CNS-CP Exam Preparation

Job Analysis

CCI begins the development of every certification examination with a Job Analysis (sometimes referred to as a Role Delineation Study or RDS). The purpose of the Job Analysis is to ensure that the questions on the certification exam accurately reflect current practice of the population being tested. In the case of the CNS-CP, a panel of CNS subject matter experts (SMEs) who are knowledgeable of the role was charged to complete the following tasks:

  • Identify the domains (subject areas) typically found in a CNS’s perioperative practice. 
  • Develop the competencies found in each domain. These included tasks (what a competent CNS is expected to do) and knowledge (what a competent CNS is expected to know) statements. 
  • Assign a percentage to each domain which accurately reflected the amount of time devoted to actual practice in the clinical setting.

These findings were then validated through a survey which was first piloted and then nationally disseminated to individuals working as an advanced practice nurse in the perioperative setting. The results of the survey then became the test specification blueprint from which test questions were written.

Subject Areas

The CNS-CP exam covers the following subject areas:

Domain/Subject Area %
1. Clinical Expert in Delivery of Advanced Perioperative Care 30%
2. Consultant (intra-disciplinary and multidisciplinary) 15%
3. Education (nurse, other healthcare providers, patient, family and community) 15%
4. Clinical Inquiry 15%
5. Organizational/Systems Thinking 17%
6. Professional Accountability 8%
Total 100%

Task & Knowledge Statements and Study Bibliography

To learn more about each of these subject areas download and review the detailed Task and Knowledge Statements and Recommended Bibliography.

CNS-CP Candidate Handbook

The CNS-CP Candidate Handbook contains important information about the CNS-CP exam, including subject areas to be tested, sample questions, policies, and the job analysis. The CNS-CP Job Analysis details the tasks performed by perioperative nurses and the knowledge and skills required to complete those tasks and, as a result, it is the basis for the CNS-CP exam. All candidates should review the CNS-CP Candidate Handbook, as it is an invaluable resource in preparing for the CNS-CP examination.

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