Position Statement 2: Phase 1 (PostAnesthesia Care Unit) as a Critical Care Unit


The National Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses of Canada (NAPANc) supports the position that this first phase following surgery for nursing care of the PeriAnesthesia client is a critical care unit where the PeriAnestheis nurse must meet the overall general competencies of the critical care nurse. The care of the client in the immediate postanesthesia care period includes, but is not limited to those clients who:

  • are unconscious, unstable and critically ill,
  • require ongoing assessment and evaluation, monitoring and intervention, (American Society of Anesthesiologist, 2012)
  • may have complex physiological and/or psychological requirements (Canadian Anesthesiologist Society, 2014)


*Please note: all courses or combination of courses must have critical care as a pre-requisite or critical care included in the course to be considered a NAPANc PeriAnesthesia approved course


POST ANESTHETIC CARE COURSES are offered at the following institutions:


Conestoga College, Cambridge, Ontario:   www.conestogac.on.ca  Offered in 2014 at Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga. 


Centennial College (Toronto, ON) Critical Care Nursing is a part-time critical care course that takes 2 years to complete. http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/certdetail.php?CertificateCode=7910 

One mandatory component of the course is Post Anesthesia nursing. http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/coursedetail.php?CourseCode=CECC-410 


Fanshaw College (London, ON) offers a specific course in Post Anesthesia Care Nursing https://www.fanshawec.ca/programs-and-courses/ce-courses/nrsg-1037-post-anaesthesia-care-nursing


Georgian College, (Barrie ON) Post Anesthesia nursing (36 hours) http://www.georgiancollege.ca/academics/part-time-studies/courses/post-anesthesia-nursing-hsci-0040


Okanagan College PeriAnesthesia Nursing Certificate https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Programs/Areas_of_Study/cs/Certificates/Health/PeriAnesthesia_Nursing_Certificate.html 


The University of Toronto offers a one-day PeriAnesthesia review course



The CRITICAL CARE COURSE with a PACU COMPONENT is offered at the following institutions, listed by province:


British ColumbiaBritish Columbia Institute of Technologywww.bcit.ca (Select:  "Critical Care Nursing Specialty with a Post Anesthetic Recovery Option")


Nova ScotiaCapital Health, www.cdha.nshealth.ca



Online Learning: ASPAN: Mosby's Orientation to Perianesthesia Nursing course  (Click HERE )

Developed in collaboration with the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN), this authoritative, evidence-based online course teaches the foundational knowledge required to deliver safe, effective PeriAnesthesia care. The course gives nurses the knowledge and confidence to care for patients throughout the PeriAnesthesia continuum.

  • Target Audience: RNs in inpatient and outpatient preanesthesia units, inpatient and outpatient postanesthesia units, ambulatory surgery centers, procedural areas, pain management
  • CE Providers: Elsevier
  • CE Hours: 31
  • Total Lessons: 35


Okanagan College PeriAnesthesia Nursing Certificate https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Programs/Areas_of_Study/cs/Certificates/Health/PeriAnesthesia_Nursing_Certificate.html 

(Please note: online courses need a critical care prerequesite and a clinical PACU practicum to be considered NAPANc approved!)




The ANESTHESIA ASSISTANT program is offered at the following institutions:


Ontario:    The Michener Institute of Technology, Toronto, Ontario    http://www.michener.ca/ce/postdiploma/anesth_asst.ph

Fanshawe College, London, Ontario    https://www.fanshawec.ca/programs-and-courses/program/ana2-anesthesia-assistant/next-year





The NURSE PRACTITIONER OF ANESTHESIA program is offered at the following institution:


Ontario:   The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (St. George Campus only)    http://bloomberg.nursing.utoronto.ca/site3.aspx 

Additional information