NOTE: We have put some temporary policies in place surrounding COVID-19 to make your recertification process as seamless as possible. Learn about the changes here!
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!
The Application Process
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.
Option 1: Recertification by CE Attestation
- 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.
- If you are Recertifying by CE Attestation, you may be asked to show proof of your 100 contact hours in an audit. Click here for a step-by-step video guide to uploading contact hours. You will also receive an email with additional details.
- Please Note: When you complete the CE attestation form for recertification, all 100 contact hours must have been obtained on or before the attestation date even if you are recertifying early. Should you be selected for an audit, BCEN cannot accept contact hours obtained past the date of attestation. You must successfully pass your audit to recertify. Should you fail the audit, BCEN does not issue refunds.
BCEN’s policy is to randomly audit 10% of Recertification by CE Attestation applications each year. View BCEN’s policy on auditing of Recertification by CE Attestation applications.
If randomly selected for an audit, you will receive audit instructions via email.
- Understanding Continuing Education
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)
- Guidelines for Continuing Education
Continuing Education Guidelines
- Continuing education should have a clear and direct application to the practice of emergency, pediatric emergency, flight/transport, or trauma nursing.
- 100 completed contact hours earned within your 4-year recertification period;
- 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 continuing education content must be at the nursing practice level.
- BCEN cannot 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.
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.
- Clinical Continuing Education Requirements
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: “Trauma Nursing,” or “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.”
BCEN recognizes there are accredited CE programs, which consist of multiple lectures, such as national/regional symposiums, or review courses.
- Types of Continuing Education
Continuing Education (CE) or Continuing Medical Education (CME) AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM :
Programs that have been provided or formally approved for contact hours by an accredited provider or approver of CE or CME.
e.g. national/regional symposiums, review courses, formal continuing education offerings
60 minutes = 1 contact hour
Note: Continuing education classes do not need to be formally approved and can be offered by hospitals, professional organization or independent education groups. The contact hours awarded from these types of classes will be considered a non-accredited source; however, no more than 50 contact hours can come from a non-accredited source.
These include, but are not limited to ACLS, PALS, ENPC, TNCC, Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS), Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Course in Advanced Trauma Nursing (CATN), Geriatric Emergency Nursing Education (GENE), Transport Professional Advanced Trauma Course (TPATC), and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).
BLS / CPR is NOT accepted
Only one (1) initial and one (1) renewal for each provider course will be accepted during your current recertification period.
60 minutes=1 contact hour
If you are only able to submit your provider card as documentation, if audited, you will receive 8 contact hours for initial and 4 contact hours for renewal of ACLS and PALS.
Teaching Activities: (e.g. presentation/lectures, teaching provider courses, etc…):
The same presentation or lecture given to nurses, healthcare providers, or the public may only be counted once during your current recertification period.
The presentation or lecture does not count if it was given as part of an educator or faculty’s expected job performance.
60 minutes = 1 contact hour
*Not accredited unless accredited contact hours were provided
Must have earned a “C” or higher and content must apply to emergency (CEN), pediatric emergency (CPEN), flight/transport (CFRN/CTRN), or trauma (TCRN) nursing from an accredited institution.
1 Semester course= 15 Contact Hours
1 Trimester course = 12 Contact Hours
1 Quarter course = 10 Contact Hours
In order to count preceptorship hours toward your recertification, the nurse(s) you precepted must have earned college credits for being precepted.
A maximum of 15 contact hours will be accepted during your current recertification period.
1 Semester preceptorship = 15 Contact Hours
1 Trimester preceptorship = 12 Contact Hours
1 Quarter preceptorship = 10 Contact Hours
Publication must be peer-reviewed and content must be specific to emergency (CEN), pediatric emergency (CPEN), flight/transport (CFRN/CTRN), or trauma (TCRN) nursing.
If co-authored, credit must be distributed evenly among authors.
Article = 5 Contact Hours
Chapter/module = 10 Contact Hours
Textbook = 50 Contact Hours
5 Contact Hours per poster developed.
Each poster may only be counted once during your recertification period.
*Not accredited unless accredited contact hours were provided
0.5 = 1 accepted exam item.
A maximum of 5 Contact Hours may be counted per year.
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, Pearson VUE.
- 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 Pearson VUE.
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.
- Accrediting Bodies
Please note that BCEN is not an accrediting body. If you have questions related to the number of contact hours approved for a particular educational course or seminar or to have a course approved, contact an accrediting organization.
Recertification fees are discounted for ENA, ASTNA, and STN members, as well as eligible military personnel. The recertification fee is the same whether you recertify by CEs or by exam.
All Recertification fees are non-refundable.
|Credential||Recertification 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|
- Military Discounts
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.
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 you 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.
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.