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 70 contact hours of perianesthesia-related 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 19 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: 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.

New CPAN® and CAPA® Recertification Requirements FAQ’s

The primary goal of ABPANC’s recertification program is to support the perianesthesia nurse and to ensure focused professional development experiences that enhance patient care and outcomes.

Perianesthesia related content.

Q: How do I know which contact hours are perianesthesia related?
A: When submitting your contact hours consider the question: “Does this activity advance perianesthesia nursing practice?” If the answer is yes, chances are good that these hours will count towards your CPAN and/or CAPA recertification.

Guidance for Recertification Activities – Continuing Education

Continuing education offered by a professional entity may be applied toward the contact hour requirement for the CPAN or CAPA recertification application as long as the education/activity is related to perianesthesia nursing as defined by the knowledge topics in the CPAN or CAPA Role Delineation Study (RDS) and meets the guidelines outlined in the CPAN/CAPA Recertification Handbook. Click here for an overview of these knowledge areas.

Q: Do COVID 19 classes still count towards recertification?
A: Yes, COVID 19 classes that are related to perianesthesia patient care will count towards your recertification.

Q: Will the non perianesthesia related activities previously entered be automatically deleted from my learning plan?
A: No, however, if you identify any previously entered contact hours on your learning plan that no longer qualify for recertification, please email us at abpanc@cpancapa.org and we will delete them for you.

Obtaining perianesthesia related CEU’s.

Q: Will everything offered through ASPAN, or similar nursing organizations, be acceptable or does it have to be strictly perianesthesia related?
A: ASPAN’s accredited, perianesthesia-specific educational offerings represent the caliber of content our nurses should seek to keep their certification current. These contact hours, and those offered through other organizations that focus on advancing the practice of perianesthesia nursing, will qualify towards recertification.

Q: Is there a provider or resource you recommend where I can access perianesthesia-specific content?
A: Any provider that offers eligible content may be used. Continuing education classes do not need to be formally approved and can be offered by hospitals, professional organizations, or independent educational groups. Classes do not need to be approved for CEUs by an approved provider.

These types of activities advance the practice of perianesthesia nursing and will count towards recertification:

  • Committee/Policy Work
  • Precepting
  • Teaching classes
  • Writing and submitting journal/newsletter articles
  • Staff education creation
  • Patient education creation
  • Unit Council

Q. Will education courses taken while pursuing a BSN, MSN, or Doctorate count towards my recertification?
A: Academic courses offered by accredited colleges or universities that advance the nursing profession are eligible towards recertification. To qualify, you must have completed and passed the course within your recertification cycle, and a class transcript must be provided.

2024 recertification renewals.

Q: I am due to renew my certification in 2024. How can I be sure that the activities I’ve previously uploaded to Learning Builder will qualify towards recertification?
A: The perianesthesia scope of practice requirements include any role that supports or advances perianesthesia nursing. Activities that are not perianesthesia specific and will no longer qualify for recertification beginning January 1, 2024 include:

  • Active Shooter Training/Drills
  • HIPAA Information
  • Fire/Safety Information
  • General Health Stream-Related Activities (Only perianesthesia-specific activities will
  • Annual / Onboarding Compliance Training
  • Volunteer Activities Outside of Those Specified Below (Example: School Board,
    Neighborhood Walks, Food Pantry, etc.)
  • Hospital-based Annual Competencies

Please note: CPAN and/or CAPA nurses with a recertification period after January 1, 2024, will not be able to count contact hours that are no longer eligible, even if the activities had been previously uploaded to the renewal application in Learning Builder.

Q. Can someone review my activities in Learning Builder to confirm they qualify?
A: We are unable to review your individual learning plan prior to submission. Information uploaded into Learning Builder is not reviewed until after the recertification application is

Recertification audit.

Q: If my application is approved, should I assume that all my activities were acceptable as perianesthesia specific?
A: No. 10% of recertification candidates within each window are randomly selected for audit. If you are not selected for audit, your application will be approved if enough of your submissions meet the minimum requirements for recertification. If you submit additional hours above the required amount, you may not be notified if those hours are not eligible for recertification.

Old verification forms.

Q: I left my previous hospital, but I was able to complete the old verification forms with my previous manager. Would they be okay to use for the renewal next year?
A: ABPANC will accept old verification forms for any activities submitted prior to January 2024. New verification forms must be submitted for all activities after January 2024. The new verification form will be available on the ABPANC website later this year.

Educator/nurse leader roles.

Q: Would these changes affect those in alternate roles (nurse educator, nursing college instructors/lecturers, or nurse leaders) and the hours they have taught or classes they have taken to fulfill their role?
A: Perianesthesia nursing is not a setting, it is the specialty care you provide. ABPANC acknowledges that many of you were deployed to a variety of practice settings where you
continued to provide care to patients that received sedation or anesthesia. Activities obtained in these roles would still count towards recertification:

  • Care coordination
  • Direct patient care
  • Education
  • Informatics
  • Leadership
  • Navigation
  • Patient/family liaison
  • Quality improvement
  • Research

Q: Will the precepting leader training classes I have taken still count?
A: Yes, we provide contact hours for precepting, so preceptor training classes also count.

Q: Would precepting student nurses count towards my recertification, or only those that I precept in my unit?
A: Yes, precepting student nurses is eligible towards recertification.