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

***May 2021: There will be multiple CPCA testing windows each year, with the first windows opening in August and November of 2021. Applications for the August 2021 testing window will open in June.***

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

This three-hour, 150-question self-assessment can identify areas that may need additional study. 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.

It 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.

Check out the CPC Assessment TOOLKIT for a suite of helpful resources to help you learn about and prepare for the CPC Assessment. Whether you prefer to read, watch, or listen to information on the CPCA, the Toolkit has resources for everyone, including:

• Practice exams
• Content outline
• Overview video
• Podcasts, FAQs, and more 

CPCA ToolkitView all CPCA FAQs


How is the CPCA scored?

The CPCA is more like a self-assessment--it 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--a minimum of one Class A credit--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 open 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.

What is the cost?

The cost of the CPC Assessment is $295 every eight years. That's an annualized cost of $37 per year.

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.