Anna Sparks

Anna Sparks | BS, RN, CAPA

My Certification Story

I decided to study for the CAPA exam to enhance my ability to care for the pre and post op patients that I care for in ambulatory surgical setting. My unit manager, charge nurse and pre-admission testing coordinator all were CAPA certified and sparked my interest in certification as well. My story is unique in that I have actually certified twice. I took the exam several years ago and obtained my certification, but I missed my deadline to re-certify and my certification expired. I was disappointed in myself for my lapse in my certification, I realized at that point in time just how much certification meant to me. At first I didn't think that I would sit for the exam again, but I gradually began to pull out study materials and reviewed material for a period of 10 weeks. I value my certification and was willing to put in the time and effort to study. I am proud to say that I passed my certification (again) on May 7, 2018. I cannot stress enough the importance of certification. I challenge all pre/post op nurses to study and sit for the exam. No matter the outcome you will have gained more knowledge than from where you first started.

My Study Strategies

ABPANC has a fantastic app for CPAN and CAPA study resources. This app is free is and is so easy to download and navagiate. It is full of information and study tips. I loved having this app available on my phone, it was my mobile "study guide." I took advantage of the practice test. Everything is included in the blueprints. I found it to be very helpful to have access to the Wednesday "Question of the Week" and to study these questions. The app covers everything from introduction to testing locations.

My Benefits

Benefit and impact on patient care: Our unit has a strong focus on patient education and evidence based practice. Certification enhances knowledge and understanding of the reason for evidence based nursing. It is so important to teach a patient and family on pre and post op care, but it makes a stronger impact to be able to explain the rational behind the teaching.

My Advice

I strongly advise the certified nurse to keep CEU's up to date, 3 years roll around quicker than you think! By all means, if your certification has lasped, study, schedule a test date, and sit for the exam. For any nurse that has taken the exam and did not pass, take it again. Take full advantage of tools offered to help you. Coaching is availab