Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)

A certified post anesthesia nurse (CPAN) specializes in the care of patients who have recently undergone surgery or any other procedure that requires the use of anesthesia. Certified post anesthesia nurses must meet the physiological, behavioral/cognitive, safety and advocacy needs of these patients, who may still be under the influences of anesthesia or who may be coping with its after effects.

Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse Career

The duties of a certified post anesthesia nurse include working with patients immediately following surgery and treating the side effects of anesthesia. Nurses in this position need to know how to work with ventilators, multi-drug drips and other instruments that stay with patients coming out of the operating room. Patients recovering from anesthesia can be unstable and may fall ill easily.

A certified post anesthesia nurse needs excellent assessment skills to react to a patient’s changing status quickly and efficiently. He or she also works with a variety of physicians, from anesthesiologists to surgeons. Nurses with a CPAN credential may work in hospitals and same-day surgery centers and often work in a special area or unit of a hospital or clinic designated for patients who have had surgery or conscious sedation—such as a colonoscopy.

Post Anesthesia Nurse Education

Post-anesthesia nurse education programs will begin the same way for every student. Completion of an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. Programs are widely available across the United States, with schedules designed to accommodate full- and part-time students.

Many options are available for classroom or online study with clinical completed on-site. In addition to fulfilling general education requirements, both associate and bachelor’s nursing programs focus on providing core content in patient assessment and care and lead to eligibility to sit for the Registered Nurse (RN) exam in the state of practice.

Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse Certification

To become a Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN®), a candidate must first obtain unrestricted RN licensure in the United States and have a minimum of 1,200 hours of direct perianesthesia clinical experience in the two years prior to applying to take the certification exam. Once the application, documentation and fees are submitted and approved, the candidate may sit for the exam. The American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc. (ABPANC, Inc) also offers another certification program, Certified Ambulatory PeriAnesthesia Nurse (CAPA®). Depending upon the patient setting and the level of involvement with the patient throughout the anesthesia process, the post-anesthesia nurse may opt to get both certifications.

ABPANC, Inc - CPAN Certification

Eligibility Requirements: a valid and unrestricted registered nurse license and 1,200 direct patient interaction hours in postanesthesia within two years prior to application
Fees: $314 for American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) members or $424 for non-members
Renewal Process: Recertify your CPAN certification by retaking the exam or by earning 90 contact hours in direct and indirect perianesthesia care. Recertification applicants must have a current, unrestricted RN license in the US or its territories, a minimum of 900 hours of perianesthesia nursing practice during the three years of certification.

Information for the CPAN certification from ABPANC, Inc was last updated on February 5, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, refer to ABPANC, Inc’s website.

State Nursing Certification Information

 

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