Is the CNS-CP exam only for Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)?

Yes. Since each advanced practice role (CNS, NP, CNM, CRNA) has its own distinct educational program, each role must also have its own certification exam.

Will currently practicing CNSs be “grandfathered” into the new specialty certification?

No. It is not possible for CCI to grandfather a credential which has never been held to current CNSs. Eligibility criteria would need to be met prior to sitting for the certification exam.

Will this exam take the place of initial licensure or certification as a CNS?

No. Check with your state board of nursing on licensure and primary certification requirements to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and/or CNS. Specialty certification is in addition to, not instead of, primary certification.

Will a DNP be required for advanced practice certification?

NACNS endorses the DNP as entry into practice for CNSs by 2030. CCI does not require a doctoral degree to apply for the CNS-CP exam. For more information, visit NACNS.

Will holding the CNS perioperative specialty certification meet my state’s APRN licensure requirements?

Because licensure requirements for APRNs vary widely from state to state, CCI cannot guarantee that CNS Perioperative Specialty certification will meet your state's licensure requirements. Check with your state board of nursing to determine how this certification can benefit your advanced practice specialty role. You may also wish to check with your employer regarding facility scope of practice guidelines. To contact your state board of nursing, click here.

What will this additional certification do for me?

CNS-CP certification helps bridge the gap between primary certification as an APRN and perioperative specialty practice. This credential:

  • Validates perioperative competency at an advanced practice level.
  • Positions the Clinical Nurse Specialist for future developments in advanced practice.
  • Meets Consensus Model guidelines.
  • Provides alignment with the IOM recommendation that nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.