The Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA) is required once every 8 years

What is the CPC Assessment?

The CPC Assessment is a performance standard assessment, not a pass/fail exam so it is more like a self-assessment. It assesses your knowledge in the four core knowledge areas (domains) of nurse anesthesia practice:

  • Airway Management
  • Applied Clinical Pharmacology
  • Human Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • Anesthesia Equipment, Technology, and Safety

The CPCA can be used as a self-assessment to identify areas that may need additional study. It is a three-hour assessment that includes 150 questions. It can be taken at home or other quiet, distraction-free location (with good internet access), or at a testing center--it's your choice.

The CPCA is different than the National Certification Examination (NCE). We understand that the knowledge required of an experienced CRNA differs from that required of a new practitioner.

The CPCA is based on a nationwide practice analysis of hundreds of practicing nurse anesthetists to ensure the knowledge covered is common to all CRNAs, regardless of practice focus.

There will be multiple CPCA testing windows each year, with the first windows to open in August and November of 2021. More information and details will be available in early May.

View All CPCA FAQs

How is the CPCA scored?

The CPCA is not pass/fail and does not impact your certification. The pass/fail component was removed in February 2019.

It is designed to provide feedback on your strengths and weaknesses in different knowledge areas--similar to a self-assessment. Scores are measured against a defined performance standard to identify any areas where additional study is needed. 

Will my performance on the CPCA affect my credential?

No, your performance on the CPCA will not affect your CRNA credential as long as you successfully complete additional targeted continuing education in any area where the performance standard is not met. The choice of additional continuing education, as well as the number of credits (at least one), is completely up to you. If you meet the standard, no additional credits are needed (outside of the standard CPC Program requirements).

When do I need to take the CPCA?

You are required to take a CPCA once every eight years. You can take it in any testing window during your second 4-year cycle. The exact date is up to you, as long as the CPCA is completed at least six months before your credential renewal deadline.

To see your personalized CPC Program Timeline, log into your portal on the NBCRNA website.


How can I study and prepare for the CPCA?

We understand you may have some concerns when it comes to the CPC Assessment, especially if it's been years since you've taken a test. And we know you don't have a lot of free time to study, given everything you already have on your plate.

To guide you, we have developed a toolkit so you can prepare and understand what to expect. Toolkit resources include:

  • CPCA Content Outline: Become familiar with the main topics on the assessment. Please note, this outline is provided to help clarify content. It is not exhaustive or all-inclusive.
  • Practice Exams:
    • Quick20: A free 20-question sample assessment with unlimited attempts designed to get you comfortable with the types of questions you can expect on the CPCA.
    • CPCA Practice I and II: Use these online practice exams to assess your knowledge and identify areas that need additional study. You can earn a total of four Class A credits when you achieve an 80% passing score in your first three attempts for completing the CPCA Practice I and II.
    •  access Practice Tests 

  • CPCA Bibliographywhich lists the sources used by NBCRNA item writers to support questions on the CPCA.
  • Question of the Week (QOTW): Become familiar with the types of questions and content on the CPCA. The QOTW is published every Friday on NBCRNA's social media -- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow us!

Where can I take the CPCA?

You choose when and where to take the CPCA, either online in your home or other preferred setting, or at a testing center during testing windows.

What is the cost?

The cost of the CPC Assessment is $295 every eight years.