Awards & Scholarships

BCEN’s annual emergency nursing awards shine a national spotlight on certified nurses and organizations who exemplify excellence in support of specialty certification. Our nursing scholarship donations help BCEN nurses achieve their academic goals.

Individual Awards | Organizational Awards | Scholarships

About BCEN’s Awards Program

Every year, BCEN shines a national spotlight on exemplary nurses and organizations who are committed to specialty certification and excellence in emergency nursing and who promote and advance the value of board certification.

  • BCEN’s Distinguished Awards recognize one nurse exemplifying excellence in each of four emergency nursing specialties: emergency (CEN®), pediatric emergency (CPEN®), transport (CFRN® or CTRN®), and trauma (TCRN®).
  • BCEN’s National Certification Champion Award recognizes organizations in three categories: Small Healthcare Organization, Large Healthcare Organization and Healthcare System.

Help us recognize excellence, achievement and impact in emergency nursing certification. Nominate a colleague, nominate yourself, or nominate your workplace!

Eligibility requirements, judging criteria, nomination forms and deadlines, award dates, and previous winners are provided below.

Distinguished Awards

BCEN’s Distinguished Awards recognize board certified emergency nurses who exemplify excellence in their emergency nursing specialty practice and who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to advocating for, supporting and promoting board certification for emergency nurses.

Please nominate an individual who demonstrates:

  • Excellence in pursuing advanced knowledge with one of BCEN’s certifications
  • Achievement in promoting and advocating for BCEN emergency nursing certification
  • Impact of certification on the nursing profession and patient outcomes

Eligibility Requirements

Any nurse holding a current CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse), CFRN (Certified Flight Registered Nurse), CPEN (Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse), CTRN (Certified Transport Registered Nurse) or TCRN (Trauma Certified Registered Nurse) certification is eligible to be nominated or nominate themselves.*

To be eligible for a Distinguished Award, nominees must:

  • Hold the specific BCEN certification that is being honored
  • Be currently practicing in that specialty emergency nursing area

*Individuals serving on BCEN’s board of directors or exam construction and review committees (ECRCs), or who are engaged in revenue-generating businesses or activities associated with any BCEN certification program, product or service (including providers of certification prep materials and/or review courses), are not eligible.

Nomination Submission Requirements  

In order to be considered, nominations must include the following:

  • Completed nomination form
  • Nominee’s current CV
  • Two (2) letters of reference from individuals with relevant professional positions

See each award below for nomination windows and forms, award presentation dates and previous winners.  

Distinguished CEN Award

  • Honors a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Distinguished CEN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in Summer 2021!
  • 2020 Winner

    Jude Lark

    BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN Overlook Medical Center, Summit, NJ

    About Jude

    Jude is the emergency services clinical nurse educator at Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey. Jude demonstrates excellence in maintaining her own CEN certification, but she also works tirelessly to ensure that the nurses in the Emergency Department obtain their certification. She reinforces the importance of obtaining certification which demonstrates a commitment to delivering evidence-based care. Each year Jude coordinates CEN and CPEN review courses at Overlook Medical Center. She is committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients and to ensure that the nurses caring for them are practicing to the full scope of their profession.

    Read more about Jude.


  • Previous Winners

    Heather Linsalata, BSN, RN, CEN
    Newark, NJ

    Wilmar Flores, BSN, RN, CEN
    San Diego, CA

    Kathy Ingersoll, BSN, RN, CEN
    Richmond, VA

    Kara Bauman, MN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
    Fairfax, VA

    Diane Branson, RN, CEN, OR-SANE-A
    Albany, OR

Distinguished CPEN Award

  • Honors a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN).
  • Distinguished CPEN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in Summer 2021!
  • 2020 Winner

    Lisa Chambers

    MSN, MPS, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN CHOC Children's Hospital, Orange, CA

    About Lisa

    Lisa has increased the number of certified
    nurses by 12, not an easy feat. She was able to accomplish this through
    mentoring and seeking out funds to host a CPEN review course for the
    organization. Lisa is well-respected across the organization and is
    considered an expert clinical to her peers. She role models nursing

    Read more about Lisa.


