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!
  • 2019 Winner

    Heather Linsalata

    BSN, RN, CEN University Hospital, Newark, NJ

    About Heather

    Heather has been an incredible force in supporting professional development and nursing in her organization. She is credited for greatly improving morale and stabilizing her department. One way she has done this is through her tireless efforts for support of specialty nursing certification. Not only has Heather held numerous review courses, provided online learning materials and books to assist her team, she also has worked to remove financial barriers for the nurses to achieve certification. Heather provides fun fact Fridays with certification review questions. When it comes to recognition, Heather’s efforts continue to be robust with certification teas and badge buddies.


  • Previous Winners

    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!
  • 2019 Winner

    Cara Szeglin

    BSN, RN, CPEN New York-Presbyterian, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, Levittown, NY

    About Cara

    Cara has conducted numerous review classes and has set up a google classroom for her teammates to give them the tools to prepare for success. The CPENs in Cara’s department have increased from 1 to 11 in the past year. Cara works tirelessly to encourage and support her coworkers. She is truly a champion for CPEN certification and is making a huge difference!


  • Previous Winners

    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.

  • 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%.

  • 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

  • 2019 Winner

    Northeast Georgia Health System

    Gainesville, GA

    About Northeast Georgia Health System

    Support for specialty nursing certification starts on the first day of employment where new hires attend a seminar led by nursing leadership. In this seminar, the value placed on specialty nursing certification is conveyed along with the benefits and recognition in store for nurses once certification has been achieved. Recognition includes an annual dinner celebrating certified nurses across the system along with system wide recognition in the way of plaques, newsletters and public display of certification achievements throughout the facilities. Northeast Georgia has a 25% certification rate in their emergency departments throughout the health care system. Northeast tells us that supporting certification has led to many positive outcomes in performance improvement initiatives and patient satisfaction. They attribute this to the ownership and professionalism their certified nurses demonstrate.

  • Previous Winners

    UCHealth Emergency Care  
    Fort Collins, CO

Large Healthcare Organization

  • 2019 Winner

    Oak Hill Hospital

    Brooksville, FL

    About Oak Hill Hospital
    Oak Hill is truly a champion of specialty nursing certification. In the emergency department, the certification rate is 87%! Organization wide the certification rate held by nurses is 81%! Pretty impressive. All the nurse leaders in the organization act as role models and are 100% board certified. Nurses with the appropriate amount of experience are expected to achieve specialty certification within six months of hire. Nurses are provided preparation support, continuing education and financial assistance for the cost of the exam. Once certified, nurses are rewarded with additional pay. Oak Hill has robust recognition efforts in place, and they celebrate specialty certification achievement mightily with a certification breakfast, organizational emails and congratulatory letters sent to the nurses’ homes.

  • Previous Winners

    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 Health Care Organization

  • 2019 Winner

    Rush Foundation Hospital ED

    Meridian, MS

    About Rush Foundation Hospital ED
    This 25-bed emergency department boasts a 41% certification rate with five more nurses scheduled to take their CEN certification exams. Rush has a formal recognition plan in place to ensure their nurse’s accomplishments don’t go unnoticed. Rush also provides an increase in pay with achievement of certification. Rush tells us they have seen many benefits to their patients because their nurses have obtained specialty certification exemplifying greater confidence at the bedside.

  • Previous Winners

    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): https://www.ena.org/foundation/scholarships

Society of Trauma Nurses (STN): https://www.traumanurses.org/bcen-scholarships

Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA): https://astna.org

Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association (FNSNA): https://www.forevernursing.org/undergraduate-scholarships.html

Current Year Scholarship Contributions and Past Awardees:

ENA Foundation Scholarship - $70,000

  • 2019 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Allison Doyle, RN, BSN, CEN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Chelsea M Collins, BSN, RN, CEN, SANE-A
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Stacie Hunsaker, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CNE
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Hannah Kohler, BSN, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000

    BCEN Master’s Scholarship Recipients

    • Charissa Lynn, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN, PHRN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Chris Olmstead, BSN, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Emily Querin, BSN, RN, CEN
      North Carolina
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Heather Krehbiel, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Jackie Nevells, RN, BSN, CPN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Justin Henderson, BSN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • LaKeisha Kelly, BSN, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000
    • Lauren Xenakis, BSN, RN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $4,000

    BCEN Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Natalie Frontera, RN, CEN, EMT-P I/C
      Amount Awarded: $3,000
    • Heidi Bowen, RN, CEN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Jennifer Ruzicka Lee, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Kate Lennard, BA, EMT-B, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Laura K Walker, RN, EMT, CFRN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Mallory Hammond, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Maressa Aparicio, RN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Penelope Blake, RN, CCRN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000
    • Clint Erickson, ADN, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $2,000

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

  • 2019 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Kent Lee, MSN, RN, CNS, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, Anaheim, CA
    • Diana Bornik-Degroot, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, TCRN, Lakeland, FL
    • Beverly Meade, MSN, RN, MHA, CEN, CFRN, CTRN, TCRN, EMT-P, Glouster, OH

    BCEN Graduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Amanda Rardon, BS, RN, CEN, TCRN, Burnettsville, IN
    • Andrea Rinker, BSN, RN, CMSRN, TCRN, Lorain, OH
    • John Ripple, RN, CEN, TCRN, Hockessin, DE

    BCEN Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Ginger Koppi, RN, TCRN, CEN, CPEN, EMT, Rogers, MN
    • Joshua Winowieki, RN, CCRN, TCRN, Detroit, MI

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