Frequently Asked Questions About Recertification


Q: What are the eligibility requirements to recertify my CPAN® and or CAPA® Credential?
A: To recertify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Current, unrestricted RN license in the United State or any of its territories
  • A minimum of 900 hours of perianesthesia nursing practice during your three-year period of certification. *.
  • Successful completion of either the CPAN® or CAPA® examination (whichever credential you currently hold) OR attain 90 contact hours of continuing education as defined in the Recertification Handbook.

The perianesthesia scope of practice requirements include any role that supports or advances perianesthesia nursing, such as care coordination, direct patient care, education, informatics, leadership, navigation, patient/family liaison, quality improvement and research. The practice area for perianesthesia nursing is defined by Schick & Windle (2021) as:

“Perianesthesia nursing encompasses caring for patients during the pre-anesthesia level of care, (pre admission and day surgery/procedure), in post-anesthesia levels of care (Phase I, Phase II, and Extended Care), ambulatory care settings, extended observation settings, and special procedure areas (e.g. endoscopy, radiology, cardiovascular, oncology), obstetric units, pain management services, and physician or dental offices.” (p. xi).

Q: How do I know when it’s time to recertify my CPAN® and/or CAPA® Credential?
A: You will receive email notifications from ABPANC when it is time to recertify your credential. It is your responsibility to make sure your email is up to date, and that ABPANC is on your safe senders list. Please click here to view these deadlines.

Q: Can I recertify outside my Recertification Cycle?
A: No. If you acquired your credential in the spring, you may only recertify in the spring. If you acquired your credential in the fall, you may only recertify in the fall.

Q: I am both CPAN and CAPA certified. Can I recertify both credentials at the same time?
A: If you hold the CPAN and CAPA certification and both are due to be recertified in the same cycle, you must submit two separate Recertification Applications. If you are recertifying through ABPANC’s Continuing Education Program, you may use the same contact hours for both applications.

Q: Can my employer pay my recertification fee?
A: Yes, ABPANC offers a voucher program. Vouchers may be purchased through Learning Builder. Employers may register as an organization in Learning Builder to take advantage of the voucher program. Please click here to learn more.

Q: Does ABPANC offer financial support for Recertification?
A: Yes, ABPANC provides scholarships for recertification fees. To learn more and to apply, please click here.

Learning Builder

Q: What is the process to recertify my CPAN® and/or CAPA® Credential?
A: You have two options available when seeking Recertification: 1) by re-examination or 2) by contact hours through ABPANC’s Continuing Education Program.

You must recertify your CPAN and/or CAPA credential using the Learning Builder Portal, at cpancapa.learningbuilder.com. The Learning Builder system will be your one-stop recertification shop, where you will have the ability to keep track of your contact hours in real time. The CE dashboard is an invaluable tool which provides you with the information you need to successfully complete your recertification application. Having the ability to track your CE status allows you to make decisions about CE and learning activities (i.e. direct vs. indirect care) which will best help you meet your recertification needs.

Q: How do I log in to Learning Builder?
A: As a CPAN/CAPA certified nurse, your information has already been uploaded into the Learning Builder system. You may use the email address on file with ABPANC or your credential number (user ID) to access your account for the first time. Click here to request/reset your password.  View Video Tutorials

Q: How do I keep track of my continuing education activities and contact hours?
A: You can enter your contact hours and upload supporting documentation in the Learning Builder System. Every nurse seeking recertification is now required to submit the names and contact information of two verifiers, as well as supporting documentation of continuing education activities (if selected for audit) before his/her recertification can be processed.

Q: What are my options to earn contact hours?
A: You can find examples of the types of activities that are eligible for contact hours on page 9 of the Recertification Handbook. These may be things that you are doing already, including continuing education, academic coursework, teaching activities, authorship activities, facilitating quality care, and serving as a resource or leader. The Learning Builder system will automatically calculate your hours for you!

You may also earn free contact hours by volunteering with ABPANC! Please click here to learn about volunteering with ABPANC.

Q: What are Direct vs Indirect contact hours? How many hours of each do I need?
A: The care type of an activity depends on the subject matter, not your physical location. Direct care: If the subject matter directly relates to patients or the public (anything dealing with patient outcome). Indirect care: If the subject matter impacts nurses (legal, ethics, management, leadership).

Renewal cycle contact hour requirements:

Contact Hours (CEU’s) needed to recertify
Renewal cycle Required Total Direct Care required Remaining (Direct or Indirect) Total
First time (3 years certified) 90 60 30 90
Second time (6 years certified) 45 45
Third time or more (9+ years certified) 30 60

Q: Why am I being asked to be a verifier?
A: The Learning Builder System asks that individuals add the names of at least two people who can attest to their clinical eligibility and RN licensure. Individuals applying for recertification need at least 900 hours of direct clinical experience during their three year period of certification. Note: If you are asked to be a verifier for an individual who is recertifying, you are not verifying their continuing education hours.

Q: Why was I selected for Audit?
A: A random selection of 10% of all CPANs and 10% of all CAPAs due for Recertification is required to maintain standards with the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification. If you are selected for audit, you will be notified after submitting your recertification payment. Candidates selected for audit will no longer be required to mail or fax documentation of continuing education credits but will be required to upload documentation in the Learning Builder system.

Q: How do I get my CPAN or CAPA certificate?

A: Your certificate and wallet ID verifying your CPAN or CAPA certification are available for download in Learning Builder. Here are three easy steps to access your certificate and wallet ID:

  1. Log in to Learning Builder at https://cpancapa.learningbuilder.com/account/login/ and go to the “My Account” section in the top, right-hand corner. This takes you to your “Account Details” Section.
  2. Scroll down to the blue ribbon that says “CPAN/CAPA and Practitioner.”
  3. Click on your certification and scroll down to the bottom of the section. You will see “Download Certificate” and “Download Wallet ID” links. You can now print the downloaded certificate.

We encourage you to print and frame your certificate and laminate your wallet ID. ABPANC will no longer send certificates and wallet IDs in the mail.

Missed recertification deadline

Q: What can I do if I missed the deadline to recertify my CPAN® and/or CAPA® Credential?
A: If you miss the deadline to recertify your CPAN and/or CAPA credential, and you met all of the recertification eligibility requirements within the stated timeframe, you may apply for reinstatement. The reinstatement window will be open for three months following the end of the recertification window. There is an additional $175.00 fee to apply for reinstatement and your application will be selected for audit. Please click here to view the deadlines for Fall and Spring windows.

Hardship Policy

Q: What if I have experienced a financial hardship and I cannot afford to pay for my recertification?
A: ABPANC has a Hardship Policy that is intended to help certified CAPA and CPAN nurses in good standing by providing assistance to those nurses whose financial circumstances are such that full payment of the certification renewal would pose a financial hardship. To review eligibility, terms and conditions of the policy and to fill out the application form, go here.