  • Previous Winners

    Cara Szeglin, BSN, RN, CPEN
    Levittown, NY

    Jodi Cregger, RN, MICT, CEN, CFRN, CPEN
    Great Bend, KS

    Brian Johnson, RN, CEN, CPEN
    Walnut Creek, CA

    Kristen Cline, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, SANE-A
    Sioux Falls, SD

Distinguished CFRN/CTRN Award

  • Honors a Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) or a Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN).
  • Winner honored at the Critical Care Transport Medicine Conference (CCTMC) in April 2020
  • Distinguished CFRN/CTRN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in early 2021!


  • 2020 Winner

    Tonya Barnard


    About Tonya
    Tonya Barnard started her flight career by doing something quite extraordinary. When she started her employment as a flight nurse she already had her CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CFRN, and CTRN. In addition, she also had her CCRN. Having done this, she demonstrated to others that these certifications are doable and not a modern-day Holy Grail. She has frequently encouraged others at her base to complete certifications, as well as at other bases and to nurses at hospitals that she visits. When at public events Tonya encourages nurses that are interested in flying to began the process of seeking certification and to start the process of preparing for the CFRN. She has offered assistance and challenged others to sit for the certifications. She has also assisted her company with education and in house certification review courses. She verbally encourages others to excel and leads by example.

    Read more about Tonya

  • Previous Winners

    Orlando, FL

    Teresa Elder, MEd, BSN, RN, CFRN
    Lakewood, CO

    Bambi Pish-Derr, DNP, CFRN, CCRN
    Mesa, AZ

    Kimberly Lacina, MSN, ARNP-C, CTRN, CEN, EMT-P
    Palm Harbor, FL

    Mick McCallum, TNS, RN, CFRN, CCRN, EMT-P, FP-C, CMTE
    Topeka, KS

Distinguished TCRN Award

  • Honors a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN).
  • Winner honored at STN’s TraumaCon in April 2020.
  • Distinguished TCRN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in early 2021!
  • 2020 Winner

    Lt. Mariah Pruett

    NC, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN 60th Medical Group/Emergency Services Flight at David Grant USAF Medical Center

    About Mariah
    Lt Pruett has been nothing short of exceptional. She continually strives for excellence in both her clinical knowledge and clinical care, elevating the knowledge and skill of those around her by doing so. She utilizes her drive for improved patient care to encourage and mentor her coworkers and colleagues to also strive to improve themselves through certification. She mentored not only the Emergency Medicine nurses, but also the ICU staff, creating a certification mentorship program within the 60th Medical Group. Thanks to the mentorship and motivation of Lt Pruett, TCRN certification rates in the 60th Medical Group increased by 200%.

    Read more about Mariah

  • Previous Winners

    Travis Beebe-Woodard, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
    Burlington, VT

    June Guadalupe, MSN, BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, CMC, CNRN, TCRN 
    Baltimore, MD

    Andrea Wright, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Roanoke, VA

National Certification Champion Award

  • Awarded in three categories.
  • National Certification Champion Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in Summer 2021!


BCEN’s National Certification Champion Award (formerly Honorary Certification Recognition Award) recognizes health care facilities and health systems that:

  • Exemplify excellence in supporting emergency RNs who pursue BCEN certifications
  • Show achievement in designing and implementing effective and innovative practices and programs that encourage, support, and recognize emergency nursing specialty certification
  • Demonstrate the impact of a board certified emergency nurse workforce on patient, nurse and organizational outcomes

One national winner will be recognized in each of the following categories:

  • Small Healthcare Organization: single hospital emergency department, trauma program or freestanding emergency center with less than 30,000 visits per year, or a single critical care ground transport and/or flight base
  • Large Healthcare Organization: single hospital emergency department, trauma program or freestanding emergency center with more than 30,000 visits per year
  • Healthcare System: a group or system of 2 or more hospital emergency departments, trauma programs, freestanding emergency centers, or critical care ground transport and/or flight bases

