Health care is constantly changing. Staying on top of new information and best practices is more important than ever.
Maintaining your emergency nursing credentials reenergizes your passion for your profession, and puts you in the best position to bring new approaches to your team, your unit, your patients and your community.
Recertification for your CEN®, CFRN®, CPEN®, CTRN®, or TCRN® is required every four (4) years, and, while you are responsible for keeping track of your certification expiration date, BCEN® will communicate with you at just the right times during your four-year cycle to help keep you on track. Be sure to keep your contact information in your BCEN account current so you don’t miss any messages from us!
Option 1: Recertification by CE Attestation
Continuing education should have a clear and direct application to the practice of emergency, pediatric emergency, flight/transport, or trauma nursing.
- 75 of the 100 contact hours must be of Clinical content specific to your specialty area of practice and up to 25 may be of Non-clinical content. It is acceptable to have more than 75 of the contact hours of clinical content.
- 50 of the 100 contact hours must come from an accredited source (For example, American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), State Nurses Associations/State Boards of Nursing (SNA/SBN), and the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA).
- All 100 contact hours must have been obtained on or before the day your recertification by CE attestation application is submitted. CEs cannot continue to be accrued after your application is submitted, even if you complete the application prior to your expiration date.
- You must hold a current BCEN certification (CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, or TCRN) in the program you wish to recertify.
- You must have a current, unrestricted Registered Nurse license, or a nursing certificate that is equivalent to a Registered Nurse in the United States or its Territories.
- You must have completed 100 contact hours of nursing continuing education within your current 4-year recertification period.
Guidelines for CEs
All continuing education content must be at the nursing practice level.
- BCEN does not accept EMT or paramedic contact hours approved only by an EMS provider such as The Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).
- If EMT or paramedic contact hours are also approved by a nursing provider, the contact hours will be accepted
- Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), and International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) are NOT accepted.
For continuing education to be eligible to use for recertification, it must have occurred during the four-year period of certification. For example, if your certification expired March 31, 2019, your four-year period of certification was from April 1, 2015 until March 31, 2019. Therefore, you could use contact hours that you accrued since April 1 of 2015.
Certificants who successfully meet all program requirements will have their certification credential renewed for the following four years.
Certificants who do not meet the program requirements must register and pass the appropriate certification exam to renew or reinstate their credential.
Types of CEs
Option 2: Recertification by Exam
- You must hold a current certification (CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, or TCRN).
- You must have a current, unrestricted Registered Nurse license or nursing certificate that is equivalent to a Registered Nurse in the United States or its Territories.
- If you are recertifying by exam, you may schedule your exam as soon as you receive the exam eligibility e-mail with BCEN’s test delivery provider, PSI Exams.
- You must schedule and sit for the exam within the assigned 90-day testing window identified in the exam eligibility e-mail.
- We strongly recommend that you decide the date you want to sit for the exam and promptly schedule that date with PSI.
Test Accommodations (ADA Compliant)
If test accommodations are needed, please answer ‘Yes’ to the Test Accommodation question in your application. From within the application, download the Test Accommodation form; upon completion, upload the form into the application.
BCEN will review the completed form and approve any standard or non-standard accommodation(s) deemed appropriate.
For more information please contact a BCEN Candidate Experience Specialist at +1-877-302-BCEN (2236), or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I recertify?
1) Log into your BCEN account by visiting bcen.org and clicking on My Account in the top right-hand corner.
2) Locate the 5 certification logos on the left-hand side of the screen.
3) Next to the appropriate logo, you will see “Recertify By CE | By Exam” listed.
4) Choose the option you would like to use to recertify.
5) Complete the application.
6) Submit Payment.
- An application is processed when payment in full is received. If mailing in a check, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for processing.
- What is a CE?
BCEN® developed the Continuing Education recertification program to emphasize the importance of life long learning to maintain knowledge and expertise.
BCEN no longer requires candidates to log their contact hours but to attest they meet the continuing education (CE) guidelines. It is important to keep a summary log of courses and original documentation in case of an audit. This information will be required to complete the audit.
Measurement of Continuing Education
Different terminology is used for continuing education credit. BCEN uses the measurement of contact hours in which one contact hour equals 60 minutes of instructional content.
The following qualify as one (1) contact hour:
- 1 Continuing Education Contact Hour (CECH)
- 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- What is the difference between clinical and non-clinical content?
Clinical content includes any educational offerings that primarily contain information applicable to direct practice in the clinical area. The program content must be primarily focused on knowledge the nurse can apply in providing direct care to an individual patient or community.
Examples include topics such as: “Care of the Patient with a Temporary Pacemaker,” Flight Physiology,” Teaching Diabetic Patients,” “Management of the Trauma Patient,” or “Toxicology.”
