Jennifer LaFon | RN, CAPA
My Certification Story
My story began 3 years ago, when I was offered a job, that at the time I did not know would change my whole nursing career. I went into the PACU of an ambulatory surgery center with nursing knowledge, but no surgical or perianesthesia knowledge. And soon after, I met the most amazing mentor and boss who saw something in me, and knew I was going places. Thank goodness for her!! Because in those three years that I have been there, I have gone from PACU, Preop, Endo, Charge Nurse, and now to being the Preop/PACU Nurse Manager!. Which leads me to why it was so important for me to become certified. Our facility only had one certified nurse in the Preop/PACU area, and I wanted to change that, by becoming certified myself, so I can now encourage my staff to also take that next step.
My Study Strategies
I am going to be honest and say that I did not use all the resources available to me. There were SOOOO many!! Which is great, but my strategy was to do the review questions over and over and over for a few weeks leading up to the exam. And I started with the areas that I knew I needed the most help with.
Becoming certified immediately impacted job, as my staff became very interested. As soon as I returned to work the next day everyone wanted to know how the test went and what resources I used to study. One of my nurses has already taken my review book to start studying, and a few other nurses have requested information about the test, from me. I feel that this was a huge step for our facility, and I can't wait to see how many others will be sitting for the exam next.
Keep trying!!! Honestly, I went into the exam very relaxed, thinking if I don't pass the first time, it's not the end of the world. Retaking this exam is ok, if needed. But study the material, use the resources available to you, and you will do great!!