BCEN Updates

Certification vs Certificate … What’s the Difference?

The best part of our work at BCEN® is having the opportunity to talk with nursing professionals, our customers and future customers, across the country. We appreciate all the care and caring you give every day!

One of the more common questions we get from our customers is about the difference between a certification and a certificate. Here is the difference in a nutshell:

  • A certificate comes from an educational program where a certificate is awarded after the individual successfully completes the offering. Examples of certificates are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC™).
  • A certification, like the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®) designation is an earned credential that demonstrates the individual’s specialized knowledge and skills. Certification is awarded by a third-party organization, such as Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Individuals receive their certification after meeting strict eligibility requirements and successfully completing the required examination. In addition, certifications have ongoing requirements that must be met to maintain the credential, ensuring the holder has maintained their level of expertise in the specialty area. Certifications are nationally recognized and are often utilized as part of the earner’s signature.

Earning both certificates and certifications are extremely important to the work you do but there is a difference. Thank you all for taking the time to achieve and maintain your BCEN certification. You really are a cut above!