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 pass/fail, but rather a Performance Standard assessment. 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.

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

The CPC Program was designed to evolve as new technologies and information that may benefit the program become available. This includes the Fall 2018 CPC Assessment (CPCA) Beta Research Study, the outcomes of which will influence the delivery environment of the CPCA. Although it is difficult to precisely speculate about costs that are several years away, the NBCRNA expects to have a cost estimate for the CPCA well ahead of its 2020 launch. (Note: this first Performance Standard Assessment, which will not impact one’s certification, may be taken in the 4-year cycle beginning in 2020 through 2024/2025).

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 assessments. 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.