You’ve worked hard to get where you are now. Long hours of studying, juggling the demands of work, home and learning, and pushing yourself to the limit. Why?
Because certification matters. It matters to your career, your employer and your patients.
Because you want more. More autonomy. More growth. More opportunities.
Because you won’t settle for less than the best. And you are always striving to achieve and excel.
Because you care. You want what’s best for the patients you serve. The best care, the best treatment and the best outcomes.
We know why you do this. Now, you need to know how.
BCEN® offers you two paths to certification suited to your needs. Decide which is right for you, and continue your journey to certified success.
Option 1: Recertification by CE Attestation
- Recertify by CE
Complete 100 contact hours within your current 4 year certification period. All 100 contact hours must have been obtained on or before the day your renewal by CE attestation application is submitted. Contact hours cannot continue to be accrued after your application is submitted, even if you complete the application prior to your expiration date.
- Click on My Account
- Once you are logged in, on the left hand menu next to your certification, click on “By CE”
- Follow the prompts to complete your recertification
- Eligibility Requirements
- 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 either the United States, a US Territory or Canada.
- You must have completed 100 contact hours of nursing continuing education within your current 4-year recertification period.
- Guidelines for Contact Hours
- All continuing education content must be at the nursing practice level.
- 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.
- 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, BCEN Learn, 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).
Option 2: Recertification by Exam
- Schedule Your Exam
Schedule and take your BCEN exam at a testing center or other preferred location with Live Remote Proctoring, within a 90 day window.
- Click on My Account
- Once you are logged in, on the left hand menu next to your certification, click on “By Exam”
- Follow the prompts to schedule your exam.
- Eligibility Requirements
- 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 either the United States, a US Territory or Canada.
- 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 email@example.com.
Use BCEN Learn to earn contact hours through interactive courses, webinars and more. Once completed, your contact hours will be automatically tracked for easy attestation.
Use our practice exams to get an authentic test-taking experience and prepare yourself to succeed. And now, when you buy one of our practice exams, you’ll be eligible to receive 3 hours of CE credit.
Need support from your supervisors to help maintain your certification? Share this downloadable resource to ensure they understand why it’s important to recertify.
Types of Contact Hours
Now you know the WHY and the HOW … it’s time to DO! Register for recertification today, and keep your career on the path to certified success.
- 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.
- Can I use vouchers for a recertification application?
Yes! BCEN Vouchers can be applied to all applications, including recertification by exam or by CE attestation.
Visit bcen.org/voucher-program/ for more details around purchasing and using vouchers.
- What is BCEN’s definition of continuing competence?
BCEN recognizes the importance of continuing competence in the nursing profession and supports the definition that continuing competence is the ongoing ability to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills and judgment with the attitudes, values, and beliefs required to practice safely, effectively, and ethically in a designated role and setting.
- What is BCEN’s rationale for the recertification requirements?
Certificants must hold a current BCEN credential.
- An individual is unable to recertify unless they already hold a BCEN credential.
Certificants must have a current, unrestricted Registered Nurse license, or a nursing certificate that is equivalent to a Registered Nurse in either the United States, a US Territory or Canada.
- An RN license is an eligibility requirement for initial certification since BCEN provides nursing certification exams and thus, this requirement would also hold true for recertification.
Certificant must have completed 100 contact hours of nursing continuing education within their 4-year recertification period.
- Participating in educational activities with at least 75 of continuing education activities relating specifically to the emergency specialty demonstrates that certificants are maintaining their knowledge base by keeping relevant and up to date.
- CEN recertification by continuing education encourages certificants to continue their emergency nursing education beyond the initial certification exam.
- BCEN certificants provide evidence of knowledge attainment through relevant professional activities (e.g., traditional courses, presentations, academic achievement, authoring, poster presentation) with the expectation that this knowledge will be adopted into practice and lead to improved outcomes in safety and quality of care for clients and stakeholders.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
All Recertification fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
|Credential||Recertification by Exam or CE Attestation Fee||Professional Association Membership Discount||Military Discount||BCEN Voucher Program|
|CEN®||$350||$210 - with ENA membership||$195||$195/190/185*|
|CPEN®||$350||$210 - with ENA membership||$195||$195/190/185*|
|CFRN®||$350||$210 - with ASTNA membership||$195||$195/190/185*|
|CTRN®||$350||$210 - with ASTNA membership||$195||$195/190/185*|
|TCRN®||$350||$210 - with STN membership||$195||$195/190/185*|
*Cost per voucher varies depending on the quantity purchased. Visit bcen.org/voucher-program for more details.