CPC Assessment Structure and Purpose

The CPC Assessment will assess knowledge in the four core domains of nurse anesthesia practice. The domains and the corresponding weighted percentages on the CPC Assessment are as follows: 

  1. Airway Management (34%)
  2. Ap​plied Clinical Pharmacology (24%)
  3. Physiology and Pathophysiology (24%)
  4. Anesthesia Equipment and Technology (18%)

CPC Assessment Content Outline

The First CPC Assessment

Nurse anesthetists who are initially certified prior to January 1, 2020:

This first CPC Assessment is not a pass/fail exam, but rather a Performance Standard exam. Its purpose is simply to identify potential areas where a CRNA may need additional education. For the first CPC Assessment, CRNAs will maintain their certification, even if they do not meet the performance standard. Additional continuing education will be required in any area of weakness. Right now, this would be taking an additional Core Module, but the NBCRNA is considering other options as well.

The Second CPC Assessment

All nurse anesthetists who currently hold the CRNA credential will need to achieve the passing standard on the second CPC Assessment by 2032/2033, depending on an individual’s CPC cycle.

Nurse anesthetists will be allowed four attempts to achieve the passing standard on the CPC Assessment prior to their 2032 or 2033 deadline. The NBCRNA does not report the results of an individual assessment to the licensing boards. The NBCRNA reports the certification status at the end of the 4-year CPC cycle. A nurse anesthetist must pass the CPC Assessment by the end of the appropriate CPC cycle, using up to 4 attempts, in order to remain certified.

Cost for the CPC Assessment

Although it is difficult to precisely speculate about costs that are several years away, the NBCRNA estimates that if the CPC Assessment were developed and administered today it would cost a nurse anesthetist applying for the CPC Assessment approximately $300. This equates to $37.50 per year for the 8-year CPC Program period. This estimated CPC Assessment fee covers all NBCRNA-related costs for assessment development and administration.

Preparing for the CPC Assessment

To assist nurse anesthetists in preparing for the CPC Assessment, the NBCRNA publishes a CPC Assessment content outline and a list of references used to develop the CPC Assessment items. In addition, sample assessment questions have been developed to help familiarize nurse anesthetists with computer-administered examinations. These sample questions are  part of CPCA Practice.  Each nurse anesthetist is in the best position to determine what review methods may be necessary for him or her when preparing to sit for the CPC Assessment.