Common Clinical Assessment Tool

The Development of a Common Clinical Assessment Tool for Clinical Evaluation in Nurse Anesthesia Education in the United States, revised February 11, 2019

Special Interest Group Members

Juan Gonzalez, PhD, CRNA; Sass Elisha, EdD, CRNA; Laura Bonanno, DNP, CRNA; Demetrius Porsche, DNS, PhD, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN; Kathy Cook, DNP, CRNA; Amanda Brown, DNAP, CRNA; Brett Clay, DNAP, CRNA; Deana Starr, DNP, CRNA


The COA formed and charged the Common Clinical Assessment Tool (CCAT) Special Interest Group with developing a standardized assessment instrument that is competency based and reflective of the Practice Doctorate Standards for nurse anesthesia programs’ use. The Special Interest Group developed an initial draft of a CCAT including domains, competencies, and progression indicators.

Methodology and Results

The SIG used a Delphi Study technique to develop the CCAT and validate its use in nurse anesthesia programs and improve the ability to accurately assess students’ clinical competencies. The COA sought participation from a Panel of Judges from its communities of interest (i.e. program administrator, nurse anesthesia faculty, clinical educators, and nurse anesthesia students) to evaluate the CCAT.

The Common Clinical Assessment Tool can provide consistently accurate evaluation of a learner’s clinical performance during anesthesia education which is vital to:

  • Allow the learner to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. 
  • Effectively integrate academic knowledge into clinical practice. 
  • Improve competence upon graduation and patient outcomes. 
  • Determine if terminal educational objectives are being achieved. 
  • Serve as documentation for remediation or dismissal.

Next Steps

The CCAT will be distributed to all US program administrators who complete the COA’s Registered User process. The Registered User process will include completion of a brief survey as well as an orientation/training webinar. The link to the Registered User survey will be active beginning Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. CT and can be found HERE. It should take no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete the survey. Further information regarding the orientation/training webinar will be provided to programs that complete the survey. The use of the CCAT by programs remains optional. The COA’s CCAT will be the first nationally validated clinical assessment instrument in nurse anesthesia within the US. Future analysis will be needed to determine if the CCAT accurately and consistently evaluates clinical performance in nurse anesthesia learners.


The CCAT would like to express its appreciation to the COA for its support of the project. Also its appreciation to the Accreditation Specialists Susan Monsen, MATD and Molyka Leonard, MPA, for staff support.

To view more details about the development of the Common Clinical Assessment Tool, please click here.​​

If you should have any questions please contact the  Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs  at or 847-655-1160.