Carolyn Charles, BSN, RN, CPAN, CAPA
Becoming a nurse 38 years ago was the best decision I ever made, to spend my life caring for patients. I have gained so much experience working in various areas of patient care. The last 15 years of my career I have worked in the PeriAnesthesia Care Unit and found my home. I wanted to specialize in my area of practice and decided to become certified, a goal I had set for myself before I retired. In 2017, I decided to take both the CPAN and CAPA exams. I knew this was not going to be easy, but with anything worth obtaining, it meant commitment to reach my goal. Once I had a date set for the exams, I spent the next three months studying every single day, reviewing material, listening to DVD reviews, taking practice exams, and getting encouragement and advice from my coworkers who had become certified. They were an inspiration to me. Taking both exams and passing was a great accomplishment! I left the testing center feeling proud of myself. I was now among a unique group of certified professionals! At the time, Ohio had 21 dually certified perianesthesia nurses, and I became #22! In my unit there were five nurses with both CPAN and CAPA credentials. This is impressive and says so much about their caring and dedication to the specialty.
Having the CPAN and CAPA certification behind my name serves as a visible reminder to patients, their families, my peers, coworkers and other members of the healthcare team that I have taken that extra step to provide the safest and most competent care. And to ME it means that I have obtained a significant professional achievement.