James, a RN serves as a Clinical/Charge Nurse in the Patient Care Unit /Recovery Room for Perioperative Nursing Services, and was recently granted the Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse status by the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc. James joins nearly 12,000 other perianesthesia nurses in the nation who are currently certified in their specialty. Perianesthesia nursing is a nursing specialty practice area concerned with providing nursing care to patients undergoing or recovering from anesthesia.

"Being a CPAN validates my expertise in post-op patient recovery," James said. "I believe the more skilled and competent nurses are in their field of care, the better the care they will provide to patients. Patient care improves when nurses have more advanced education and certified clinical skills."

According to cpancapa.org, CPAN certification validates knowledge gained through professional education and experience. Nurses, who take the next step beyond licensure by seeking a voluntary board certification credential, demonstrate a commitment not only to the peianesthesia nursing profession but even more importantly to promoting quality patient care.

As a member of the American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses, James said she found out about the certification and wanted to get more information.

"I looked up the requirements, did some research, and encouraged some of my staff to join me in a study group," James said.

She said it was then she decided to register and sit for the 175 question exam. Getting to the finish line was not easy for James. Challenges presented themselves and James did not pass the exam the first time, but through resiliency and a commitment to meet her goal, she took the test again. This time she passed.

"This certification means a lot to me," James said. "I worked really hard for this. I wanted to be able to provide expert care to patients in the recovery room and having this certification validates my skills and abilities. I think nurses owe it to themselves to be certified in a specialty area or area of nursing that they love working in."

The CPAN certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, Incorporated, indicating compliance with 18 rigorous quality standards in the certification industry.

The certification guidelines are demanding. To achieve certification, nurses must have a current, unrestricted RN license, have a minimum of 1,800 hours of perianesthesia nursing experience, and successfully complete a rigorous three-hour, 175-multiple-choice question examination. The certification credential is awarded for three years and must be renewed.

"It's an honor to put the initials CPAN behind my name for the rest of my nursing career," James lamented. "I truly encourage other nurses of Winn, who believe they deliver exceptional patient centered care, to validate their knowledge and obtain a nationally accredited certification. You will learn so much about your craft and truly enhance your bedside practice and nursing professionalism."

Earning certification is tangible evidence of James' commitment to making excellence the benchmark for quality patient care here at Winn. For more information about ABSNC and the accreditation process, visit their website at www.nursingcertification.org.