Full Course Description

PESI Healthcare’s CAPA/CPAN Certification Exam Prep: Your Guide to Passing the CAPA® & CPAN® Exams

PESI Healthcare's comprehensive CAPA®/CPAN® Exam Prep Course will equip you with the latest information and trends in perianesthesia nursing to fully prepare you for exam success!
This innovative online course covers all clinical and professional issues per the current CAPA®/CPAN® exam blueprints.  An in-depth review of systems and refresher on current practices will prepare you for success by not just reviewing key concepts, but also reinforcing them through realistic test questions!  You'll also gain valuable test-taking strategies and tips that will aid in your quest to become a certified perianesthesia nurse.
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Program Information


  1. Describe the importance of using national perianesthesia nursing standards of care to guide perianesthesia nursing practice.
  2. Evaluate the pharmacodynamics/pharmacokinetics of drugs used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia.
  3. Examine the stages of general anesthesia induction and reversal.
  4. Analyze the risks and benefits of regional anesthesia techniques.
  5. Compare the needs of special patient populations in perianesthesia care.
  6. Relate the preoperative preparation process to the effects of anesthesia and surgery.
  7. Prioritize Phase I care of the post-anesthetic patient.
  8. List important discharge criteria for the Phase II post-operative patient.
  9. Identify the appropriate treatment for common post-anesthetic emergencies.
  10. Give examples of the common medications used to treat post-operative emergencies.
  11. Explore advanced monitoring techniques used in the PACU.
  12. Recognize and respect diversity and the Patient Bill of Rights in the perianesthesia setting.
  13. Determine anesthesia expectations in recovery settings.
  14. Protect the patient from harm by utilizing the appropriate resources available
  15. Discuss liability issues in case management in the perianesthesia setting
  16. Implement safe discharge care in the perianesthesia setting.
  17. Be prepared to sit for the CAPA/CPAN certification exam.


Introduction/Course Overview

Domain 1: Anesthesia:

  • Anesthesia techniques
    • General
    • Regional
    • Local
    • Moderate sedation
    • Monitored IV sedation (MAC and TIVA)
  • Anesthetic and reversal agents
  • Stages of anesthesia
  • Anesthesia considerations for special populations
    • Pediatric
    • Pregnant
    • Geriatric
    • Patients with pre-existing conditions

Domain 2: Physiology:

  • Pathophysiology of body systems
  • Physical assessment
  • Physical responses to procedures and anesthesia
  • Potential complications to pre-existing conditions

Domain 3: Perianesthesia Monitoring and Intervention:

  • Normal and abnormal diagnostic results
  • Vital signs and hemodynamic monitoring
  • Complications with emergence
  • Abnormal physiological conditions
  • Injury prevention
  • Thermoregulation
  • Airway Management
  • Fluid and electrolyte management
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Acute and chronic pain management
  • Alternative and non-pharmacological treatment modalities
  • (e.g., cold therapy, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques)
  • Pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics
  • Interactions and incompatibility with medications or
  • supplements
  • Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV)
  • Perianesthesia-specific emergencies

Domain 4: Perianesthesia Care Considerations:

  • Continuum and Transfer of Care
    • Pre-admission
    • Pre-operative (Day of Surgery/ Procedure)
    • Post-anesthesia Phase I
    • Post-anesthesia Phase II
  • Individualized patient care
    • Environmental factors (e.g., noise, temperature, air flow, latex)
    • Psychosocial factors (e.g., coping styles, developmental stage, religion/spirituality, culture)
    • Behavioral health factors (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, substance use, obesity)
    • Mental health factors (e.g., anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, autism spectrum)
  • Patient and family planning and education
    • Pre-admission
    • Day of procedure
    • Discharge instructions
    • Communication principles and techniques

Domain 5: Professional Nursing Practice and Guidelines:
Multidisciplinary collaboration and referral

  • Evidence-based practice
  • ACLS guidelines
  • PALS guidelines
  • Healthcare quality and patient safety principles
  • Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States
  • (MHAUS) guidelines/protocol
  • ASPAN standards
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) guidelines
  • Regulatory, legal, and ethical guidelines (e.g., Patient Bill of
  • Rights, privacy and confidentiality, advance directives, informed
  • consent, HIPAA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act)

Next Steps for Certification
Applying Online
Test Taking Tips

Target Audience

  • Nurse – Education
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse – Advanced Practice
  • Nurse – Perioperative/Surgical

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