BCEN Updates

CPEN® Program Update: CPEN® Exam Updated Following Role Delineation Study

Approximately every five years, BCEN® conducts a Role Delineation Study (RDS) with our examination development partner, PSI. The RDS is the first step in the ongoing development of a job-related certification exam. The purpose of the RDS is to identify the responsibilities of pediatric emergency nurses which, in turn, provides BCEN and PSI the data needed to determine the certification exam specifications and detailed content outline.

Thousands of pediatric emergency nurses are invited to participate in the RDS via a survey. At a high level, this is the process used to update the framework for the exam content and to guide the development of future examination forms consistent with US standards and practices in pediatric emergency nursing care.

The RDS was completed in July 2017 for the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nursing (CPEN®) examination. The results of the study concluded that, the examination specifications would more effectively reflect pediatric emergency nursing practice if based on topics rather than tasks and that the tasks underlying all content should be the four steps of the nursing process: assessmentanalysisimplementation and evaluation.

Following is a summary for the updated CPEN examination:

  • The overwhelming content of the CPEN examination remains the same
  • The updated CPEN content outline is now more in line with other BCEN program outlines in terms of format and structure
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity have been added to the updated CPEN content outline
  • Professional Practice concepts are integrated throughout the CPEN examination
  • Technical skills are no longer a focus on the updated CPEN content outline
  • Five major categories now form the basis of the CPEN examination specifications:
    • Triage Process and Assessment
    • Medical Emergencies: Respiratory, Cardiovascular, and Neurological
    • Additional Medical Emergencies
    • Special Considerations (e.g. neonatal, behavioral, environmental emergencies)
    • Trauma Emergencies

The updated CPEN detailed content outline is available on the BCEN website:

Click here to view the updated CPEN content outline

Updated corresponding exam forms for the CPEN examination will go into effect March 14, 2018.