Acceptable accredited college courses include educational offerings that have a clinical focus. Examples: Nursing 410: “Care of the Adult Patient,” Nursing 601: “Advance Pathophysiology”
Non-clinical content includes any educational offerings related to the professional practice of nursing and the emergency (CEN®), pediatric emergency (CPEN®), flight/transport (CFRN®/CTRN®), or trauma (TCRN®) care system.
Examples include topics such as “Developing a Quality Improvement System,” “Legal Aspects of Emergency or Flight Care,” or “Public Relations in Healthcare.”
Accredited college courses that focus on the nonclinical aspects of nursing may be used. Examples would include: “Medical Ethics,” and “Leadership and Management.”
- What is the difference between accredited and non-accredited content?
An accredited activity or course is one that has been approved by a professional body (e.g., AACN, ANCC, ENA, ASTNA, State Nurse Association/State Board of Nursing). Accreditation is the formal confirmation that an activity/course is nationally recognized and meets quality assurance requirements, meets an established educational need, provides appropriate competency outcomes and has a satisfactory basis for assessment.
A non-accredited activity/course has no connection to an external accreditation or professional body. Non-accredited courses focus on equipping the individual with specific knowledge and skillset. These courses do not provide a recognized certificate of continuing education, rather a certificate of completion.
- Can I use contact hours for my BCEN recertification that I have obtained for my EMT or paramedic recertification?
No – All continuing education content must be at the nursing practice level. BCEN does not accept CE’s that are only approved by an EMS provider such as The Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). BCEN does NOT accept PHTLS, ITLS, AMLS
Note: If activities/course are approved by BOTH an EMS and a nursing provider, BCEN WILL accept these contact hours toward recertification.
- Is there a military discount?
BCEN is thankful to those who serve in our military and honored that those serving in the world’s best military healthcare systems are earning BCEN specialty nursing certifications. A specialty certification that translates to a civilian career demonstrates a proven knowledge base and commitment to your career and your patients.
We are proud to offer a reduced application fee of $195 for active-duty service members, reservists and veterans on all initial, retest and recertification applications.
CEN, CFRN and CTRN certifications have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as an educational benefit for military personnel. The certification benefit allows reimbursement for you, if you’re eligible, for your certification fee.
For more information on the certification benefits, or on applying for benefits, visit the VA website where you’ll find a link to the certification page with more information.
- How do I show proof of my CEs?
Each time you participate in a continuing education activity, you should receive a certificate or letter of attendance indicating the following:
- Your name
- Date of Activity
- Title of Activity
- Name of provider of Activity
- Number of contact hours awarded
- Approver name or accreditor name of contact hours
Keep these certificates or letters of attendance, as you will be required to upload the documents if contacted by BCEN for an audit.
Please Note: Continuing education submitted without a certificate showing the number of contact hours awarded are not acceptable. Certificates of completion will not be accepted.
BCEN offers an optional easy to use CE tracker found in your BCEN account. It is an easy way to keep track of your activities. If contacted for an audit, those activities tracked will be automatically transferred over for you to review. Click here for a step-by-step video guide to tracking your CEs before or after being audited.
- What happens if I'm audited?
An email will be sent from email@example.com with the subject line: BCEN Recertification Applications Selected for Audit. Please ensure that emails from this address do not go to spam.
If you are audited, you will be required to show proof of your 100 contact hours. Click here for a step-by-step video guide to uploading contact hours.
Our Director of Certification Amy Grand, MSN, RN will be in touch with you if there are any questions about your audited CEs.
- Can I send hard copies of my CE certificates to BCEN via regular mail, fax or email instead of entering information into my CE Tracker?
No – BCEN has an electronic system in place to better track audit submissions. This electronic system makes it for you to track CEs as you earn them so you are not tasked with finding all of your CE information at once if audited.
- How long do I have to submit my CE documentation to BCEN once I'm audited?
You have 30 days from receipt of the audit notification email to submit your documentation to BCEN. However, if you have extenuating circumstances and cannot meet the deadline, please contact the BCEN office.
- If I recertify early, can I continue to obtain CEs toward my requirement until my credential expires?
No – all 100 contact hours must have been obtained on or before the attestation date even if you are recertifying early. You cannot continue to obtain CE’s while you are being audited.
- What if my audit is not approved?
If your audit is not approved and your credential has not yet expired, you can complete a new application to recertify by exam. Your recertification by CE application fee is non-transferable to a recertification by exam application.
If your audit is not approved and your credential has expired, you will need to complete another initial exam application for the applicable certification to re0earn your credential.
Recertification fees are discounted for ENA, ASTNA, and STN members, as well as eligible military personnel.
NOTE: Until further notice, all Recertification by CE Attestation applications are discounted to a fee of $190.
All Recertification fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
|Credential||Recertification by Exam Fee||Professional Association Membership Discount|
|CEN®||$350||$210 - with ENA membership|
|CPEN®||$350||$210 - with ENA membership|
|CFRN®||$350||$210 - with ASTNA membership|
|CTRN®||$350||$210 - with ASTNA membership|
|TCRN®||$350||$210 - with STN membership|