Top Certified Flight Nurse Honored With BCEN’s 2020 Distinguished CFRN Award

Pafford Air One Louisiana-Based Flight Nurse Recognized for Board Certified Excellence and Advocacy


OAK BROOK, IL (April 16, 2020) – The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, announced today that Pafford Air One flight nurse Tonya Barnard, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CCRN, CTRN, CPEN, TCRN, EMT-B, is the recipient of BCEN’s 2020 Distinguished CFRN Award. Barnard is based in Ruston, Louisiana.

“Every time a flight nurse goes up in the air, they face extraordinary real-time patient care decisions under the most austere and challenging conditions,” said BCEN Executive Director Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “BCEN is proud to honor Tonya for inspiring her Pafford Air One colleagues and so many others to earn the CFRN so they have the specialized knowledge and skills this exacting and sometimes unforgiving job demands.”

Held by nearly 4,500 RNs and advanced practice nurses, the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) is a preferred national certification for flight team nurses and meets CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems) requirements. The CFRN, which was first offered by BCEN in 1993, is also Magnet-accepted and an ABSNC-accredited certification program.

Pafford Air One Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Keith Carter said, “Tonya worked extremely hard to become a flight nurse and since then she has not stopped. She has continued with an exemplary work ethic and is well admired and loved by her coworkers.  I am so proud of her and thankful to have her as a leader for Pafford Air One.”

“Tonya is one of the most knowledgeable nurses I have ever met, understanding the pathophysiology, pharmacology, and treatment process flawlessly,” said Jeff Atkins, BS, RN, EMT-B, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN, CFRN, base manager, Pafford Air One, Ruston, Louisiana. “She helps to set a standard of care for others to follow, frequently encourages colleagues at our bases and at the hospitals we visit to complete their certifications, and is seen as a patient advocate, supporting family members of patients and being a comfort to those in pain. She remains one of the finest examples of a certified flight nurse that I can think of.”

Since becoming an RN in 2010, Barnard has earned six nursing specialty certifications, including all five national emergency nursing credentials offered by BCEN. She has been a CFRN and a flight nurse since 2014.

“I love flying, I love taking care of critical patients, and I feel that a nurse should always strive to learn more to take care of their patients to the best of their ability,” said Barnard. “Having the CFRN gives me, my team, my employer, and my patients the confidence and assurance that I will be able to perform to the best of my abilities. Receiving the BCEN Distinguished CFRN Award is one of the highlights of my professional career.”

Read more about Tonya at https://bcen.org/2020-cfrn-award-winner/


BCEN’s Annual National Nurse and Organizational Awards

The winner of this year’s Distinguished CFRN/CTRN Award was determined by a selection committee consisting of BCEN board members, staff and volunteer subject matter experts as well as an Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA) official. BCEN is grateful for ASTNA’s partnership in promoting the annual nomination process and sponsoring past winners’ travel to the awards presentation ceremonies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person presentation of the 2020 Distinguished CFRN Award is to be determined.

BCEN annually recognizes individual specialty certified emergency, trauma and transport nurses as well as hospitals and health systems that demonstrate and advance certified nursing excellence and advocate for emergency nursing board certification. Learn more about BCEN’s Distinguished Awards and National Certification Champion Awards at bcen.org/awards.


About BCEN

Throughout 2020, the independent, not-for-profit Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN®) is celebrating 40 years of robust certification programs fostering empowered nurses across the emergency spectrum who contribute noticeably to patient care, safety and outcomes. Over 55,000 BCEN board certifications are currently held by registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, pediatric emergency and trauma nursing. BCEN offers the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN®), Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN®), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN®) and Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN®) certifications. The CEN, CFRN, CPEN, and TCRN certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). Learn more at bcen.org. Follow BCEN on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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CONTACT:  Hilde Marnul, Director of Marketing & Communications | hmarnul@bcen.org | 630-352-0811