Exam Registration Questions
How do I apply for a BCEN exam?
The exam application is only available online via your BCEN Account. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to submit an exam application.
Will I get a discount on my exam for being a member of my professional association?
Yes, the fee is $285 for professional association members and $380 for non-members.
I received a complimentary certification certificate; can I use this certificate to apply online?
Yes, the certification gift certificate will include a complimentary voucher number. This can be entered during checkout at the end of your application and will cover the cost of the exam fee. Please contact a BCEN Candidate Experience Specialist at +1-877-302-BCEN (2236), or by email to email@example.com for any questions.
Are BCEN exams offered internationally?
Yes, BCEN exams are offered at PSI testing centers worldwide.
Are BCEN exams offered in other languages?
BCEN exams are only available in English regardless of what country it is offered in.
What is the cost of the exam?
The cost varies depending on membership status and certification status. View all fees.
When can I schedule my exam appointment?
You can schedule your exam appointment with BCEN’s test delivery provider, PSI, immediately after your online application is processed along with payment in full. You will receive an exam eligibility email that contains important information on your 90-day testing window and how to schedule your exam appointment with PSI. We strongly recommend that you decide on the date you want to sit for the exam and promptly schedule that date with PSI.
When will I receive my exam eligibility e-mail?
Your exam eligibility email will be sent immediately after your online application and payment in full are received and processed.
- If you complete your online application along with a credit card or ECheck/ACH payment then your application is processed immediately. An eligibility email will be sent out immediately.
- If you complete your online application, but mail in a check payment, please allow up to 4 weeks for processing. An eligibility email will be sent once your payment is received and processed.
- From what email address will the eligibility email be sent?
I have not received my eligibility email; what should I do?
First check your e-mail spam folder. If you are unable to locate the e-mail, contact a BCEN Candidate Experience Specialist within 2 business days of the processed application and payment. Note: If your payment was mailed, please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.
Is it necessary to schedule an exam appointment?
Yes. You must have a scheduled exam appointment with PSI to sit for your exam regardless of whether you choose to test in a center or via Live Remote Proctoring; walk-ins without a scheduled appointment are not allowed. You must schedule and sit for the exam within your 90-day test window. We strongly recommend that you decide on the date you want to sit for the exam and promptly schedule that date with PSI.
Can I schedule an appointment without the exam eligibility email?
Yes, you can schedule your exam immediately after the application has been completed in full, including payment. Simply go to your BCEN Dashboard and click on “Schedule Exam” or “Exam Authorized” next to the appropriate certification logo on the left-hand side of your screen. You must schedule and sit for your exam within your 90-day testing window. We strongly recommend that you decide the date you want to sit for the exam and promptly schedule that date with PSI.
May I contact PSI directly to schedule my exam appointment without submitting an application?
No. PSI cannot schedule an exam appointment for you until the exam application process has been completed by BCEN. Immediately following the processing of your online exam application along with payment in full, an eligibility email is sent to you with instructions on how to schedule your exam.
Can I reschedule my exam?
Yes. If you are within your 90-day testing window AND still have at least 48 hours before the exam (based on the time zone of the testing center where you have an exam scheduled or the location of live remote proctoring), you will be able to reschedule with PSI with no reschedule/cancellation fees.
You can contact PSI at 833-518-7459.
When rescheduling, you must pick a new exam time that also falls within your 90-day window.
Candidates who fail to reschedule/cancel within these guidelines, or do not appear for their scheduled exam time, will forfeit the full testing fee. Fees are applicable for new testing windows.
We strongly recommend scheduling your new test day promptly, as test center seat or Live Remote Proctoring availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
What happens if I missed my scheduled examination?
If you fail to report to a scheduled examination appointment you will forfeit all paid fees. A new application and payment are required to re-apply for eligibility to sit for an exam.
How many times can I take the exam?
Unlimited testing is allowed if you are unsuccessful; however, you are required to wait 90 days before re-testing. You may submit a re-test exam application online via your BCEN Account after the 90-day waiting period is over.
If I decide not to sit for the exam, can I receive a refund?
A written request for a refund of the exam fee needs to be submitted to BCEN before an exam appointment is scheduled with our test delivery provider, PSI, and before the close of your 90-day testing window as outlined in the eligibility e-mail. You may email the refund request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once an exam appointment has been scheduled, refund requests will not be accepted. Recertification fees are non-refundable.
Exam Administration Questions
- How and where is the exam administered?
Can I take the computerized exam at home?
BCEN is proud to offer Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) through our partners in test delivery, PSI Exams.
