Certification History

History of the PeriAnesthesia Nursing Certification Examination:

NAPAN© submitted a Proposal to the CNA for Designation of PeriAnesthesia Nursing as a Specialty in June, 2010 as the application for specialty designation.  Once designated as a specialty, it is then possible to request our own Certification Examination in PeriAnesthesia Nursing with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).  


This proposal was accepted in October, 2010 with a follow up letter confirming this acceptance in February, 2011. 

Read on to see the steps in our quest for Certification Examination development.......

Certification Timelines and Projects Completed and those still Underway (in reverse order from most recent to first steps): 


January, 2016:  First Study guides available. Please check the CNA website


January, 2015:  Watch this website for information on how to apply for NAPAN©'s many Bursaries for Certification for 2015.


October, 2014:  Watch this website for information on the NAPAN© Study Guide for Certification, and how to receive your copy.


June 1, 2014:  Certification Bursary winners are announced.  The successful recipients are:  


Recipients of the NAPAN© Bursaries:  Chris Douglas, AB, Faisal Kassam, AB, Paula Ferguson, ON

Recipient of the Laura Van Loon Bursary:  Kathy Jellow, SK

Recipient of the Paula Ferguson Bursary:  Thao Le, QC

Recipient of the ANSPAN Bursaries:  Sandra Newton, NS and Angeline Comeau, NS

Recipient of the PANGS Bursary:  Evelyn Seip, SK, Laura Van Loon, SK


Three of the above Bursaries were graciously donated to NAPAN© for Bursaries to be set up in individual names for the 2015 Certification exam (Thao Le Bursary, Laura Van Loon Bursary, Paula Ferguson Bursary).  No applications were received for the third ANSPAN Bursary which will be carried over until 2015.  


April 5, 2014:  The first examination for Certification is written by over 100 PeriAnesthesia nurses across Canada.  


January, 2014:  The call goes out all across Canada, advertising 10 Bursaries through NAPAN© for PeriAnesthesia nurses to apply before the deadline May 15, 2014.


September, 2013:  Registration opens with the CNA for Certification Exam registration.  


July, 2013:  Recruitment for Bursaries from external sources begins in order to support PeriAnesthesia Nurses from across Canada for Exam fees (CNA Certification Exam Fees, 2014) for successful completion of/passing grade in the Certification Exam. 


July 8-10, 2013:  The "Testing" Committee reviewed the sample questions that will be offered to those who register for the examination.  100 questions reviewed and revised, and once translated, will be sent to registrants for studying purposes.


June 24-28, 2013:  The "Exam" Committee met in Ottawa to review and revise the final selection of examination questions for the first examination.  Adjustments to the blueprint were made.   Pass/fail grades assigned. 


June 3, 2013NAPAN© Board of Directors approves 3 Bursaries to be offered to one PeriAnesthesia nurse in each of 3 Regions (west, central and east). 


January 16, 2013:  The Item Writing Committee has been formed, and is comprised of experienced PeriAnesthesia nurses, educators, academics from across the country, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and as far north as the Northwest Territories.  They are experienced in all domains of PeriAnesthesis nursing:  research, education, clinical, leadership and work in all phases from PreAdmission, Anesthesia phase, Day of Surgery, PACU, Phase II (day surgery) and Extended Observation.  Please review:  "Certification Committees" (in the dropdown menu under Education) to see who these people are.

They prepared questions for our examination beginning on February 25, 2013 and through 3 week-long sessions until March 18, 2013.


January, 2013:  CNA Certification Department launches their newest brochure including PeriAnesthesia Nursing Certification for 2014 and NAPAN© listed with other National Associations involved with certification activities.  See CNA Certification Brochure, 2013.


December 14, 2012:  The Exam Committee met by teleconference call with the examination company, ASI, to review the Competencies developed by the Comptetency Development Committee.


November 26-30, 2012:  The Competency Development Committee met in Ottawa and developed competencies for the 6 phases of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (from PreAdmission through to Extended Observation).  This is the crucial first step in the process for Certification.

Next steps: Fundraising efforts increase with last sponsorship commitment date of December, 2012. Donations from the public and P/A nurses are still be accepted.  The Item Writing committee will be organized to meet in the spring of 2013 to write examination questions for eager PeriAnesthesia Nurses taking the exam.


October 9, 2012:  The CNA contacts the 8 P/A Nurses they have selected for the "Exam Committee", to discuss their role in Exam Development.  Next meeting, December 14, 2012.


August, 2012 The examination company, ASI, contacts members/volunteers of the "Competency Development" committee with a definite date to begin work. To see who have been chosen by the CNA to comprise the membership of the Competency Development committee, please see "Certification Committees" (in the dropdown menu under Education).


July, 2012:  CNA selects and contacts "Exam Committee" members/volunteers and confirms their ongoing commitment.  Teleconference was held in August, 2012.  To see who have been chosen by the CNA to comprise the membership of the Exam Committee, please see "Certification Committees" (in the dropdown menu under Education).


June, 2012:  CNA publishes announcement regarding PeriAnesthesia Nurses Certification Examination for 2014.  See attached, "CNA Certification Bulletin" in English and in French.


June, 2012:  Second installment of sponsorship from NAPANc's fundraising efforts is sent to the CNA.


February 8, 2012 (PeriAnesthesia Nurses Day, 2012):  President of NAPANc signs and submits the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the CNA and NAPANc for commitment of sponsorship and development of Certification Exam.  This is countersigned by the CEO of the CNA, Rachel Bard and returned to NAPANc. PeriAnesthesia Nurses will be the 20th specialty to have a Certification Examination!


