Burn Nursing Specialty Certification – The CBRN exam is coming October 17, 2023!

ATTENTION: CBRN exam applications will open on October 17, 2023.

Beginning October 17, eligible RNs and APRNs in the U.S. and its Territories, Canada, and Australia may apply to sit for the CBRN exam here. Nurses outside those areas will first need to go through BCEN’s International Credential Evaluation process. Exams may be taken at approved testing centers or via Live Remote Proctoring.

Other useful links: American Burn Association (ABA) member and military discounts | BCEN Voucher Program for volume discounts on exams, retests and renewals for employers and groups of 3 or more nurses | BCEN’s new Test Assurance Program

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) is developing the world’s first burn nursing specialty certification — the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN). It has been our honor to partner with the American Burn Association and world-class burn nurses on the initial development of the CBRN.

Below, read about the milestones that led to this historic happening in burn care.

To receive the latest information and updates about the CBRN, be sure to complete the form on this page.



CBRN Burn Nursing Certification Milestones

September 2023

Following a successful beta testing phase, 165 nurses earned the CBRN credential along with 61 subject matter experts integral to the development of the CBRN certification program. Congratulations to the world’s first board certified burn nurses!!

On September 18, BCEN introduced a CBRN practice exam, which pulls from a bank of 150 questions and provides diagnostic feedback and references. Users may take up to 3 non-timed exams and 3 timed exams.

Specialty Certification for Burn Nursing: Value, Beliefs and Benefits” publishes in the September/October 2023 issue of Journal of Burn Care & Research.

August 2023

With the CBRN beta testing phase now complete, BCEN is preparing for the wide availability of the CBRN exam later this year. Nurses wishing to earn the CBRN are invited to create a BCEN account and fill out the form on this page to receive the latest updates about CBRN certification.

BCEN is also growing its burn nursing CE offerings on our BCEN Learn platform. The following interactive burn nursing CE courses are now available: Initial Burn Care and Resuscitation, Escaping the Shift: Acute Burn Resuscitation Priorities, and Dilution is the Solution: Treatment and Management of Chemical Burns. The free-CE webinar, Acute Management of the Burn Patient, is also available.

In late August, the American Burn Association (ABA) published the burn nursing core curriculum: Burn Nursing: Injury Prevention to Rehabilitation and Aftercare. This primary study resource for nurses preparing to take the CBRN exam includes information about the entire continuum of burn patient care.

May 2023

On May 10, applications for the CBRN beta exam were accepted. All available seats were filled. CBRN beta testing took place from July 10 – August 6. Nurses who pass the exam will be among the world’s first specialty certified burn nurses.

The CBRN exam will be widely available in 4Q 2023.

  • To be eligible to sit for the exam, RNs (and APRNs) must hold a current, unrestricted RN license in the United States, a US Territory, Canada or Australia.
  • Two years of burn nursing experience is recommended; however, it is not required.
  • Nurses practicing outside the countries listed above must go through BCEN’s International Credential Evaluation process, which is administered by CGFNS, to confirm their eligibility to sit for BCEN exams. **Since this process can take some time, we recommend initiating this process before Q4 2023.

Also in May, BCEN invited burn nurses not taking the beta exam to apply to participate in the 2023 CBRN Passing Point Study. Thank you to all of the nurses who volunteered for this important endeavor.

April 2023

Starting May 10, eligible nurses may apply to take the CBRN exam during the beta testing window, which will occur from July 10 – August 6. Nurses who pass the exam will be among the world’s first specialty certified burn nurses.

March 2023

Letters to the editor authored by burn nursing experts and BCEN’s certification director published in the Journal of Burn Care Research and Burns provide the worldwide burn care community with important information and updates about the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN) certification program.

Special thanks to authors Emily Werthman, MSN, RN, Burn Program Coordinator at The Johns Hopkins Burn Center, and Katie Hollowed, MSN, RN, International Society for Burns Injuries (ISBI) Nursing Committee member and Burn Program Manager at the South Carolina Burn Center at Medical University of South Carolina.

Late 2022/Early 2023

CBRN exam development continues in collaboration with volunteer burn nursing subject matter expert item writers and members of BCEN’s CBRN Exam Construction Review (ECRC)—which is chaired by University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center Northwest Regional Burn Model System Research Nurse Supervisor Gretchen Carrougher, MN, RN—and BCEN’s exam development partner, PSI.

November 2022

BCEN publishes the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN) Exam Content Outline, which represents the burn nursing specialty body of knowledge. The content outline serves as a blueprint for the CBRN exam and is an important resource for nurses studying for the exam. Read BCEN’s Nov. 2 announcement.

September 2022

Burn nurse subject matter experts from across the U.S. attend BCEN’s item writer workshop to begin the development of test questions for the CBRN exam. Under the guidance of the newly formed CBRN Exam Construction and Review Committee, volunteer CBRN item writers from every region of the United States will develop exam items throughout the rest of the year and into 2023.

Late Spring/Early Summer 2022

Members of the BCEN Burn Nursing RDS Advisory Committee draft and finalize the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN) Exam Content Outline. The outline will be reviewed and approved by the BCEN board of directors and published later this year. Learn more in “CBRN Update: July 2022.”

March/April 2022

BCEN nursing specialty certification experts, American Burn Association (ABA) burn nursing subject matter experts, and BCEN test development partner PSI Services conduct the initial Burn Nursing Role Delineation Study (RDS) survey to define the burn nursing scope of practice and body of knowledge. Read BCEN’s March 15 announcement about the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN).

The 405 burn nurses who completed the 154-question BCEN Burn Nursing RDS Survey (53% completion rate) played a very important role in defining and validating burn nurse roles, responsibilities and competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities). The results of the survey will help determine the content of the CBRN exam and be the basis for the detailed exam content outline.

Fall/Winter 2021

Subject matter experts are selected for a burn nursing role delineation study (RDS), which then gets underway in early 2022.

The ABA continues drafting a core curriculum titled Burn Nursing: From Injury Prevention to Rehabilitation, which will be one of the primary resources for the creation of exam content.

Summer 2021

BCEN enters into a partnership with ABA to develop a burn nursing specialty certification program. BCEN will solely own the certification program and maintain the exam.

September 2020

Burn Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice publishes. Created by a diverse committee of experienced burn nurses, this reference provides the official scope and standards of practice for burn nursing and was critical to burn nursing being recognized as a nursing specialty.

August 2020

The American Nurses Association formally recognizes burn nursing as a nursing specialty, approves the scope of practice, and acknowledges the standards of practice.

BCEN is committed to supporting nurses delivering specialty care across the emergency spectrum and beyond, advancing nursing practice and excellence, and promoting optimal patient outcomes with the highest quality, most respected credentials.

Please direct any questions or inquiries about the burn nursing RDS and burn certification program to BCEN Director of Certification and Accreditation Amy Grand, MSN, RN, at agrand@bcen.org. Media inquiries should be directed to BCEN Director of Marketing & Communications Hilde Marnul at hmarnul@bcen.org