About CNS-CP Certification

Certification is the formal recognition of the specialized knowledge, skills, and experiences demonstrated by the achievement of standards specified by an agency association.  

CCI offers the Clinical Nurse Specialist Perioperative Certification  (CNS-CP) for masters-prepared Clinical Nurse Specialists. We offer this credential to recognize the important role CNSs have in delivering safe patient care.

CNS-CP certification validates the achievement of the CNS who has chosen to seek current proficiency as an advanced practice nurse practicing in the perioperative (pre-, intra-, and post-operative) setting. This specialty certification is in addition to, not in place of, primary population-focused certification.  

Upon successful completion of the certification process, the CNS-CP credential is awarded for a five-year period.

Certification Eligibility Requirements

Education Requirement

Candidate must meet one of the two requirements:

  1. Graduated from an accredited (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)) graduate, post-master’s certificate, or postgraduate program in nursing which has prepared the applicant for the CNS role. The program must contain both didactic (pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment) and clinical components, OR 
  2. Masters in Nursing along with documentation of serving in an advanced practice role may be accepted in lieu of advanced core courses (pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment) and 500 hours of supervised clinical hours.

Licensure Requirement

Candidate must meet one of two requirements: 

  1. Hold a current, full, unrestricted license (RN and/or APRN), OR
  2. Hold a current full, unrestricted RN license with recognition as a CNS by state board of nursing. 

Experience Requirements

Candidate must meet one of the two requirements:

  1. If enrolled in a CNS program with current accreditation standards (pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment and 500 clinical hours), candidate may sit for the CNS exam upon graduation, OR
  2. If graduated from a CNS program prior to implementation of these standards, candidate must validate 2,400 hours and 2 years as a practicing CNS.

Additional Requirements

  • Have completed a minimum of (2) years and 2,400 hours of experience in perioperative nursing, with a minimum of 50% (1,200 hours) in the intraoperative setting.
  • Be currently employed as a perioperative nurse.

Certification Fees

Application Fee

The CNS-CP certification by portfolio fee is $375.  Active CNORs receive a $50 discount.

Certification by Portfolio Application

If you are interested in applying for CNS-CP certification, please contact CCI at cns-cp@cc-institute.org for application instructions.