Certified Foundational Perioperative Nurse (CFPN Exam)

Are you a perioperative nurse with a current, unrestricted RN license in your state or country of practice? Do you have 23 months of experience or less in the operating room (OR), based on your initial hire date? Have you completed a perioperative orientation program with didactic and clinical components?

If so, you have the qualifications required to begin the CFPN certification process, a diverse set of assessments that enable you to earn the CFPN credential to support your career as a perioperative nurse.

Certifications such as the CFPN can potentially help you advance your career and earn more money. The credential marks you as a perioperative nurse with a certain level of knowledge and skills, boosting your value in the eyes of employers as well as in your own eyes. It’s a stepping stone to even more opportunities for your future.

Content Review

The CFPN acts as a guide to perioperative nurses in the early stages of their careers by identifying and assessing four key components of the job. Each component will be separately completed from the others. At the successful completion of each component, the RN will receive a digital badge with results shown in the CCI account that you create. Successfully completing all four key components results in earning the CFPN credential.

The Knowledge-Based Test

The credentialing process always starts with taking and passing the knowledge-based test. Much like other standardized tests, the CFPN knowledge-based test is computer-based and proctored online by PSI, a testing company, for the CCI. The 2.5-hour multiple-choice exam contains 120 questions. The subject areas are broken down as follows:

  • Intraoperative Care – 34%
  • Infection Prevention and Control – 16%
  • Perioperative Patient Assessment and Diagnosis – 15%
  • Communication and Documentation – 11%
  • Emergency Situations – 10%
  • Plan of Care – 8%
  • Professional Accountability – 6%

The knowledge-based test-takers receive a “pass” or “no pass” grade from the exam. If you receive a passing grade, you can move on to the next part of the process.

Self-Assessment of Competency

The next step in CFPN credentialing involves assessing your own perioperative knowledge and skills by completing the Perceived Perioperative Competence Scale (PPCS-R). You complete the 15-minute survey found through your CCI account. As this is a self-assessment, there’s not a grade or pass/fail indicator. You’ll receive feedback on your self-assessment results as compared to other perioperative nurses.

16pf® Competency Report

Certain personality characteristics lend themselves to either leadership roles or soft skills areas. As the third part of CFPN credentialing, PSI offers the 16pf® Competency Report, a 45-minute, 16-factor online assessment, accessed through your CCI account. Once the assessment has been completed, you’ll be provided with feedback that interprets your results and suggests professional development options.

Reflective Learning Exercise

The final piece of the CFPN credentialing process involves creating a two-year personal development plan for your career. The two-year time frame reflects the validity of the CFPN credential. The exercise is scored pass or fail, and the CCI reflective learning form offers guidance through task completion.

Registration and Scheduling

CCI offers the CFPN application for $195 on its website. The fee covers all four certification components. When you pay for and complete the CFPN, you’ll save on future applications fees for the Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR) and Certified Ambulatory Surgery Nurse (CNAMB). While within your eligibility period, figure out the best time to take the knowledge-based test and then apply and schedule the test through CCI. Once you’ve passed the knowledge-based test, complete and submit the remaining three components.

The CFPN credential lasts for two years, and there is no recertification process. Should you choose to earn the next level CNOR or CNAMB credentials, your eligibility requirements will be lessened because of earning the CFPN. While the CFPN is not required for the CNOR or CNAMB, it can be very helpful to your future efforts.

Study and Preparation Recommendations

If you’re serious about passing the CFPN knowledge-based test and earning the CFPN credential by completing the four-step process, you should be serious about committing to prepare and study. The CFPN Handbook and the CFPN Knowledge-based Test Study Outline were created to aid you in passing the test and completing certification. Additionally, CFPN certification webinars are offered to further enhance your success.

Use the tools available to study for the knowledge test and to prepare your personal development plan. If you have additional questions on the CFPN certification, check the CCI website or contact a representative.