International CPAN

International CPAN

What is the International CPAN exam?

The Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse exam is designed for registered nurses caring for patients who have experienced sedation, analgesia and anesthesia in a hospital or ambulatory care facility.

Perianesthesia nursing is a unique nursing specialty requiring its own professional certification program as a means to protect the public.

About the International Exam:

  • ABPANC’s international CPAN exam will be written based on U.S. clinical practice standards.
  • The exam form includes updated measurements using the metric system, use of Celsius and Fahrenheit for temperature, as well as other measures.
  • International exam forms will be offered in English only.

Click here for information about the composition of the exam.

Who should consider becoming certified?

Do you want to proudly showcase your expertise in providing care as a perianesthesia nurse? Are you located outside of the United States and considering working within the United States? Is your hospital looking to become Magnet certified? This certification is for you!

Earn your CPAN certification and join an elite group of board certified perianesthesia nursing professionals. Become CPAN certified to:

  • Improve patient care and safety
  • Enhance employer confidence
  • Validate professional experience
  • Commit to lifelong learning
  • Strengthen credibility
  • Increase earning potential

Why get certified?

The medical landscape is continually changing, and certification is the constant that keeps you a step ahead, allowing you to keep current with trends, procedures, and legal matters. While health care issues can change rapidly, studying for, taking your CPAN exam, and then maintaining that credential allows you to stay abreast of these overarching changes, as well as the specific changes in the PACU and around ambulatory services that affect your practice. Knowing that you have this prestigious credential will encourage your patients to seek more clarity and show them that you have a desire for knowledge.

Certification has tangible benefits for nurses, patients, their employers, and patients and families.

Through certification, nurses:

  • Validate their expert knowledge, experience and clinical judgment.
  • Make decisions with greater confidence.
  • Experience personal growth.
  • Commit to career development.
  • Dedicate themselves to quality patient care.

For employers:

  • Certification allows hospitals to differentiate themselves from competitors and demonstrates to consumers that they have attracted the most skilled and experienced nursing professionals.
  • Support for continuing education and certification are essential elements in job satisfaction and nurse retention.
  • Ongoing education and experience reduce a nurse’s exposure to risk and better prepares him/her to make informed decisions.

For patients and their families:

  • Today’s acutely ill patients require heightened vigilance and extraordinarily intricate care from highly skilled health professionals.
  • Studies have shown that patients and families prefer hospitals that employ nurses with specialty certification.
  • It is vital to assure the public that health care professionals are competent; patients and families benefit from certification as a mark of excellence.

ABPANC’s mission statement is “Elevating perianesthesia nursing excellence, knowledge, and patient advocacy through certification.” Expanding this mission to include our international nurses works to fulfill this mission within the specialty nursing community. ABPANC announced the International CPAN exam at the 2023 International Collaboration of PeriAnaesthesia Nurses (ICPAN) meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We are excited to welcome our first group of international candidates starting in January 2024!

Exam Eligibility:

  • To be eligible to register for the International CPAN exam, perianesthesia nurses must be able to demonstrate:
    • At least 1,200 hours of direct clinical experience obtained within the two years prior to applying for initial certification AND
      • An active, unrestricted Registered Nurse license in the United States or in countries that use the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination (NCLEX) as a basis for determining RN licensure
      • A current nursing license or equivalent in their country AND that the license has been verified for equivalency by CGFNS, WES, or ERES as recognized by the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).

Additional information about the exam can be found here:

About Exams

Exam Registration Process & Fees:

  • Exam registration will be processed on Learning Builder, ABPANC’s application platform.
  • Payment will be made using credit cards in U.S. dollars. International transaction fees may apply.
  • Click here for a list of fees and important dates.

Exam Preparation:

ABPANC offers a wide range of resources to help you study and prepare for the CPAN certification exams. The Certification Candidate Handbook describes all information and policies regarding the CPAN examinations and administrations. Read this Handbook thoroughly and carefully before registering for examinations.

Additional exam preparation resources are available here:

Exam Prep

Taking the Exam:

ABPANC partners with the testing company, PSI, which supports millions of test takers every year with multi‐modal testing options, through a global test center network, and via online proctoring. PSI delivers millions of tests every year worldwide and offers secure testing online that gives organizations and test takers the confidence their tests are conducted fairly.

Working with our exam administration partners, PSI, ABPANC will allow international candidates to take the exam via:

  • Live Remote Proctoring
  • PSI International Test Centers
  • PSI U.S. and Canadian Test Centers

Click here for more information about taking a remote exam.

Do you have questions about taking the International Exam? Please contact ABPANC at


ABPANC is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).

The CPAN and CAPA certification programs have maintained accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), since 2004. ABSNC is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification. ABSNC accreditation is a peer-review mechanism that allows nursing certification organizations to obtain accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the highest quality standards available in the credentialing industry.

ABPANC currently certifies more than 12,600 perianesthesia nurses who have earned the CPAN and/or CAPA credentials.

No candidate for initial certification or recertification will be denied the opportunity to participate in the ABPANC certification and/or recertification program on the basis of ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.