Over 3,000 Potential Volunteers for CPCA Pilot  

In August 2019, the NBCRNA sent a call for 600 volunteers for a pilot administration of the Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA). Those interested in participating were asked to complete a brief survey. When the survey closed on August 19, 2019, more than 3,000 CRNAs had taken the survey. The final participants will be selected to be representative of the CRNA population (using key demographic characteristics) and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those accepted for the pilot will be notified by September 30, 2019, and the pilot testing period will start and end in February 2020.

General information about the pilot: As was announced this past February (2019), the CPCA is not pass/fail, but rather the required self-evaluation component of the CPC Program. All CRNAs will eventually need to take the CPCA, but this is an opportunity to take it early and at a 50% discount ($150 vs. $295 published fee), while checking off this requirement. All CRNAs are invited to take the survey for possible participation, but the final participants will be selected to be representative of the CRNA population and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Deadline to take survey for possible participation was August 19, 2019.


The window to submit your name for possible participation in the CPCA pilot was open through August 19, 2019. The pilot testing period will start on February 3, 2020 and end on February 22, 2020. 



Pilot participants who meet the performance standard on the CPCA pilot will have met the assessment requirement for their current 8-year CPC period. Those who do not meet the performance standard on the CPCA pilot will not have to test again, but will need to take continuing education in domains noted as needing improvement. This requirement is the same for both pilot participants and any CRNA taking the CPCA in the future. Learn more about Continued Professional Certification and the CPCA here. 


If selected, you will have the option to test at either Pearson VUE test centers OR from your home using remote proctoring. 

AT A TESTING CENTER: Click here and enter “NBCRNA” to see where the Pearson VUE testing centers are located.

AT HOME: For those piloting the CPCA remotely using their own computer equipment, see the basic system/technology requirements in the FAQ below.

CPC Assessment Pilot FAQs

  • Q What is the Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA)?

    The purpose of the CPCA is to assess and drive enhancement in the evidence-based core knowledge of CRNAs in the four core domains of nurse anesthesia practice:
    • Airway Management (34%)
    • Applied Clinical Pharmacology (24%)
    • Physiology and Pathophysiology (24%)
    • Anesthesia Equipment and Technology (18%)

    The CPCA 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. CRNAs will maintain their certification, even if they do not meet the performance standard, provided that they complete additional focused continuing education in any area where the performance standard is not met. CRNAs who meet the standard will not need to do anything outside of the current CPC requirements.

Pilot Benefits

  • Q Why should I participate? What are the benefits to me?

    NBCRNA is conducting this pilot to assure that registration and administration processes are working smoothly. By participating as pilot testers for the CPCA, you will be serving your profession by providing feedback on how the CPCA registration and administration are functioning. In addition, you will receive a discounted fee for the CPCA.

    Those CRNAs who participate will be able to take the CPCA at a reduced rate of $150, which is 50% off the fee. Also, participants will be taking the assessment prior to its official release and so will be completing this requirement at the earliest opportunity. If you meet the performance standard, this attempt will count towards the assessment component of your CPC compliance. If you do not meet the performance standard, you do not take the CPCA again (in this 8-year CPC period), but instead will need to take additional continuing education in the area(s) where improvement is needed.
  • Q Will there be any compensation or honorarium for participation?

    Participants will have a reduction in the CPCA fee (almost 50% off), but will not receive compensation for travel-related expenses to take the assessment. Also, there is no honorarium for participation and this activity does not qualify for the award of any CE credits.
  • Q If I do agree to participate what do I have to do?

    You will be required to:
    • submit a recent headshot photo for your file at NBCRNA. 
    • register for the CPCA, providing all necessary information and paying the $150 fee when the registration period opens December 2, 2019. 
    • take the assessment in the condition (remote or testing center) to which you were assigned. 
    • thoughtfully complete the survey at the end of the CPCA to assist NBCRNA in evaluating the Pilot process, and, will respond to any follow-up questions from NBCRNA.

Pilot Criteria

  • Q What is the criteria for participation?

    The following conditions will serve as inclusion criteria for the CPCA pilot (all conditions must be met):
    1) Persons currently holding full unrestricted certification as nurse anesthetists (holding the CRNA credential), with an unrestricted RN license
    2) Participation in NBCRNA's CPC Program (currently initially certified or recertified)
    3) Meet the eligibility criteria for the CPC Assessment
    5) Consent for participation 6) Ability to travel to the testing center (for those taking at a test center conditions)
    7) Ability to meet the technical requirements for computer equipment and internet connectivity (click here for specifics)
  • Q Why would someone be excluded from this pilot?

