Meet the BCEN 2023 National Certification Champion: Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

On September 28, 2023, BCEN was pleased to announce our 2023 National Certification Champion Award – Large Healthcare Organization category winner:    



Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Roanoke, VA


What does being named a BCEN National Certification Champion mean to your organization and the communities you serve?

We are tremendously proud of being awarded this recognition! In a time when healthcare organizations across the country are challenged on many fronts, continuing the support of staff seeking specialty certification is one of many ways we can show our commitment to our employees and patients.  Carilion’s mission is to “Improve the health of the communities we serve.” This occurs in many realms and across the organization, including in our providing of expert specialty care. Nursing certifications help us achieve our mission and illustrate the passion and dedication of our frontline teams.

What sets nurses who have earned the CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CTRN, and/or CFRN apart in their daily practice and in their professional development trajectories?

BCEN certifications enhance nursing care across the spectrum. Not only in direct patient care, but also extending into leadership, education of new staff, nursing research, and our representation at local, regional, state, and national levels that help shape today’s and tomorrow’s healthcare teams.

What are the positive outcomes you are seeing and tracking as the number of BCEN-certified nurses increases?

Our nurses partner with physicians, mid-level providers, and leaders across multiple departments to improve patient outcomes. As Carilion’s flagship hospital, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) is our region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center for both adult and pediatrics. Our teams represent our region through local, regional, and state committees. We are proud to have a certified nurse in every nursing position across our Trauma Section. It’s not a prerequisite, but our teams are dedicated and committed to serving at the top of their license.

From increasing awareness and preparation efforts for pediatric disaster planning on a national level to presenting a TBI mortality study at the World Brain Injury Congress in Dublin, Ireland in March 2023, our nurses are achieving great things. Our efforts to reduce hospital associated infections (HAI) is another example of collaboration across disciplines and departments that is partially lead by nurses with specialty certifications.

What do you most want other organizations to know about why and how to support nursing specialty certification?

Meaningful and impactful support for nursing specialty certifications should come from the highest levels of leadership at any organization. This support can also come in many forms, including financial, time off, reinforcement, and rewards. Here at Carilion, our recipe for success encompasses all of these, and we continue to explore new ways to continue that support as it positively impacts our staff and patients.

Encouraging nurses to get certified in their specialty areas ensures patients receive the best care possible. Specialty certification has the ripple effect of reduced cost related to safety events, increased staff satisfaction and overall higher quality of care.

In nominating Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH), Senior Director of Trauma Programs Dan Freeman, MSN, RN, TCRN wrote:

“BCEN certifications and more specifically the TCRN certification has been a catalyst for an innovative program developed at CRMH to deepen the knowledge base of our nursing staff within our designed inpatient trauma PCU. … These efforts have led to a 500% increase in TCRN certifications and a 133% increase in certified nursing staff within the trauma PCU alone, with additional staff ready to test soon.”

And here’s what Carilion nurse leaders had to say:

“Our nurses make the difference for patients during some of their worst moments, going above and beyond to deliver quality care. It’s a privilege to be a part of a team that is committed to nursing excellence, practicing at the top of their license through specialty certification.”

– Tami Frost, RN, Chief Nursing Officer for Carilion


“I began my career as an ED nurse at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital 15 years ago, and it is where I learned the importance of certification and the advancement it lends to nursing. As I moved up the leadership ladder, I continued to recognize that a certified nurse was of the more engaged and innovative nurse.”

– Lindsay Collins, DNP, RN, CEN, FACHE, Vice President, Department of Medicine, Acute Care Services, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital


“Carilion Clinic nurses hold a multitude of nursing certifications including CEN, CPEN, CFRN, CTRN, TCRN and others. Through a nurse-led study group, the number of BCEN-certified nurses at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is growing rapidly” and “… the importance of nursing advancement to improve the care of the communities we serve is of the utmost importance.”

Michelle Franklin, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President of Carilion Women’s, Carilion Children’s, Nursing Support Services and Interpreter Services and previous interim Chief Nursing Officer

Learn how to build a Culture of Certification Support from all 3 of BCEN’s 2023 National Certification Champion Award winners here.