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® and 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 early 2022 for next year’s nomination window!

Learn More

  • 2021 Winner

    Heidi Cote

    BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME

    About Heidi

    Heidi is a Clinical Nurse III and Clinical Nurse Coordinator at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Her team knows her as the best of the best. She is constantly advocating for her colleagues and helping them to achieve the highest levels of clinical and professional excellence through CEN certification. Heidi continues to raise the standard of care at Maine Medical Center through her nurse educator role and her practice at the bedside.

    Read more about Heidi.


  • Previous Winners

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

    Heather Linsalata, BSN, RN, CEN
    University Hospital, Newark, NJ

    Wilmar Flores, BSN, RN, CEN
    La Jolla Emergency Department, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Health Systems, La Jolla, CA

    Kathy Ingersoll, BSN, RN, CEN
    Harford Memorial Hospital, Havre de Grace, MD

    Kara Bauman, MN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
    Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Falls Church, VA

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

Distinguished CPEN Award

  • Honors a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN).
  • Distinguished CPEN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in early 2022 for next year’s nomination window!

Learn More

  • 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
    New York-Presbyterial Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York, NY

    Jodi Cregger, RN, MICT, CEN, CFRN, CPEN
    LifeTeam, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hutchinson, KS

    Brian Johnson, RN, CEN, CPEN
    NorthBay Medical Center, Fairfield, CA

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

Distinguished CFRN Award

  • NEW in 2021: BCEN will seek to recognize one top CFRN and one top CTRN with individual awards.
  • Award honors a Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN).
  • Winner recognized in July 2021.
  • Distinguished CFRN Award Nominations are closed for 2021. Check back in late 2021/early 2022 for next year’s nominations.
  • 2021 Winner

    Kevin Kissner

    MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN VCU Health & Virginia State Police Med-Flight I , Richmond, VA

    About Kevin
    Kissner has helped his base maintain a 100% certification rate, spearheaded a Virginia State Police initiative to standardize helicopter hoist rescue operations, been a driving force behind multiple state-wide clinical staff educational initiatives, and been recognized with several unit “Life Save” awards for successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest during transport. His peers consider him a champion for evidence-based care, safety and education.

    Read more about Kevin


  • Previous Winners

    Tonya Barnard, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, TCRN, CCRN, EMT-B
    Pafford Air One, Orlando, FL

    Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL

    Teresa Elder, MEd, BSN, RN, CFRN
    Flight for LIfe Colorado, St. Anthony Hospital, Denver, CO

    Bambi Pish-Derr, DNP, CFRN, CCRN
    Angel MedFlight, Scottsdale, AZ

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

Distinguished CTRN Award

  • NEW in 2021: BCEN will seek to recognize one top CFRN and one top CTRN with individual awards.
  • Award honors a Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN).
  • Distinguished CTRN Award Nominations are closed for 2021. Check back in late 2021/early 2022 for next year’s nominations.
  • 2016 Winner

    Kimberly Lacina

    MSN, ARNP-C, CTRN, CEN, EMT-P Sunstar Paramedics, Largo, FL

    About Kimberly
    Kim has been involved in patient transport since 2002. Within a few months, she demonstrated a passion and proficiency for the mobile care environment and was excited to challenge herself by earning the CTRN to demonstrate her aptitude in public transport. While serving as coordinator for the CCT program at Sunstar, she began using her education in the field of transport nursing to get the program CAMTS accredited. Now serving as Director of Clinical Services for Sunstar, she works with all new-hires to prepare for the CFRN or CTRN exams and has enacted policies that allot time for these RNs to study and sit for the exam as part of their job requirements.

  • Previous Winners


Distinguished TCRN Award

  • Honors a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN).
  • Winner recognized at STN’s TraumaCon in March 2021.
  • Distinguished TCRN Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in early 2022 for next year’s nominations!
  • 2021 Winner

    Julie Donnelly

    MSN, RN, TCRN Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

    About Julie
    From 2015 until 2020, Julie was the Trauma Program Manager at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In 2021, she was promoted to Director of Patient Care Services but still oversees their trauma program. As a leader, Julie has worked to remove barriers for her team and emphasized the importance of earning and maintaining trauma certification. Under her guidance, the trauma-designated units at her facility have consistently maintained certification rates that are above the average for all nursing units at her hospital.

    Read more about Julie


  • Previous Winners

    Lt. Mariah Pruett, NC, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN
    David Grant USAF Medical Center
    Fairfield, CA

    Travis Beebe-Woodard, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
    University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT

    June Guadalupe, MSN, BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, CMC, CNRN, TCRN 
    R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

    Andrea Wright, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Level I Trauma Center, Roanoke, VA

National Certification Champion Award

  • Awarded in three categories.
  • National Certification Champion Award Nominations are no longer being accepted. Check back in early 2022 for next year’s award nomination window.

