CNS-CP Recertification

You, your patients, and your employer value the benefits that specialty certification brings. Incorporating continued competency and life-long learning are integral components of recertification.

Recertification is the continued documented validation of the professional achievement of identified standards of practice by an individual Clinical Nurse Specialist providing advanced practice perioperative nursing care.

The certified status of a Clinical Nurse Specialist is conferred by CCI for a period of 5 years, at which time a CNS-CP may seek recertification. The recertification process requires a CNS-CP to choose a method of recertification, complete recertification activities during the accrual period, and meet recertification eligibility requirements. 


  • Recognizes the individual Clinical Nurse Specialist who is proficient in practice.
  • Supports the development of theoretical constructs which strengthen advanced perioperative nursing practice.
  • Enhances professional development through continued learning that results in acquisition of current knowledge to expand advanced practice skill sets. 

Steps to Recertify Your CNS-CP Credential

  1. Meet the recertification eligibility requirements (these differ from requirements for first-time certification).
  2. Choose a recertification method and complete recertification activities during your accrual period.
  3. Complete CCI’s application and pay the recertification fee during your recertification year.

Recertification Eligibility Requirements

Recognizing that certificants transition into a variety of roles, and all patients benefit from the care provided by a certified nurse, CNS-CP recertification candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements at the time of application: 

  1. Hold an active CNS-CP credential.
  2. Hold a current, unrestricted RN and/or APRN license.
  3. Be currently employed as a CNS in the perioperative setting in one or more of the following areas:
    • Clinical expert in delivery of advanced perioperative care
    • Consultant (intra- and multidisciplinary)
    • Educator of nurses, other healthcare providers, patient, family, and/or community
    • Researcher

Recertification Options

If you will complete 1,000 hours as a CNS in the perioperative setting during your five-year recertification cycle, you may recertify by Continuing Education and Professional Activities. If you will not complete 1,000 clinical practice hours, you may recertify by Professional Portfolio.

Recertification by Continuing Education and Professional Activities

  • Complete 125 Professional Activity points 
  • Complete your continuing education contact hour requirement based on the results of your CNS-CP exam or the self-awareness component of your Professional Portfolio
  • Complete 1000 hours as a CNS in the perioperative setting in the 5-year recertification cycle. If the number of practice hours accrued during the recertification cycle does not meet the minimum requirement, you must recertify by Professional Portfolio.
  • Practice hours may be accrued in any of the following areas:
    • clinical expert in delivery of advanced perioperative care
    • consultant (intra-and multidisciplinary)
    • education of nurses, other healthcare providers, patient, family, and/or community
    • clinical inquiry (evidence-based practice projects and/or research)

To apply for recertification by this method, complete the Recertification by Contact Hours and Activities Application with Log and submit to CCI.

Recertification by Professional Portfolio

The CNS-CP Professional Portfolio is a mechanism for demonstrating advanced levels of knowledge and skills in perioperative practice. The hallmark of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in the perioperative setting is to assist in managing the care of complex surgical patients. The portfolio is therefore based on a project whose purpose is to promote quality patient outcomes.

The portfolio application process includes two steps:

  1. Submission of the CNS-CP Recertification Pre-Approval Form:
          The following documents must be submitted with the pre-approval form and approved before an                     applicant may begin the portfolio process:
                   A. Photocopies of RN and/or APRN license(s) or a photocopy of the online verification of current                       licensure from the state board(s) of nursing. 
                   B. Verification of CNS primary certification, if held. A physical or electronic copy is acceptable.
  2. Upon approval, you will be assigned an electronic storage account with instructions and the documents needed to complete your portfolio.

To prevent your credential from lapsing, a professional portfolio must be submitted for peer review no later than November 1st of the year the credential is due to expire.

If you have questions about applying for CNS-CP recertification or would like more information, please contact CCI at

Recertification Fees

  • Recertification by Contact Education and Professional Activities - $350 (Active CNORs receive $50 discount) 
  • Recertification by Professional Portfolio - $375 (Active CNORs receive $50 discount)

CNS-CP Emeritus Status


Retiring nurses or those moving out of the specialty may choose to preserve their credential by applying for Emeritus status or CNS-CP(E). The Emeritus credential does not expire or need to be renewed. You must currently hold the CNS-CP credential in good standing to apply for the CNS-CP Emeritus status.

Emeritus Status Fee

The one-time fee for Emeritus Status is $125. Certificants may not apply for Emeritus status until January 1 of their recertification year.    

CNS-CP Emeritus Application

Download the paper application to apply for Emeritus Status between January 1 and December 31 of your recertification year.

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