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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)3/23/2018
March 2018

Important Update on Exam Blueprints for 2019

Meet Kaesa Footracer, MS, PA-C, Treasurer, NCCPA Board of Directors

5 Answers to Your Questions on the Alternative to PANRE Pilot

The First CAQ Exam Deadline is Quickly Approaching

nccPA Health Foundation: Call for Grants to Promote Equitable Care & Mental Health

Become a PA Historian

ortant Update on Exam Blueprints for 2019

Two new exam blueprints — one for certification (PANCE) and one for recertification (PANRE and the Alternative to PANRE Pilot) — are now available for those certifying or recertifying beginning in 2019.

  • A new certification blueprint for PANCE is now available for those taking PANCE in 2019 and beyond. PANCE will continue to cover broad general medical and surgical knowledge and skills deemed important for entry to PA practice. Changes include: slight modifications have been made to the percentage allocations of the organ system categories; the renal diseases and disorders previously included in the genitourinary category have been moved to a separate renal category; and the portion of the exam that may be allocated to questions dealing with professional practice issues (formerly called legal and ethical) has been slightly increased. 

View the 2019 PANCE blueprint here

For those taking PANCE in 2018, the current blueprint is also on the website.

The new recertification blueprint applies to both the PANRE exam and to the alternative to PANRE pilot. This new blueprint completes the move from a general medicine exam to a core medical knowledge assessment. Core medical knowledge is defined as the essential, foundational knowledge and cognitive skills required for PAs to provide safe and effective care for patients across the lifespan and across the spectrum of medicine, regardless of the specialty or area of practice. 

“Core medical knowledge is relevant to all PAs regardless of their chosen practice discipline,” says Dawn Morton-Rias, President and CEO of NCCPA, “Since over 70% of PAs practice outside of primary care and many change specialties during their career, we believe the assessment of core medical knowledge will be meaningful.”

  • This recertification blueprint was developed in conjunction with PAs—with input from a profession-wide practice analysis, a profession-wide survey and multiple exam committee focus groups. The content covered on the new blueprint is based on careful analysis of the feedback gathered through this multi-year initiative. 

The new recertification content blueprint provides PAs with more granular information on which diseases and disorders will be included on the exams and to what level each disease and disorder will be tested, from recognizing signs and symptoms and referring the patient appropriately -- to making diagnosis and treatment plans with well-known comorbid conditions, standard contraindications, and standard complications. 

View the 2019 recertification blueprint here.

For those taking PANRE this year, 2018 blueprints are also available on the website to use in your preparation efforts.

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Meet Kaesa Footracer, MS, PA-C, Treasurer, NCCPA Board of Directors

Katherine (Kaesa) Footracer, MS, PA-C has served on the NCCPA Board of Directors as PA Director-at-Large since January 2016, and this year assumes the position of Treasurer. In this role, she chairs the Financial Integrity Committee. She also serves on the Board Development Committee, and chaired the Taskforce on Honorary Recognition in 2017.

Kaesa works in primary care in Los Angeles and believes that providing quality care to all is an issue of social justice. She is proud to have been certified by NCCPA since 2008. She has published and peer-reviewed work in several professional journals, including in JAAPA, for which she won a Paragon Award from AAPA in 2011. Prior to becoming a PA, she managed not-for-profit organizations and worked as a massage therapist.

She is a member of the California Academy of PAs, AAPA, and the AAPA LBGT PA Caucus. She has also served the profession through work in the House of Delegates, the New Jersey State Society of PAs, and the AAPA Quality Care work group.

In her spare time, Kaesa volunteers for the Los Angeles County Disaster Healthcare Team, and leads nature tours as a docent naturalist and board member of Eaton Canyon Nature Center.

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5 Answers to Your Questions on the Alternative to PANRE Pilot

Want to know what all the excitement is about? Listen to Sheila Mauldin, VP of Research and Exam Programs, answer your questions on a short podcast that explains the pilot:

Already more than 7,000 PAs have signed up to participate in the pilot program. If you are interested in learning more, go to and then sign in to your record to apply by June 30, 2018.

Rather take PANRE this year instead? The last day to take PANRE in 2018 is December 17. To read more about PANRE, go to

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The First CAQ Exam Deadline is Quickly Approaching

Interested in earning a Certificate of Added Qualification to validate your experience and dedication in your specialty? The application deadlines are March 30 and Sept. 7, respectively. 

All CAQ exams will be administered nationwide on April 2-3 and Sept. 10-15.

The Emergency Medicine Specialty Exam is also being offered on May 7-8 in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the SEMPA 360 Conference. The last day to apply for this exam is May 4.

We offer CAQs in seven specialties: Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Nephrology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry.