    You would be excluded if you
    • do not meet all the inclusion criteria listed above
    • apply after enough volunteer participants have been identified
    • serve on the NBCRNA Board or staff, CPCA Subcommittee, or have taken the CPCA during the Fall 2018 Beta Window.

Pilot Assessment Details

  • Q What is the Assessment format?

    The CPCA pilot is a 150-question, closed-book, computer-based test that participants will have up to three hours to complete. The questions are multiple choice or multi-select (more than one correct answer).
    The CPCA will assess knowledge in the four core domains of nurse anesthesia practice. The domains and the corresponding weighted percentages on the CPCA are as follows:
    • Airway Management (34%)
    • Applied Clinical Pharmacology (24%)
    • Human Physiology and Pathophysiology (24%)
    • Anesthesia Technology and Equipment (18%)
    The detailed content outline for the CPCA can be accessed here.
  • Q Where will I take the CPCA pilot?

    The assessment will be taken in one of the locations noted below. 
    1) Testing Center: Certificants in this group will take the CPCA pilot in an NBCRNA-approved testing center location. You can view current locations here; enter NBCRNA as the program name where prompted. 
    2) Remote: Participants in this group will take the CPCA pilot in their home or office with remote proctoring provided by the testing vendor.
         • Participants will be required to have internet access and a computer with a camera that the proctor will use to observe you during the exam.
         • The vendor may require you to install additional software.
         • Participants will not be allowed to use any resources (i.e., textbooks or e-books) during the exam.
         • Remote participants are prohibited from using touch screen computer for the CPCA pilot, as they are incompatible with the assessment software and may cause irregularities and disruptions that can negatively impact candidate performance and results.

  • Q For participants testing at a test center, where are the Pearson VUE testing centers located?

    Pearson VUE has test center locations throughout the US. The list of testing center locations can be found at here; enter NBCRNA where prompted. Participants will make an appointment at the test center of their choice during the scheduling window, which begins on December 2, 2019. A confirmation email with the address and driving directions to the testing site, instructions regarding arrival time, and what to bring, will be sent to all scheduled participants prior to their testing date. 
  • Q For participants testing with remote proctoring. What are the computer hardware and software requirements for this test?

    You can view the technical requirements and do a test run with your equipment by clicking here.
  • Q What if I’m sick or have an emergency the day of the test?

    Participants will receive instructions concerning canceling or rescheduling an appointment after they make their testing appointment. Instructions will differ based on the testing location—testing center versus remote proctoring.
  • Q How do I prepare for this assessment?

    To prepare you may utilize any of the following suggestions:
    • Utilize the detailed content outline for the assessment, which can be found at www.nbcrna.com/cpcaOutline to help guide your study.
    • Use your own resource and reference books.
    • Review the NBCRNA’s two CPC Practice assessments online, both available on the NBCRNA website. (www.nbcrna.com/cpcaPractice)

Pilot Schedule

  • Q What are the actual dates of notification, testing, and results?

    You will receive notice concerning selection for the Pilot by September 30, 2019.

    If selected, you will receive a notice instructing you to schedule your CPCA in early December.

    You should schedule your CPCA as soon as possible to be sure to get the time (and location) most convenient for you. 

    The CPCA testing window opens on February 3, 2020 and closes on February 22, 2020.
    You will receive results from the CPCA in early April 2020.
  • Q What will my score report look like?

    You will receive an overall score report that will indicate if you have met the performance standard. If you did not meet the performance standard, you will not need to take the assessment again in this 8-year CPC period, but you will need to take continuing education in domains where it was indicated that improvement is needed. 

Pilot Confidentiality

  • Q What is the level of confidentiality?

    Like all individual’s NBCRNA assessment data, your information will be kept confidential. 
  • Q Who will my CPCA pilot scores be shared with?

    Only limited assessment data will be released, and then only to you. Deidentified assessment data, used in aggregate, may be utilized in future for NBCRNA quality improvement purposes.

NBCRNA Visiting Research Fellowship

In August 2019, the NBCRNA launched its new Visiting Research Fellowship (VRF) Program with a call for applications.The VRF is a competitive two-year fellowship program stemming from the work of the NBCRNA Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee (ERAC) to provide a fellowship opportunity to CRNAs interested in performing research into professional certification and credentialing. The application deadline was August 20, 2019 and the fellowship will begin in fall 2019.

The NBCRNA is focused on research to develop an evidenced-based evaluation of all recommendations related to the credentialing programs brought forward by stakeholders to help inform the NBCRNA and any potential changes to the CPC Program.

Read more about NBCRNA’s research initiatives here. Questions? Email nominations@nbcrna.com or call 855-285-4658.