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for the National Certification Champion Award, a facility or organization must:

  • Currently employ BCEN-certified emergency, transport and/or trauma nurses
  • Be actively engaged in supporting their nurses in obtaining and maintaining one or more of BCEN’s certifications
  • Serve as a model for advancing board certification for the nursing profession

Nomination Requirements

In order to be considered, nominations must include the following:

  • Completed nomination form
  • Two (2) letters of reference from individuals with relevant professional positions or qualifications

Healthcare Systems

  • 2020 Winner

    Life LInk III

    Minneapolis, MN

    About Life Link III

    At Life Link III, 98% of their 44 nurses have one professional certification, 50% have two, and 22% have three or more, with the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) required for all RNs within 18 months of hire and additional certifications required for clinical ladder advancement. From day one, the value of certification is frequently spoken. Support includes a personal professional development fund, paid time off for exam prep and exam fee reimbursement, and opportunities to participate in and lead quality, safety and clinical initiatives.

    Read more about Life Link III

  • Previous Winners

    Northeast Georgia Health System  
    Gainesville, GA

    UCHealth Emergency Care  
    Fort Collins, CO

Large Healthcare Organization

  • 2020 Winner

    University of Vermont Health Network - Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital

    Plattsburg, NY

    About UVM Health Network – CVPH

    With nearly half of its ED RNs board certified on the way to a five-year goal of 100%, UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) awards every RN professional development funds and paid time off, covers board exam fees and offers free CEs, provides self-care activities, and hired a full-time ED nurse educator who holds all five BCEN certifications. Financial rewards include an annual differential for each certification held plus clinical ladder advancement. Newly certified RNs are celebrated on CVPH’s social channels and in the local media.

    Read more about UVM Health Network – CVPH

  • Previous Winners

    Oak Hill Hospital  
    Brooksville, FL

    Chilton Medical Center 
    Pompton Plains, NJ

    Houston Methodist Hospital System 
    Houston, TX

    Avera McKennan Hospital Emergency Department
    Sioux Falls, SD

    Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital EMTC
    Indianapolis, IN

Small Healthcare Organization

  • 2020 Winner

    Childress Regional Medical Center

    Childress, TX

    About Childress Regional Medical Center

    • With 42% of its emergency RNs holding the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and a mission to be the best rural facility in the state of Texas, Childress Regional Medical Center (CRMC) assists new hires with certification readiness and goal-setting from day one, offers a professional development scholarship fund for every employee, celebrates certified nurses with formal banquets covered by the local press, and rewards RNs with a pay increase for each national certification they hold.

    Read more about Childress Regional Medical Center (CRMC)

  • Previous Winners

    Rush Foundation Hospital ED
    Meridian, MS

    USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
    Glendale, CA

    Bristol Hospital
    Bristol, CT

    Angel MedFlight
    Scottsdale, AZ

    IU Health Saxony Hospital Emergency Department
    Fishers, IN


As part of our commitment to helping BCEN-certified nurses achieve all of their professional development goals, BCEN will donate $175,000 in 2020 to fund nearly 60 academic nursing scholarships.

BCEN proudly:

  • Donates to established scholarship programs to fund undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral scholarships for BCEN-certified nurses and fund paramedic-to-RN scholarships for paramedics committed to becoming BCEN-certified RNs
  • Donates $10,000 to ASTNA’s bereavement fund

To apply for BCEN-funded academic scholarships, please visit our partner organizations’ websites here:

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA):

Society of Trauma Nurses (STN):

Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA):

Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association (FNSNA):

Current Year Scholarship Contributions and Past Awardees:

ENA Foundation Scholarship - $70,000

  • 2020 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Wendy Allen-Thompson, RN, CEN
      New York
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Chelsea M Collins, BSN, RN, CEN, SANE-A
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Julie Rieker, RN, CEN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Kayla Albright, RN, CEN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Monica Dyer, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Flora Tomoyasu, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Ruthie Clearwater, RN, CEN, CFRN, CTRN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Carrie Hintz, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000

