ECRC and Item Writers: Our Subject Matter Experts

BCEN exams are developed and updated by subject matter experts who comprise our Exam Construction Review Committees (ECRCs) and serve as Item Writers.

Subject matter experts who serve on BCEN ECRCs and who write items (questions) for BCEN exams represent various aspects of emergency nursing practice and are well versed in the clinical topics and professional issues encompassed by each of our specialty certification programs. BCEN screens applicants to ensure geographic, demographic, and practice diversity so that committee members and item writers reflect the population of nurses in each specialty certification practice area.

BCEN is deeply grateful to our respected subject matter experts who volunteer their time so freely to help us create high-quality, robust exams. All of our highly-accomplished experts maintain full-time careers in their specialty area and contribute noticeably to the industry.

Exam Construction Review Committees (ECRCs)

BCEN’s Exam Construction Review Committees (ECRCs) are responsible for mentoring item writers, reviewing all new exam questions, reviewing and editing unscored pretest questions, reviewing scored questions, and reviewing the exam’s overall performance. ECRC members are selected for their knowledge, experience, content expertise, and strong skills in question development and must have previously served as an item writer. BCEN strives to ensure that the composition of its ECRCs reflects certification candidate populations in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, and educational preparation.

ECRC members are trained in item review principles, bias and sensitivity issues, and basic statistical concepts as they relate to item performance. The committees meet once or twice a year to assemble exams and participate in BCEN’s item-writing workshops as mentors to item writers. ECRC members work directly with an assigned team of item writers to review all new items and provide detailed feedback on each assignment.

Meet our ECRCs:

  • CEN ECRC

    Chairperson (AZ)
    Lorie Ledford, MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, TCRN, CCRN

    Committee Member (NH)
    Kathleen Albert, MSN, RN, CNS, CEN, CPEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (NH)
    Ruth Cilley, BSN, RN, CEN

    Committee Member (MN)
    Sandra Fonkert, MSN-Ed, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (TX)
    Steven Talbot, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (CO)
    Ryan J. Morissette, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CCRN

    Committee Member (WA)
    Roger Casey, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, FAEN

    Committee Member (DE)
    Kara Streets, RN, MS, CEN, NE-BC

  • CFRN-CTRN ECRC

    Chairperson (TN)
    Greg Wamack, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CFRN, EMT-IV

    Committee Member (AB)
    Graham Newton, BN, RN, CFRN, EMT-P

    Committee Member (CA)
    Andrew Veitch, BSN, RN, CFRN, CTRN, CCRN

    Committee Member (TX)
    Sue Parrigin, MSN, RN, CFRN, EMT-P

    Committee Member (CO)
    Allen Wolfe, MSN, RN, CFRN, CTRN, CCRN, CMTE

    Committee Member (CA)
    Raymond Hummel, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, CFRN, CTRN

    Committee Member (CO)
    Steven Malarchick, NRP, MSN, CFRN

  • CPEN ECRC

    Chairperson (IL)
    Rebecca Steinmann, MS, RN, APN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN, CCNS, FAEN

    Committee Member (AZ)
    Kimberly Choppi, MSN, RN, CPEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (MN)
    Dede Koenekamp, RN, CEN, CPEN

    Committee Member (OR)
    Denise Langley, RN, BSN, MBA-M, CEN, CPEN

    Committee Member (MA)
    Susan Maymon, RN, CEN, CPEN, CPN

    Committee Member (PA)
    Julie Ruddy, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN

  • TCRN ECRC

    Chairperson (VA)
    Kelley Rumsey, MS, RN, CEN, TCRN, ACNP-BC, PNP-BC

    Committee Member (MO)
    Jami Blackwell, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (MA)
    Joseph Blansfield, MS, RN, ANP-BC, TCRN

    Committee Member (GA)
    Michael Day, MSN, RN, TCRN, CCRN

    Committee Member (CA)
    Katy Hadduck, BSN, RN, CFRN, TCRN

    Committee Member (AZ)
    Shari Ann Rybak, MS, MBA, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (AZ)
    Lorie Ledford,MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CTRN, TCRN, CCRN

    Committee Member (DC)
    Jonathan Messing, MSN, ACNP-BC, TCRN, CCRN

    Committee Member (TN)
    Jennifer Radtke, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN

    Committee Member (NJ)
    Stacey Staman, MSN, RN, TCRN, CCRN-K

    Committee Member (OH)
    Brody Eick, MBA, BSN, CEN, TCRN

Item Writers

BCEN’s item writers are key to the success of our exam programs. As experts in their respective fields and sub-specialty areas, our item writers are responsible for creating test questions for their assigned program. BCEN chooses new item writers for its programs at least every 2 years and screens applicants to ensure geographic, demographic, and practice diversity so that our item writers reflect the population of nurses in each specialty certification practice area. View BCEN’s policy on Item Writer Selection.

To qualify to be an item writer, applicants must be a registered nurse, have a BSN (at minimum), and hold a current certification in the program they are applying for. While no previous item writing experience is necessary, item writers are required to attend a two-day item-writing workshop to receive instruction in basic item-writing and item review principles, including bias and sensitivity training. Each item writer is assigned an ECRC mentor who reviews all items and provides detailed feedback on each assignment. After serving an initial probationary year, item writers may serve up to three, 2-year terms.

