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What is the best way to prepare for the certification exam for perianesthesia nursing?

Wednesday December 12, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I have been a nurse for more than 40 years. The hospital where I work is now mandating that we become certified in our specialty — for me, this is perianesthesia nursing. I am quite worried, since I have not taken a test like this since my boards. Can you advise me on the best way to prepare for this exam?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Worried,

It's normal to be apprehensive about taking a certification exam, but with the proper preparation combined with your experience, you should do fine.

If you are applying for the certification offered by the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification (cpancapa.org), you will find a very helpful study plan here http://www.cpancapa.org/pdfs/CPAN_CAPA-StudyPlan.pdf. The plan includes references to the material you need to study, most of which can be found or purchased on the site of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nursing (aspan.org) under the "Clinical Practice" tab. Between the two sites, you should find everything you need. You can even find practice exams here at http://www.cpancapa.org/certification/practice_exams.php

You should connect with other nurses who have already taken this exam (co-workers, supervisors, members of ASPAN) for some support, advice and tutoring if necessary.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.