ACPAN
Australian College of PeriAnaesthesia
Nurses - ACPAN, PO BOX 5134
Burnley, VIC 3121, Australia

Clinical Fellowship

The ACPAN Clinical Fellowship program is designed for practising anaesthesia and post-anaesthesia care nurses who would like to demonstrate their advanced specialisation and emerge as clinical leaders in our field of healthcare. The program is suitable for Registered Nurses with a minimum of 3600 hours (2 years full-time or equivalent part-time) clinical experience in anaesthesia and post-anaesthesia care (PACU).

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Experiences from some of our Fellows

“The preparation for the viva was exciting and scary. Exciting to study new and review existing knowledge. The Viva was a LOT LESS scary than expected. Relaxed atmosphere, laughter and guiding by examiners where needed.”

“I was nervous about undertaking the Fellowship year, but it has been such a rewarding thing to do. I have studied and reviewed aspects of my practice so that I have a deeper understanding and a confidence in how I approach my work. It has been a great experience and given me more confidence in my “every day” work day that I really do know what I am doing.”

Clinical Fellowship process: 6 easy steps

Obtain the following certificates and documents

You will be asked to upload an employment statement which clearly states in which department you are working and which role you have.

Candidate Clinical Fellows are required to obtain the following certificates:

  • Certificate of their anaesthesia certification: see for more information the ACPAN website.
  • Certificate of their PACU certification: see for more information the ACPAN website.
  • Certificate of a postgraduate perianaesthesia course accredited by ACPAN at curriculum level 2.
  • Certificates of Adult and Paediatric Advanced Life Support. The education provider needs to be licensed by the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC). Both, ALS and PALS certificates have to be obtained irrespective of the predominant practice environment. Exemptions will not apply even if clinical practice is exclusively paediatric or exclusively adult. Some hospitals provide ARC-licensed ALS and PALS courses. When uploading your ALS/PALS certificate, please upload your hospital’s ARC license as well.
  • Certificate of Perianaesthesia Crisis Management Course. The education provider must be ACPAN accredited. The Perianaesthesia Crisis Management Course covers: local anaesthetic toxicity, difficult airway management, and Can’t Intubate, Can’t Oxygenate, malignant hyperthermia, massive transfusion, anaphylaxis, cardiovascular incidences and crew resource management
ExclamationAll certificates still need to be valid on the day of the oral viva exam. Most certificates are valid for three years.
Complete the online application & upload documents

Complete the online Clinical Fellowship application:

You can apply for the Clinical Fellowship throughout the year. Applications that are completed before 31st of August of each calendar year are eligible to attend the oral viva exam which takes place the day prior to ACPAN National Conference. Dates and location are available on the ACPAN website.

Upload all documents to the ACPAN website:

Once your registration details are completed, upload all required documents to the ACPAN website:

  • Certificate anaesthesia certification
  • Certificate PACU certification
  • Certificate postgraduate perianaesthesia course accredited by ACPAN at curriculum level 2.
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Adults
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Paediatrics
  • Certificate Perianaesthesia Crisis Management
  • You also need to upload an employment statement clearly stating in which department you work as well as the primary role you undertake.

After uploading all documents to the ACPAN website, your application will be reviewed, and you will receive a confirmation email of your successful application.

Pay the fellowship fee online by credit card

Total cost of the Clinical Fellowship program is $500 (+ 10% GST). These costs include:

  • Oral Viva Examination fees
  • 1 day of ACPAN National Conference attendance (includes academic gown use)
  • Administration costs for program

Costs do not include travel, accommodation or other associated costs by undertaking the ACPAN Clinical Fellowship program.

TipIf you complete an ALS, PALS or PCM course that is accredited by ACPAN, you can receive a 40% discount on your course registration fee. Once you have obtained your certificate, send a copy of your certificate to the ACPAN treasurer and you will receive your refund within 14 days.

Any cancellation or request to transfer should be made directly to development@acpan.edu. Cancellation may be made at any time prior to 60 days of the day of the oral viva exam. A $75 (+ 10% GST) administration fee will be deducted from any fees paid.