February, 2012:  First installment of sponsorship from NAPANc's fundraising efforts is sent to the CNA.


October, 2011:  CEO of the CNA, Rachel Bard, visits the International Conference for PeriAnesthesia Nurses.  At this conference, the announcement is made that PeriAnesthesia Nurses will now proceed to Certification as the 20th specialty to do so!  Contracts to be signed.  Development to begin in 2012.


October, 2011:  NAPANc publishes second edition of Standards for Practice!  CNA is enthusiastic about this update, as it shows our determination and passion as a

specialty of nursing.


Summer, 2011:   To date, no time has been proposed to begin the next steps. The CNA is currently developing a new 5 year strategic plan, which will include our Certification Examination development. Until this is complete, we have not been given an exact date on which to begin.


March, 2011:  Designation as a Specialty area of Nursing has been officially granted.  Please see attached Letter from the CNA.


October, 2010:    CNA has reviewed our Proposal.  Decision has been made, and reported to us....Our Proposal has been accepted!

June 15, 2010:  Proposal for Certification of PeriAnesthesia Nurses of Canada submitted to the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) by NAPANc with all data collections as listed below.


May, 2010:  

  • All data, as noted below, was collated.
  • 37 page Proposal written and rewritten over the past 9 months by the Proposal Subcomittee members of the Certification Committee (Thao Le, Quebec; Sandra Robinson, Ontario; Heather Ead, Ontario; Paula Ferguson, Ontario).
  • Proposal was approved at the NAPAN© Board of Directors Meeting in Calgary, Alberta on May 28, 2010.


2009-10:  NAPAN© has taken applications from PeriAnesthesia nurses who would be interested in assisting us with the development of this examination.  More volunteers are welcome.  Please contact us at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We require experts in the following areas:

    • Domain of expertise:  we need those with experience from a selection of PreAdmission, Day Surgery, Post Anesthetic Care Unit, Labour and Delivery, Outpatient Clinics and Pain Management areas
    • Stage of Development:  we need a variety of those experienced in Adult, Pediatric and Geriatric perianesthesia nursing care
    • Region of the country you live/work in: we need a cross-section of experts from across Canada
    • Expertise in areas of administration, education, practice and research
    • 6 French speaking/bilingual PeriAnesthesia experts for our committees


2009-10:  NAPAN© has collected signatures from over 140 people who have endorsed these standards as their standards for practice, from all across the country!  We will still accept more, so please feel free to complete the attached letter of endorsement (or change it to suit your thoughts) and submit by mail, email or fax to the address indicated.  Endorsement of Standards Letter.


2009-10: NAPAN© has collected names from over 1,000 PeriAnesthesia Nurses across Canada that are interested in taking this Certification Examination.


2009-10:  NAPAN© has collected names of Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) in PeriAnesthesia domains across the country (Managers, Educators, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Practitioners) who work in any of the domains of perianesthesia (PreAdmission, Day of Surgery Admission, Anesthesia administration, Postanesthesia Care Units, Day Surgery Units, Extended Observation Areas including inpatient surgical units, Dental clinics, Endoscopy, Cystoscopy, Diagnostic Imaging, Cardiac Catheterization Labs, Surgicentres, Labour and Delivery) where anesthesia is going to be/has been delivered.

2008:  All provincial/territorial representatives of NAPAN© have contacted their regulatory bodies to ask them to have an option to collect data on our annual registration forms for “PeriAnesthesia Nurses”:  we will soon have the designation, “PeriAnesthesia” as an option when we renew our College registration each year!  Watch for it!  We will be tracking the changes across the country as the changes are made and we will be dealing with every college to ensure that this method of tracking our numbers is in place soon.  If we had this option, we would then have a better idea of the number of perianesthesia nurses there are across Canada and be able to report this to the CNA.  If you see the option on your next RN registration form, be sure to mark it with the designation:  “PeriAnesthesia” nursing!

Update:  To date, 2012,  Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have added a separate designation on their provincial Registration forms.  Watch for updates on this!

In order to expedite the Certification process and collect this data via another method, NAPAN© contacted multiple hospitals in Ontario for their numbers of PeriAnesthesia nurses, and estimated the total numbers of PeriAnesthesia Nurses across Canada based on numbers per population (using CNA's Statistics on numbers of nurses by population across Canada).  The estimated number of PeriAnesthesia Nurses across Canada has been estimated to be approximately 10,000 working in hospitals alone!  Then there are those who work in clinics, offices and surgical centres outside of hospitals.....


2008:  NAPAN© Standards for Practice, 1st edition, published in English and in 2009, translated into French.  This is one of the prerequisities for Certification, once the specialty has been nationalized into an independent association (NAPANc founded in 2002). 

If you are interested and think you would qualify to assist in this project, please contact as soon as you can.  Please attach a recent resume for our perusal.


What is entailed in the process of Certification development:

1) The Competency Committee, comprised of a group of PeriAnesthesia Nurses selected by the examination company from across Canada, will meet in Ottawa, in order to develop a comprehensive list of competencies that the Certification Examination will be based on.

2) The Item Writing Committee will then meet to begin work on writing contents of examinations and study guides.

3) The Exam Committee will meet by teleconference and again in person to begin discussions on the logistics of the examination: eligibility, passing grade and much more.

4) Then the Translation Committee will ensure that the professionally translated examinations are translated into French fluently.

If you wish further information or wish to become involved, please don't hesitate to contact the NAPAN© office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (905) 257-7522!

Thank you,

NAPAN© Executive and Board of Directors 


Additional information