CCI Blog

Get to Know CFPN

Posted by Taylor Niss on Oct 22, 2021 2:39:25 PM

CFPN (2)Overview of CFPN

The Certified Foundational Perioperative Nurse (CFPN) credential is the newest certification from CCI. It is designed to give perioperative nurses with less than 23 months in the operating room a firm foundation for career-long professional development success. Additionally, earning the CFPN certification puts early-career perioperative nurses on the fast track to earning either CNOR or CNAMB.

Components of the CFPN Credential

Badge300pxCFNP-1Earning the CFPN entails a variety of assessments, reflective learning activities, and a knowledge-based exam. This certification is comprised of four components that will guide the early career of a perioperative nurse. Candidates will earn a digital badge after successfully completing each component. When all four components have been completed, a final digital badge for the certification will be awarded, celebrating the achievement of earning the CFPN credential. You can learn more about the CFPN digital badges and when and how to use them in our free webinar

Badge600pxKBTestKnowledge-Based Test

The CFPN knowledge-based test is taken online via a remote, secure, and proctored exam experience provided by our testing vendor, PSI. The test must be completed first, and after passing, the nurse will move on to the other three activities.

Badge600pxPPCS-RSelf-Assessment of Competency

The self-assessment of competency is measured using the Perceived Perioperative Competence Scale (PPCS-R), accessed in the Candidate's CCI account.


Badge600px16pf16pf® Competency Report

The 16pf® Competency Report assesses 16 primary personality factors to measure skills and traits nurses will need to succeed throughout their careers. Candidates receive the report with interpretive information and professional development tips.

Badge600pxRLEReflective Learning Exercise

This is the final component for earning the credential. Candidates will develop a personal development plan for the next two years of their careers – the duration of the CFPN credential.


You can learn more about CFPN, the application process, and each component in the CFPN Handbook.

The CFPN Experience

The CFPN credential is an excellent way for early-career perioperative nurses to begin their certification journey and become lifelong learners. We had the pleasure of speaking with the very first nurse to earn the CFPN certification, Erin Frey, RN, BSN, CFPN, an OR nurse at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

Why did you decide to earn the CFPN certification? Were you encouraged by anyone? 

 My coworker and former preceptor, Amber Luch, encouraged me to take the CFPN, as she is CNOR certified. I had been planning on taking the CNOR exam when I reached my two years in November but was excited that there was an option that I could do in the meantime. My initial driving force for receiving this certification was to become a more marketable and a more well-rounded nurse. OR nursing is unlike any other type of nursing, and it is often not covered very extensively, if at all, during an average nursing program. There is a lot to learn, and it can be very overwhelming. I wanted to earn this certification to continue to learn more about this field and become a better OR nurse. Lastly, I am currently employed at UW health, and they do offer recognition for being certified, which is an added perk!

What does it mean to you to earn the CFPN certification? 

It was very motivating to be able to earn this certification because, at times, it can become discouraging as there is so much information in the OR world that I don't have the answers to, and I am truly learning every single day. This certification solidifies that although there is still a lot that I have to learn, I have a solid foundation to be a successful OR nurse and know a lot more than I think I do. It has also been really meaningful to be the first RN ever to have earned the certification, and this will be something that I value for the rest of my life. 

Are you planning on earning the CNOR certification? 

I had already been planning on earning the CNOR certification upon reaching my two years. I have recently learned that holders of the CFPN certification can complete the CNOR certification if they have been an OR nurse for 18 months. Because of this, I have begun studying for the CNOR exam and plan on taking it in October.

How would you describe your overall experience during the CFPN certification process? 

Going into the certification process, I expected there to be a few bugs in the system as I completed the certification in its beta testing. However, the entire process was fairly frictionless, and I was impressed with how smoothly everything ran from the exam down to the reflection. 

What challenges did you face during the CFPN certification process? 

The biggest challenge that I faced during this process was that my employer had a deadline in which we needed to submit our certification in order to receive recognition. Because the exam was in the beta testing phase, it took several weeks to get the exam results because the questions and answers needed to be reviewed. Additionally, you can only proceed to the next step of the certification until it is approved and reviewed by an instructor. It was definitely down to the wire, but luckily I completed the certification just in time!

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience earning the certification?

I had the opportunity to meet the CEO of CCI and several instructors throughout this process, and they were all warm, accommodating, and encouraging. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and would strongly recommend new nurses to take the CFPN certification after the positive experience I have had with CCI. 


The CFPN certification is the first step on the path to certification for early-career perioperative nurses. Set yourself apart and join an elite group of certified nurses demonstrating perioperative nursing competency and an ongoing dedication to patient safety by familiarizing yourself with the CFPN application process and formulating a plan to complete the four components.

Start Your CFPN Application Today!


Topics: CFPN