Learn More

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

  • 2021 Winner

    Yale New Haven Hospital

    Plattsburg, NY

    About Yale New Haven Hospital

    Yale New Haven Hospital’s path to becoming a BCEN National Certification Champion serves as a master class on how to build an emergency nursing powerhouse that raises the standard of care for patients of all ages and scenarios,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “Any organization providing emergency, trauma, or transport nursing care can benefit from the certification best practices happening at Yale New Haven.”

    As YNHH’s nursing specialty certification rates continue to rise on the way to their ultimate goal of 100%, the hospital’s adult and pediatric EDs and critical care transport program have seen a variety of metrics improve — from rapid triage and out-the-door transport times to sepsis care and suicide prevention screening — largely thanks to unit-based councils focusing on nurse-led-and-driven performance improvement initiatives. Incorporating certification into its clinical ladder program is one of many ways YNHH encourages, recognizes and rewards certification.

    Read more about Yale New Haven

  • Previous Winners

    University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital   
    Plattsburg, NY

    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): 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 - $50,000

  • 2021 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Elisabeth Dowd, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Lisa M Lietzke, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Alison Camarda, RN, CEN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Wendy McEuen, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000

    BCEN Master’s Scholarship Recipients

    • Abigail Coles, RN, CEN
      North Carolina
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Kimberly Mueller, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Angela Morris, RN, CEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Megan Moyneur, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Lisa Scott, RN, CEN, CFRN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000
    • Paige Williams, RN, CPEN
      Amount Awarded: $5,000

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

  • 2021 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

    • Wendy McEuenr, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
      Chamberlain University
    • Farah Laurent, MSN, RN, CEN ,CPEN, TCRN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC 
      Monmouth University
    • Lisa Lietzke, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
      Wilmington University
    • Joshua Winowiecki, BSN, RN, CCRN, TCRN
      Michigan State University

    BCEN Graduate Scholarship Recipients

    • Matthew (Evan) Edminster, BSN, RN, TCRN, CFRN, CEN, NHDP-BC
      University of San Francisco
    • LynMaree Harris, RN, BSN, TCRN
      Aspen University
    • Irina Kennedy, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, TCRN
      University of Texas Medical Branch
    • Heather Timmons, RN, BSN, CCRN, TCRN
      Walden University
    • Hillary Howse, BSN, TCRN, CEN, TNCC, NIH, ACLS, BLS, PALS 
      George Washington University
    • Kimberly Mueller,  BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
      Grand Canyon University
    • Misty Brendan, BSN, RN, TCRN, PCCN
      South Dakota State University

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

  • 2020 Awardees

    BCEN Doctoral (DPN) Scholarship Recipients

    • Gregory Wamack, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CFRN, CTRN, AEMT, Mount Juliet, TN
    • Jonathan Baxter, BSN, RN, NREMT-B, CEN, CFRN, TCRN, CCRN, Ward, AR

    BCEN Masters (MSN) Scholarship Recipients

    • Teri Campbell, CEN, CFRN, TNS, PHRN, Chicago, IL
    • Paul Rigby, RN, BSN, BS, CFRN, CCRN, EMT-P, CCEMT-P, Schoolcraft, MI
    • David Schnabel Jr, BSN, RN, CFRN, CCRN, PHRN, Ardmore, PA
    • Kaitlyn Luckey-Smith, RN, BSN, MSc, CCRN, CFRN, FP-C, NR-Paramedic, CEN, Clyde, NC
    • Kyle Lucky-Smith, MSc, CCRN, CFRN, FP-C, Clyde, NC

    Paramedic to RN Scholarship Recipients

    • Jeffrey Begay Jr, AAS EMT-P, NRP, FP-C, C-NPT, Denver, CO
    • Jeffrey Massie, EMT-P, FPC, Simi Valley, CA
    • Jesse Mangiacarne, Associates Degree Paramedic, NREMT-P, PA state paramedic, FP-C, Altoona, PA

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

  • 2021 Awardees
    • Michael Fleck, Pennsylvania State University
    • Jason Hicks, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
    • Annamaria Keltner, Point Loma Nazarene University
    • Colleen Kinslow, Medical University of South Carolina
    • John Palmer, University of Pennsylvania
    • Sabrina Sabry, Chamberlain University College of Nursing
    • Grace Schaefer, Binghamton University, Decker School of Nursing
    • Hailey Stevens, University of New Hampshire
    • Gabriela Willet, Seattle University, College of Nursing