    BCEN Master’s Scholarship Recipients

    • Adrienne O’Neill, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Janna Ellsworth, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Stacey Coss, RN, CPEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Jessica Castro, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Regina Kuykendall, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $3,000
    • Debbie VanDerWilt, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $3,000
    • Edward Noonan, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $3,000

    BCEN Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Kimberly Whitfield, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $3,000
    • Mari Hoover-McGarry, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $3,000

Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) Scholarship - $35,000

  • 2020 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Juli Verlker, MSN, MFS, RN, CEN, TCRN
    • Keith Peterson, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Rutgers University: School of Nursing
    • Elizabeth Doss, MSN, APRN, ACNP-BC, TCRN
      University of Missouri – Columbia
    • Amanda Kencyk, MSN, ACNS, CEN, TCRN
      Chamberlain College of Nursing
    • Carolyn Krouse, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC, TCRN
      University of South Alabama

    BCEN Graduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Jason Brauninger, RN, BSN, CEN, TCRN, ATCN
      Emory University
    • Kevin Kobler, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CCRN-CSC
      Indiana Wesleyan University
    • Chelsea Burke, RN, BSN, TCRN
      A&M Corpus Christi Nursing School
    • Mindy Walters, BSN, RN, TCRN, CEN, CCRN-K
      Nebraska Methodist College – Josie Harper Campus
    • Jessica Menke, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
      University of Alabama at Birmingham

    BCEN Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Alisha Dixon, RN, CCRN, TCRN
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • Tracy Cotner-Pouncy, RN, TCRN
      University of Texas Arlington
    • Erin Makefield, BAS, ADN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CFRN, NREMTP, CCPC, FPC
      West Texas A&M

    BCEN Paramedic Scholarship Recipients

    • Evan Alling, EMT-P, NRP, CCP-C,FP-C, RN
      Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Air & Surface Transport Nursing Association (ASTNA) - $35,000

  • 2019 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral (DPN) Scholarship Recipients

    • Rachel Hollinger-Janzer, BSN, CCRN, CEN, CFRN, NRP, Nashville, TN

    BCEN Masters (MSN) Scholarship Recipients

    • Ian Luckhurst, BPe, BScN, RN, CFRN, ENC©, Rossland Canada (BC)
    • Christina Pratti, BSN, CCRN, CTRN, MICN, Port Jervis, NY
    • Alison Shafer, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, NR-P, PHRN, York, PA
    • Christopher Bauer, BA, BSN, PHRN, MICN, ACM-FN, CCRN-CMC, CFRN, CEN, North Wales, PA
    • William Murr Jr., RN, BSN, CFRN, NR-Paramedic, Colora, MD

    BCEN Undergraduate (BSN) Scholarship Recipients

    • Diana VaVerka, RN, CFRN, CCRN, FP-C, NREMT-P, OR Paramedic, CA Paramedic, Grants Pass, OR
    • Rebecca Mease, CFRN,  Alexandria, PA
    • Gregory S Zanone, RN, CFRN, MICN, Morristown, NJ

    Paramedic to RN Scholarship Recipients

    • Beth Ann Grass, FP-C, NR-P, Greenfield, IN
    • Grayson Parr, BS, NRP, FP-C, Baltimore, MD
    • Philip Cole, FB-C, NRP, BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, ATLS Certificate in Paramedicine, Methuen, MA

National Student Nurses Association Foundation (NSNA) - $35,000

  • 2020 Awardees
    • Haley Van, Chamberlain College of Nursing
    • Hayley Houston, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    • Alexis Boone, Pennsylvania State University
    • Haley Schumann, University of South Carolina
    • Alicia Gentile, University of San Francisco
    • Stephanie Taveras, Molloy College
    • Simardeep Pajetta, University of San Francisco
    • Renata Abiali, Quinnipiac University
    • Jennifer Fung, University of San Francisco
    • Carolyn Blaha, South Dakota State University