Having all 5 BCEN certifications (along with the CCRN), I know that I am providing the best care to my patients that I possibly can. I enjoy continuous learning in regards to emergency and critical care nursing, to both fulfill the CE recertification requirements and to stay up to date on the latest and greatest research and treatments. I have no doubt that I have saved lives because of the things I have learned studying for these tests. My medical director, chief operating officer, and owner of Pafford Air One can have the utmost confidence I am providing the best care to my patients. The patients I come in contact with deserve the best care possible, and I know I am providing it.
My nursing career began in critical care where I was encouraged to get CCRN certified as soon as I met the criteria. I had experience and studied the prep materials from education but failed the exam by one point. That failure fueled my passion for knowledge-seeking, and to research study and test-taking techniques. I aced the CCRN exam on my second attempt and started preparing for the CEN exam as soon as I transferred to the emergency department. The amalgamation of experience and my thirst for knowledge produced a strong bedside nurse, preceptor, and eventually educator. The erudition I gained studying for the CCRN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CTRN, and CFRN is vital to who I am today. My passion now is mentoring nurses to realize their certification goals. I am proud to hold all five BCEN certifications and to inspire others to succeed. The journey is the win…for the nurse and the patient.
I originally obtained my CEN in 1992, a year after graduating from nursing school. I looked at it as a source of pride in my profession and a definition of my knowledge base. Over the years, as my job expanded to new roles in the fields of emergency nursing, transport nursing, and education, I felt that obtaining the additional BCEN Certifications showed my dedication to the professions as well as an impetus for my students.
Preparing for these exams gave me confidence and insight and allowed me to gain critical thinking skills in my practice. Passing inspired me to continue challenging myself and as I advanced in my career. I often get teased that there are more letters after my name then IN my name (I have my CCRN as well), but I see the maintaining these credentials as both a challenge and a responsibility to remain engaged in my profession. I see them as an opportunity to practice curiosity and be a lifelong learner. Renewing them reminds me that competency is a journey and not a destination- I don’t see myself as an expert, but I value expertise and will always strive to achieve competency no matter where I find myself practicing.
I have been a nurse for about 13 years. In that time, I have worked with both pediatric and adult patients in hospital and prehospital settings. The main reason why I choose to have all five certifications was because of the challenge of obtaining them. I began my career in trauma center which served both adults and pediatric patients. Becoming certified, helped me to study and learn how to best care for the patients I was seeing. As a result of working hard and preparing for certifications, I became more competent in caring for the different populations. I have worked hard and I am proud to have earned all of these certifications.
In my 6 years as a Registered Nurse, I’ve had the honor of playing a part in the beginning, middle, and end of so many lives. Each of these experiences left me wanting to learn more so that when the time came, no matter who I met or when I met them, I would be ready to help. The BCEN offered me 5 ways to challenge myself to prove I had the knowledge and skills to make a difference and as a Certified Emergency Nurse, I feel 5 times stronger, 5 times more confident, and 5 times more determined to make that difference.
I show up to work every day to provide the best care possible for my patients. I obtained my CEN to prove to myself I had the knowledge to provide that care. As my career progressed and I began caring for different patient populations I obtained my CPEN and TCRN for the same reason. It was only natural I would do the same with CFRN and CTRN when I decided to become a flight nurse. Every one of those initials represents knowledge that translates into the excellent patient care my patients deserve.
The main reason I wanted to achieve and maintain all 5 BCEN certifications is a sense of personal accomplishment and professionalism. I think this also shows ownership in your educational requirements as an emergency department nurse. I have heard of multiple reasons not to get the certification(s), but I was always one who said, “why stop with just one?” It is also very nice to be part of an elite club of less than 35 in the world who have achieved and maintain all 5 certifications.
My suggestion to anyone reading this is to go get certified and join this club!
When I was in the Army, being certified meant that you did extra work to show proficiency in your job. This proficiency was evidenced by a badge that I wore on my uniform. For me, the combat medical badge signified that I had demonstrated proficiency and I wore it with pride.
While I don’t were a military uniform anymore, the credentials that I hold via the BCEN give me the same pride that I had while wearing my combat medical badge on the military uniform. Certification means a lot to me, and I enjoy mentoring and helping other nurses become certified. When they obtain their certification, I feel the same sense of pride for them that I did when I took my exam.
As flight nurses, we belong to a unique subset of the nursing profession. Whether it’s in the ICU or on the side of a highway, a young patient or an older patient, our job is constantly bringing new challenges. By obtaining my BCEN certification, I feel prepared to provide the highest level of care for my patients in any scenario, while simultaneously advancing our profession and promoting high practice standards.
When I read Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s biography at the age of 8, I knew I was going to devote my life to medical mission work. After serving in the US Navy, I have continued my service to humanity through medical missions for the past 10 years. I’ve worked and taught in 7 countries and on 6 continents, including serving in the Hot Zone during the last Ebola outbreak. My BCEN Board Certifications in five disciplines have been absolutely invaluable in preparing me to work around the world with the most challenging of patients under the most challenging of conditions. I couldn’t do it without them. I am thankful to BCEN for being a key part of my life’s work, for helping me make a difference, and for allowing me to share my story.
Francisco Javier Tiscareno
I had a mentor who taught me the importance of humility and continuing education in emergency medicine. He introduced to me to BCEN and, to best quote him, “It’s not about the number of certifications you get, it’s what you do as a provider that defines you. If you can use what you learn from studying for these certifications and apply the knowledge you gain to help one patient, then you really have something special.” I can attest that preparing and studying for these certifications has challenged me, helped me grow as a nurse in the emergency room, on the road, and in the air. Most importantly, obtaining certifications has helped me provide the best care for my patients.
I never planned on achieving all the certifications. As I progressed through my career, I found the knowledge-based required matched the certification examinations. Achieving the certifications validated my preparation for the patient populations I encountered.
Certification achievement and maintenance is the hallmark of validating knowledge and dedication to patient safety.
My first certification, CEN, was a personal validation of my acquired knowledge in Emergency Nursing. I found the CEN credential was respected by my peers, patients and their families. I quickly recognized the value of certification and professional membership to assure I was providing evidence-based care within a culture of safety for my patients.
As I moved through my career, I practiced in several specialized areas of Emergency Nursing. Each BCEN specialty certification allowed me to acquire and practice with a high level of confidence that I was delivering quality patient care. I am honored to be one of few Emergency Nurses to have obtained all five BCEN specialty certifications. In preparation for each exam, the knowledge acquired and continued towards recertifications has been invaluable during my career. My specialty certifications are a great resource to keep up with the demands of safe patient care.