BCEN 2020 National Certification Champions Recognized for Commitment to Emergency Nursing Excellence

OAK BROOK, IL (September 10, 2020) – The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, today recognized its 2020 National Certification Champion Award winners—Childress Regional Medical Center in Childress, Texas, University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York, and Life Link III in Minneapolis, Minnesota—for their commitment to emergency nursing excellence through specialty nursing certification.

“To the benefit of every patient and community they serve, these organizations are all in when it comes to ensuring their emergency, trauma and transport nurses practice at the top of their specialty,” said BCEN Executive Director Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “The persistence that this year’s honorees and their extraordinary nurses have shown in their commitment to certification through the pandemic is remarkable.”

Board certification, which independently validates advanced specialty knowledge and expertise, is nursing’s highest professional credential.

Here is how BCEN’s 2020 National Certification Champions were standouts for the ways they encourage, support, reward and recognize certification, and how they describe the positive impacts of certified emergency nursing practice:

  • Small Healthcare Organization winner: With 42% of its emergency RNs holding the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and a mission to be the best rural facility in the state of Texas, Childress Regional Medical Center (CRMC) assists new hires with certification readiness and goal-setting from day one, offers a professional development scholarship fund for every employee, celebrates certified nurses with formal banquets covered by the local press, and rewards RNs with a pay increase for each national certification they hold.

“The truth about being a rural hospital is that anybody in the United States on any given day can be a patient in our emergency room. When someone needs us, we do not want to be just a rural hospital, we want to be the highest level of care that a patient can possibly get,” said CRMC CEO Kevin Latimer.  “Being recognized on a national level with this BCEN award, Childress Regional Medical Center is proud to show our community, our patients, and our rural facility peers across the country that we are committed to providing optimal emergency nursing care.”

  • Large Healthcare Organization winner: With nearly half of its ED RNs board certified on the way to a five-year goal of 100%, UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) awards every RN professional development funds and paid time off, covers board exam fees and offers free CEs, provides self-care activities, and hired a full-time ED nurse educator who holds all five BCEN certifications. Financial rewards include an annual differential for each certification held plus clinical ladder advancement. Newly certified RNs are celebrated on CVPH’s social channels and in the local media.

“We are very proud of this award because CVPH has a long history of supporting nursing staff in pursuit of professional specialty certification. Objectively speaking, having board certified nurses and physicians on staff means you can deliver the best possible care to your patients and community,” said Carrie Howard-Canning, MBA, MSN, RN, CENP, chief nursing officer, UVM Health Network – CVPH. “Today, 48% of our ED nurses are board certified. Our goal is to work towards 100%.”

  • Healthcare System winner: At Life Link III, 98% of their 44 nurses have one professional certification, 50% have two, and 22% have three or more, with the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) required for all RNs within 18 months of hire and additional certifications required for clinical ladder advancement. From day one, the value of certification is frequently spoken. Support includes a personal professional development fund, paid time off for exam prep and exam fee reimbursement, and opportunities to participate in and lead quality, safety and clinical initiatives.

“This award affirms that Life Link III is demonstrating excellence when it comes to supporting certification and the professional development of our nurses,” said Kolby Kolbet, MSN, RN, CFRN, CMTE, vice president of clinical services, Life Link III. “For our patients and communities, our ability to deliver critical care through specialized certification and be recognized with this honor is an assurance that if they or their loved ones are ever in need of air medical transport, they know that the highest level of patient care is going to be delivered by highly trained and skilled certified RNs.”


Read the Meet CRMC, Meet CVPH and Meet Life Link III “Meet the Winner” Q&As to learn more about their award-winning work.

Yesterday, BCEN announced its 2020 Distinguished CEN and CPEN Award winners.


About BCEN’s Annual Nurse and Organizational Awards

Every year, BCEN recognizes individual specialty certified emergency, trauma and transport nurses as well as healthcare facilities and health systems that demonstrate and advance certified nursing excellence and advocate for emergency nurse 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.