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CNS-CP Certification


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In this webinar, we review the Clinical Nurse Specialist Perioperative Certification Exam (CNS-CP) and who it is for, how to prepare for it, and how it will elevate the care given to patients. The purpose of the CNS-CP Exam is to provide recognition for those CNSs serving in an advanced practice perioperative specialty. Please watch the recorded version on YouTube at

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CNS-CP Certification

  2. 2. HOUSEKEEPING DETAILS • Today’s webinar is being recorded and will be available soon. • Submit questions via the chat feature in the lower left hand corner of your screen. • Questions will be answered during and at the end of the webinar. • If you need additional information about CNS-CP certification, please call us at 888-257-2667. 2
  3. 3. YOUR HOST FOR TONIGHT’S WEBINAR •Julie Mower, MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR, CNS-CP Nurse Manager for Education and Credentialing, CCI 3
  4. 4. OBJECTIVES 1. Define advanced practice nursing. 2. Discuss educational preparation required for the APRN. 3. Summarize major components of APRN Consensus Model as they apply to specialty certification. 4. Discuss the process for applying for the CNS-CP exam. 4
  5. 5. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): • Has completed a graduate-level (Master’s, Doctoral, or Post-Master’s certificate) education program • Has obtained a license to practice in one of the following roles: • Clinical Nurse Specialist • Nurse Practitioner • Certified Nurse Midwife • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist These nurses can diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments and medications
  6. 6. POST-MASTER’S CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS • University of Detroit, Mercy • University of CA San Francisco School of Nursing • University of Missouri • University of Michigan • Check with the school where you completed your master’s program 6
  7. 7. TRENDS WORTH PAYING ATTENTION TO • Many states are beginning to require certification to practice as an APRN. • Many schools are phasing out their MSN programs and offering a BSN-DNP program. • Check grandfathering clauses in your state. 7
  8. 8. DEFINITION OF CNS • Licensed registered nurses who have graduate preparation (Master’s or Doctorate) in nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. • Clinical Nurse Specialists are expert clinicians in a specialized area of nursing practice. The specialty may be identified in terms of: • Population (e.g. pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health) • Setting (e.g. critical care, emergency room) • Disease or Medical Subspecialty (e.g. diabetes, oncology) • Type of Care (e.g. psychiatric, rehabilitation) • Type of Problem (e.g. pain, wounds, stress) • Clinical Nurse Specialists practice in a wide variety of health care settings. • From: NACNS. (2016). CNS FAQs. Retrieved July 25, 2016 from 8
  9. 9. APRN CONSENSUS MODEL • Collaboration between National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) APRN Advisory Committee and APRN Consensus Work Group. • Published in 2008. • Expected implementation 2015. 9
  10. 10. PURPOSE OF CONSENSUS MODEL • Provide standardized definitions for APRN roles • Identify four essential elements of APRN regulation • LACE (Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education) • Ultimate goal: Promote patient safety and protect the public 10
  14. 14. CONSENSUS MODEL & SPECIALTY CERTIFICATION • Most CNSs have specialized in either a specific patient population or health care need (e.g., congestive heart failure or pediatrics) or setting (e.g., acute care or perioperative). • Specialty education/practice is in addition to education in an APRN role/population foci. • State boards will not regulate the APRN at the level of specialties. 14
  15. 15. SOUNDS GREAT-AM I ELIGIBLE? 15 Eligibility criteria • Includes education, licensure, and experience • For more information go to
  16. 16. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA-EDUCATION Must meet one of the following requirements: • Graduated from an accredited (CCNE or NLNAC) graduate, post-master’s certificate, or postgraduate program in nursing (Master’s or higher) which has prepared applicant for CNS role. Program contains 3P’s and 500 hour practicum. OR • Graduation from CNS program with documented advanced practice role in lieu of 3P’s and 500 hour practicum. 16
  17. 17. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA-LICENSURE • Current, full, unrestricted license (RN and/or APRN) or recognition as a CNS by State Board of Nursing 17
  18. 18. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA-LICENSURE cont. • Optional: • APRN license. • Recognition as a CNS by State Board of Nursing. • Primary population certification as a CNS. 18
  19. 19. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA-EXPERIENCE Must meet one of the following requirements: • Applicants may sit for CNS perioperative specialty certification exam upon graduation from an accredited CNS prepared Master’s program which includes 3P’s and 500 clinical hours OR • Applicants who graduated from accredited programs prior to implementation of Consensus Model education standards must validate 2,400 practice hours and two years as a practicing CNS 19
  20. 20. IN ADDITION.... • You must have completed a minimum of 2 years and 2,400 hours as a perioperative nurse. • Of those 2, 400 hours, 1,200 must be in the intraoperative setting. 20
  21. 21. WHAT THE CNS-CP CREDENTIAL WILL DO • Validates the unique skills and knowledge of the CNS practicing in the perioperative setting. • Aligns us with other specialty nursing organizations that offer an advanced practice certification. 21
  22. 22. WHAT THE CNS-CP WILL NOT DO • Take the place of initial licensure/certification as a CNS. • Eliminate the need to obtain a master’s or DNP degree. • Add an additional population focus or role to the Consensus Model. 22
  23. 23. SUBJECT AREAS FOR EXAM Domain Required number of contact hours if scored less than at competency level 1: Clinical expert in the delivery of advanced practice perioperative care 30 questions 2: Consultant (Intra-and multidisciplinary) 15 questions 3: Education (nurse, other healthcare providers, patient, family, and community 15 questions 4: Clinical inquiry 15 questions 5: Organizational and systems thinking 17 questions 6. Professional accountability 8 questions TOTAL 100 scored questions 23
  24. 24. EXAM PREP/ RESOURCES • • Handbook • FAQ’s • Exam updates • Eligibility requirements • Application form • APRN website “APRNsights” • Sample job descriptions • Core curriculums with perioperative implications • Resources • References 24
  25. 25. STUDY TIPS 1. Use blueprint to develop study plan. 2. Review task and knowledge statements and reference books listed on bibliography at 3. Look at gaps in primary education and spend extra time addressing those. 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. APPLICATION • The following must be submitted before approval to take the exam can be granted: • Application form (downloaded at • Original transcript-no copies!! • Current resume or CV. • Verification of RN/APRN license. • Verification of primary certification, if held. • Cost= $425. No discount for AORN membership. 27
  28. 28. RECERTIFICATION • Certification is good for 5 years. • Recertify via combination of contact hours and activities. • Number of contact hours required is based on performance on the exam • Domains scored at less than competent • CH offerings must be related to the domain(s) • Require 10 pharm credits regardless of performance on exam. 28
  29. 29. Questions? 2011
  30. 30. REFERENCES AND RESOURCES • American Nurses Association. (2011). Advanced Practice Nurses. Available at • CCI. APRNsights. Available at • CCI. CNS-CP. Available at • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). Available at • NCSBN. (2008). Consensus Modelfor APRN regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education. Available at • AORN Advanced Practice Specialty Assembly. Available at
  31. 31. Please know that the CCI staff is here to help you achieve CNS perioperative specialty certification. If you have questions, please contact us at 888-257-2667 or 2011