How To Study

When you’re a busy emergency nurse working toward certification, how do you find time to hit the books? We know you don’t have a lot of free time, and many of you have full-time jobs along with other commitments like family, volunteer work and more. However, certification is only a season in the grand scheme of your career, and its value will last far longer than the momentary stress of test prep. At BCEN, we have numerous ways to help you study
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Congratulations on making the decision to achieve your certification and demonstrate your commitment to your patients and career! The secret to success is strong preparation. BCEN® offers the following tools and resources to help you prepare.

Preparation Checklist

Use this checklist to help guide you as you prepare, from application, to taking a practice test, to scheduling your exam.

Review the Content Outline For Your Exam

Select your certification below and use the content outline to become familiar with the topics on the exam so you are prepared for what to expect.

View the CEN® Content Outline

View the CFRN® Content Outline

View the CPEN® Content Outline

View the CTRN® Content Outline

View the TCRN® Content Outline

Use The Certification Content Outline to Guide Your Study

The Exam Content Outline will help you to do the following:

  • Become familiar with the emphasis (number of questions) for each content area
  • Know the topics and the appropriate emergency nursing tasks associated with each content area
  • Inventory your current knowledge related to the content area
  • Build a study plan based on your knowledge inventory

Check out the Certification Reference Lists

The Certification Reference Lists provides a list of helpful books, websites, and other resources.

CEN® Reference List

CFRN® Reference List

CPEN® Reference List

CTRN® Reference List

TCRN® Reference List

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN®) does not endorse any resources or have a proprietary relationship with any publishing company.

Take a Practice Exam as Your Final Pretest and also Determine Your Weak Areas

The best way to gain the knowledge, confidence and readiness you need to ace your exam is by purchasing an exclusive BCEN practice exam in your specialization.
Purchase the Practice Exam.

What sets our practice exams apart from others?

  • Only our practice exams are created by the same organization designing the actual exams (that’s us).
  • We have a committee of nurses and emergency professionals who build our practice exams with the goal of helping you succeed.
  • A BCEN practice exam will help you familiarize yourself with the computer-based format of the real exam.
  • You will be able to answer questions, then have immediate access to the correct answers, backed up with rationale and references.

Practice exams are available in two formats:

Certification Mode:

This closely simulates the actual testing environment. Though you can take the practice exam from any location, it will be timed, and you will not have the option to see answers and explanations until the entire exam is completed.

Study (Practice) Mode:

This highly-customizable option allows users to tailor the exam to their needs, including the number of questions, completion time, randomization and objectives… plus the ability to change your answers before scoring your exam.

BCEN practice exams are an investment in your future. For one reasonable price, you’ll be able to access the practice exam as many times as you wish within a 90-day period. You’ll also receive one graded report for your reference.

Purchase a Practice Exam


Identify Your Learning Style

As you prepare for your exam, select study methods that are best suited to your learning style. You will learn more effectively if you know how you learn. The following website can help you identify your optimal learning style:

Apply Your Learning Style

Select an educational method appropriate to your identified learning style and use it to target your weak content areas. Remember, when you study, don’t just memorize facts. You must be able to apply the knowledge.

Review CoursesX
Reference MaterialX
Instructor-led TrainingXX
Study GroupsX
Hands-on LearningX

Use Your Resources

Research various study materials and resources. Start a study group or take a review course. Identify what will be most helpful in your personal preparation.

Review Courses Zip Code Search

Search for an upcoming review course near you. Simply enter your zip code and how close you want the course to be to you. Check the “Show online courses” box if you’re interested in including online courses in your search. Courses are added regularly, check back often.

Familiarize Yourself with a Computer Based Test Delivery System

You may also familiarize yourself with the look, feel and navigation of a Pearson VUE computer-based exam before your scheduled exam. Click here to view a Pearson VUE testing tutorial and practice exam.

Exam Day – What to Expect

Increase your comfort level before you sit for your exam – take a tour of a Pearson Professional Center so you will know what to expect on your scheduled exam day.

Check out what to expect on test day at a Pearson Professional Center.

Apply for and Schedule the Exam

Read through the Candidate Handbook.

Then apply for the exam in your BCEN account and schedule your exam appointment with Pearson VUE, our test delivery provider. You will receive an exam eligibility email from BCEN upon completion of your application and receipt of payment in full. Your exam eligibility e-mail contains important information on your 90-day test window, where and how to schedule your exam appointment with Pearson VUE.