anesthetists to keep current with changes in the field of nurse anesthesia and will meet the current continuing education requirement.
If you have questions about the CPC Program, please contact the NBCRNA by phone at 855-285-4658 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org