Successfully complete the oral viva exam

To successfully complete the Clinical Fellowship program, candidates are required to pass the oral viva exam. Knowing what to expect on the day of the oral viva is an important part of the assessment preparation that you should not overlook.

You will receive an example of a case, the marking guide and the oral viva exam questions 4 minimal 4 weeks prior your oral viva exam date. Critical thinking is the essential competence and tested extensively. One hour is allocated for each viva.

You will be assigned an assessment time, and you should present 15 minutes before this time to register and settle into the waiting room environment. You will need a current photo ID such as your driver’s licence or passport. Prior to the oral viva exam, you will be given 10 minutes to read your case and make notes in preparation for the oral viva. At the conclusion of the ten minutes, you will be called into the viva room for the oral viva examination. All personal items have to be stored away in a closed bag during the assessment.

The following qualities are assessed:

  • Clinical judgment
  • The application of the principles of acceptable and safe anaesthetic practice
  • Prioritisation
  • Interpretation of complex clinical situations
  • An ability to make decisions based on a changing clinical situation
  • Anticipation of clinical actions and their sequelae
  • Effective communication

Your responses will be marked independently as per marking sheet. After the oral viva the assessors will thank you and ask you to return to the waiting area. Your answers will determine the merit of your viva responses and the outcome: successful or unsuccessful. You have the right to ask for feedback after completion of the oral viva. You must do this at the end of the oral viva or at the latest when the assessors give you the result of the oral viva.

If unsuccessful, you will be invited to attend one subsequent attempt with different assessors in which the entire process will be repeated. The Professional Development Director will select the assessors for the second attempt. After the second attempt, the Education Director will ask feedback from the candidate Clinical Fellow and advice from the assessors and will then take the final and irrevocable decision with regards to pass/fail oral viva. The Professional Development Director will advise the candidate of the outcome. If your second attempt is unsuccessful, the Professional Development Director invites you to discuss the feedback from the assessors. A third attempt is not possible, but you can apply again for the next year.

Attend the inauguration ceremony at the opening of the ACPAN conference

Once passing your oral viva exam, the inauguration of the new Clinical and Professional Fellows will take place during the opening ceremony of the annual national ACPAN conference. You will be given a gown to wear during this ceremony. Family members and friends are welcome to attend the ceremony without the need to pay for the conference.

Clinical Fellowship recertification: 5 easy steps

Your Clinical Fellowship certificate will be valid for three years. After three years, you can apply for recertification. Without timely recertification application, your Clinical Fellowship title will be no longer valid. The recertification process costs $75 (+10% GST) and entails 5 steps.

Obtain the following certificates
  • Certificate anaesthesia certification
  • Certificate PACU certification
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Adults
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Paediatrics
  • Certificate Perianaesthesia Crisis Management
Complete the online application & upload documents

Complete the online Clinical Fellowship application:

  • Personal details
  • AHPRA registration number
  • ACPAN registration number

Upload all documents to the ACPAN website:

  • Certificate anaesthesia certification
  • Certificate PACU certification
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Adults
  • Certificate Advanced Life Support Paediatrics
  • Certificate Perianaesthesia Crisis Management
  • Employment statement
  • CPD overview (in total 45 points): you are required to provide evidence of completion of a certain number of hours of continuing professional development in the previous three years, which must incorporate: 15 hours per year in perianaesthesia care.
  • CV as per ACPAN template
Pay the fellowship fee online by credit card

Pay the fellowship renewal fee online by credit card.

You will receive confirmation of your recertification

You will receive confirmation of your recertification.

TipRecertification as an ACPAN Clinical Fellow may prove challenging as your career may have extended into a non-clinical role like educator or researcher. ACPAN thinks it is essential to acknowledge these high-level professionals and wants to recognise their contributions to perianaesthesia nursing. The Professional fellowship is designed for non-clinical Registered Nurses working in an education or research role within the perianaesthesia domain. For more information, visit the ACPAN website.

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