Meet our Item Writers:

  • CEN Item Writers

    Brian Cuocci, BSN, RN, CEN
    Chicago, IL

    Jonathan Pritchard, MN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CCRN, CNRN, NRP
    Maplewood, MN

    Shanon Reed, BSN, RN, CEN
    Spencer, IA

    Martha Saroop, MS, RN, CEN
    Owings, MD

    Autumn Riddell, MSN, RN, CEN, CNS, AACNS-AG
    Chesapeake, VA

    David McDonald, MSN, RN, APN, CEN, CCNS
    Swansboro, NC

    Rachel Schiffman, BA, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    West Orange, NJ

    Clair Barnett, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
    Lebanon, OR

  • CFRN-CTRN Item Writers

    Robert Bacheler IV, MSN, CFRN, CCRN
    Media, PA

    Brian Murley, MBA, RN, CFRN
    Altoona, WI

    Cathleen Vandenbraak, BSN, MBA, MHA, CEN, CFRN, CTRN, CPEN, TCRN
    Wilmington, DE

    Marcy Dawson, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, TCRN, NRP
    Almont, ND

    Jennifer Meyer, BSN, RN, CFRN, CCRN-CSC, EMT-P
    Stony Brook, NY

    Nyssa Hattaway, BA, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN
    Macon, GA

    Joel Lucero, BSN, RN, CFRN
    Tucson, AZ

    Robert Hernandez, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN
    Loveland, CO

  • CPEN Item Writers

    Sara Daykin, MSN, RN, CPEN, TCRN, CPST
    Albuquerque, NM

    Katherine Walker, BSN, RN, CPEN
    Charlotte, NC

    Pamela Williams, BSN, RN, CPEN
    Madison, TN

    Rachel Wood, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN
    Mechanicsville, VA

  • TCRN Item Writers

    Nathan Christopherson, RN, MSN, MBA, TCRN, CEN, EMT-P
    Bellerose, NY

    Deborah Granahan Clark, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, MSSANE, Forensic Nurse
    Scranton, PA

    Kimberly Wright, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Jensen Beach, FL

    Rebecca Geyer, MSN, RN, TCRN
    Zanesville, OH

    Beatrice K. Launius, BSN, ACNP, TCRN
    Bossier City, LA

    Cassie Cook-Lyell, BSN, RN, TCRN
    Fort Worth, TX

    Kimberly Palestis, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Lyndhurst, NJ

    Donna Lynn York MSN, RN TCRN
    Gainesville, FL

    Mary Waldo, RN, BSN, CEN TCRN
    Napoleon, ND

    Jennifer Mullen, RN, BSN, CEN, TCRN, TNS
    Crown Point, IN

    Polina Bolotin, RN, MSN, CEN, TCRN
    Brooklyn, NY

    Jolene Kittle, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACCNS-AG, TCRN, CEN, CFRN
    Liverpool, NY

    Amy Krichten, RN, MSN, CEN, TCRN
    Lancaster, PA

  • Volunteer Opportunities

    Become an Item Writer

    BCEN® item writers are key to the success of its exam programs. As experts in their respective fields, item writers are responsible for creating test questions for their assigned programs. Content experts who write items for BCEN exams represent various aspects of emergency nursing, emergency transport nursing, and pediatric emergency nursing. BCEN strives to screen applicants to ensure geographic, demographic, and practice diversity. BCEN chooses new item writers for its programs at least every 2 years. No previous item-writing experience is necessary!

    Eligibility Requirements

    Criteria for participation as a BCEN item writer are as follows:

    • Current certification as a CEN®, CFRN®, CPEN®, CTRN®, or TCRN®
    • Current experience in emergency nursing, pediatric emergency nursing, flight nursing and/or critical care ground transport, or trauma nursing
    • Minimum of a BSN
    View BCEN’s policy on Item Writer Selection.

    Item-Writing Workshop

    Item writers must attend a 2-day item-writing workshop to receive instruction in basic item-writing and item-reviewing principles, including bias and sensitivity training. The workshop includes both didactic and interactive activities in which item structure, the test blueprint, confidentiality, and security issues are presented and discussed. Exam Construction Review Committee (ECRC) members also participate in the workshop and serve as mentors to new writers.

    Assignments and Time Commitment

    Assignments are made twice a year and are based on areas of each program’s content outline. Item writers serve 2-year renewable terms and can expect to write about 20 items a year.

    Mentoring and Feedback
    Each item writer is part of an item-writing team and is assigned an ECRC mentor who reviews all newly written items. Items are reviewed for accuracy, critical content for the exam, bias and sensitivity issues, and correct classification to their respective content outline. Mentors provide detailed feedback to item writers after every assignment.

    How to Apply

    The following information must be submitted to BCEN:

    • A cover letter expressing your interest in being an item writer
    • The exam program you wish to write for
    • A brief description of your experience and where you work (eg, rural, urban, teaching hospital)
    • A current curriculum vitae

    Once BCEN receives your information and determines that you meet the criteria, you will be sent a brief item-writing exercise. The exercise must be completed in its entirety and returned to BCEN by the stated deadline for you to be considered. ECRC members evaluate the exercises and select new item writers based on item-writing aptitude shown on the exercises as well as the demographic needs of BCEN.

    Become an ECRC Member

    Item writers who consisitently write high-quality items, meet deadlines, and respond to feedback may have the opportunity to serve on an ECRC as openings occur. ECRC members are responsible for mentoring item writers, reviewing new questions, and assembling exam forms for their respective programs. ECRC members are selected for their knowledge, experience, and content expertise, and strong skills in question development. As with item writer selection, BCEN strives to ensure that the composition of its ECRCs reflects candidate populations in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, and educational preparation.

    BCEN ECRCs meet once or twice a year to assemble exams and participate in BCEN item-writing workshops as mentors. Each BCEN exam program (i.e., CEN, CFRN/CTRN, CPEN and TCRN) has a separate and distinct ECRC.