Live Remote Proctoring is a method of exam delivery where, instead of physically visiting a testing center location, you can launch the exam online via computer at a secure location of your choice. The exam is recorded and proctored remotely in real time. Exams delivered by LRP are the same as those delivered in a test center and have the same level of exam security.
How much time is allowed to complete the exam?
Total seat time for the exam is 180 minutes (3 hours). You will have 5 practice exam questions that are meant to familiarize you with the functionality of the exam. The timer begins counting when your exam begins.
Can I earn college credit by achieving my CEN credential?
Yes, you can earn three nursing elective credits toward your Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College. A verification of your certification will need to be sent to Excelsior College. You can do this by Publishing your Credentials.
To publish your credential, log into your BCEN Account, click on ‘Publish Credentials’ and follow the steps listed. The email address to use is ITCERTIFICATIONS@EXCELSIOR.EDU and in the message area, please include your DOB (date of birth), last 4 digits of your SS#.
Will I receive continuing education (CE) credit for sitting, or for passing, the exam?
No, you do not receive CEs for sitting for the exam, or for passing the exam.
What if I fail the exam?
Candidates who do not achieve a passing score may apply to retake the exam after a 90-day waiting period. Check your retest eligibility date on your BCEN account dashboard.
BCEN offers a discounted fee for retest applications up to one year after your initial exam. If you chose the BCEN Test Assurance option, you may submit a no-fee retest application for your second attempt.
View retest pricing details here.
How do I receive informational material on BCEN exams for my hospital or healthcare facility?
You may email a BCEN Candidate Experience Specialist at email@example.com for brochures/flyers on our exams. In the email please list how many brochures/flyers you may need and the address on where to send the informational material. If you have any questions, you may also contact BCEN at +1-877-302-BCEN (2236).
Exam Scoring Questions
How many questions/items are on the exams?
The CEN exam consists of 175 items (150 scored and 25 unscored pretest items).
How are the exams scored?
Your exam score is based on your performance on the exam, i.e., based on the number of exam items answered correctly (raw score).
How many items do I need to answer correctly to pass my exam?
For CEN: of the 150 scored items, candidates must answer 106 items correctly to achieve a passing score.
Please note: The passing score is not based on a curve; it is based upon your individual performance on the exam.
Please note: The passing score can change every few years based upon the results of a job analysis (or role delineation study). The job analysis surveys thousands of nurses in each specialty area to determine the knowledge and skills needed for the particular specialty area. The passing score is established by a systematic procedure that employs the judgement of nurse experts representing each specialty practice area from around the country as well as the assistance of BCEN’s test development vendor. The final determination of the passing score is approved by the BCEN Board of Directors.
Exam Accommodations Questions
How do I request an exam accommodation?
If exam accommodations are needed, please answer ‘Yes’ to the Exam Accommodation question in your application. From within the application, download the Exam Accommodation form; upon completion, upload the form into the application.
BCEN will review the completed form and approve any standard or non-standard accommodation(s) deemed appropriate.
If you require accommodations other than extra time, you will need to complete this additional form from our exam delivery provider, PSI. Upon completion, PSI will reach out via phone call or email to assist in scheduling your exam. Contact PSI at 800-367-1565 x6750 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
For more information, please contact a BCEN Candidate Experience Specialist at +1-877-302-BCEN (2236), or by e-mail at email@example.com.
How Can I Use My New BCEN Credential?
When you successfully complete the certification exam or recertification you may use the certification credential. This credential may be used only as long as a current certification status is maintained.
Can I Use the BCEN Trademarks and Logos?
BCEN has developed and maintains significant intellectual property, including various trademarks used by BCEN or used by individuals who have successfully passed BCEN requirements to be a credential holder. Learn more.
How Will My Credit Card Information Be Protected?
BCEN understands that privacy online is important to our candidates, especially when conducting business. Our policy outlines the steps BCEN takes to ensure privacy with respect to the use of credit card information. Learn more.
How Can Others Verify My Certification?
BCEN® makes credential verification available to certificants and to employers/third parties via online services. These services share meaningful information about certification status and reduce the potential for fraud and misuse of BCEN certification credentials. Credential Verifications are primary-sourced verification emails that can only be requested by the certificant.
BCEN certification holders: Sign in to your BCEN Account, hover over the My Account box, select Certification Verification Request and enter an email address to receive the verification. Credential verification emails are sent to the certificate holder with a copy sent directly to the email address entered in the request.
Third Parties: Contact the BCEN certification holder to ask them to request the Credential Verification email from their BCEN account.
BCEN staff cannot verify certification status via phone or email.