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PA History Society Logo
Call for Grants to Promote Equitable Care & Mental Health

PA History Society Logo

The nccPA Health Foundation is accepting         applications for the 2018 cycle of its Kathy J.   Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care($5,000) as well as a new PA Mental Health   Community Outreach Grant ($1,000).

“Having funded more than 60 PA-led projects, the Foundation is equipping certified PAs and PA students to transform health in their communities,” said Ted Wendel, PhD, nccPA Health Foundation Board Chair. “The Kathy Pedersen Grant emphasizes the PA role in fostering accessible, equitable care for those in greatest need, while the new outreach grant supports PAs in addressing the mental health crises in our country.”

PA Mental Health Community Outreach Grant

Apply when ready: Applications accepted year-round

Millions of lives – patients, caregivers, and communities – are impacted by mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The Foundation believes systemic change is possible by advancing the roles of PAs and strengthening partnerships to address these needs. 

This new $1,000 grant is intended to equip PAs to design outreach activities that leverage their mental health knowledge and skills to raise awareness in local and provider communities, to promote prevention, and to foster education and treatment. 

This program is for certified PAs, PA organizations (accredited educational programs or constituent organizations), and PA students. Grants are reviewed as received and awarded based on merit until all funds are expended. View the RFP and get started today!

Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable CarePA History Society Logo

Apply by Thursday, June 7, 2018

This annual grant provides PAs up to $5,000 for projects that support innovative, actionable strategies that directly and sustainably impact public health needs. Applicants are challenged to design programs that support the Foundation’s mission to advance the role of certified PAs to improve health and that bridge system gaps, advocate for the underserved, or creatively develop resources for those in need. 

Certified PAs, PA organizations (educational programs and constituent organizations), and PA students may apply. To be considered during this grant’s annual funding cycle, submit the completed application by Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Funding decisions for the 2018 cycle will be announced in August/September 2018. 

The grant’s inaugural recipient piloted an innovative program that used text messaging as the basis for case management of uninsured patients with mental health diagnoses at the Pocatello Free Clinic in Pocatello, Idaho. The 2017 recipient – the Marquette University PA program –  is promoting health literacy, specifically to increase health knowledge and self-efficacy among low-income and homeless adults in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

With the opening of the 2018 cycle, the nccPA Health Foundation expresses its gratitude to the Kathy and Don Pedersen for their tireless work and generous support for this program. 

Learn more about these and the Foundation’s Be the CHANGE and oral health grant programs here. Grant questions? Email us at


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Become a PA Historian

Join us at the first PA History Society Historian Boot Camp this September. The two-day workshop titled, Become A PA Historian: How to Save, Study and Share the story of PAs, our History, and Legacy has been approved for 12 credits of AAPA Category 1 CME. Also, the Society’s popular The Physician History: An Illustrated History book is now available as an ebook!

If you have a passion for PA History, we hope you will join us in September.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Organize and preserve historical documents

  • Attain archival skills for research and study

  • Become an advocate for PA History and the profession

  • Develop techniques to creatively write, speak and share the history of your institution and the PA profession

What:   Become A PA Historian Boot Camp”

When: Thursday, Sept. 27 & Friday, Sept. 28

Where:  PAHx - NCCPA Headquarters in Johns Creek, GA

Registration Fee: $225.00 **

Fee Includes:Boot Camp Handbook, Lunch & Dinner on first day,

and Lunch on second day

Registration:    678-417-8682 or

Registration will be open from March 19 – June 1 to the first 24 attendees

Participants are responsible for their own transportation (to and from Johns Creek, GA) and hotel. 

A room block has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn located across the street from the PAHx office. The daily room rate is $175 which includes a complimentary breakfast buffet.

**Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to participants to attend the Boot Camp. Priority will be given to participants who will not be receiving institutional funding. Please download the PA Historian Boot Camp Scholarship Application Form from the PAHx website.

The Physician Assistant: An Illustrated History is now available as an ebook for Kindle on, in addition to being available as a hard-copy paperback. The ebook can be read on any device that has the Kindle app; which you can download for free!

This activity has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 12 AAPA Category 1 CME credits by the AAPA Review Panel.

Read the latest edition of the Society’s newsletter, Historical Happenings and stay up-to-date on all things PA history by connecting with us on social media. Please be sure to “like” PA History Society on Facebook to receive weekly updates and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our Blog!

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At NCCPA, we work to promote the role, impact and qualifications of Certified PAs in many ways including through the media. Below is a recently published article.

Want to get involved? If you have a great article idea or a story to share, contact Communications Director, Mary Rittle, at

What’s Happening at NCCPA? Check out our new video “February 2018: NCCPA in 60ish Seconds!

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The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants is dedicated to serving the interest of the public. We do so with a passionate belief that certified physician assistants are essential members of the health care delivery team who provide millions access to more affordable, high quality health care.

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