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
Roger Casey, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, FAEN
Committee Member (TX)
Steven Talbot, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
Committee Member (VT)
Ryan J. Morissette, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CCRN
Committee Member (DE)
Kara Streets, RN, MS, CEN, NE-BC
Committee Member (OR)
Clair Barnett, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
- CFRN-CTRN ECRC
Sue Parrigin, MSN, RN, CFRN, CTRN, EMT-P
Committee Member (AB)
Graham Newton, RN, MN, CFRN, CTRN, ACP
Committee Member (CO)
Allen C. Wolfe Jr, MSN, CNS, APRN, CFRN, CTRN, TCRN, CCRN, CMTE
Committee Member (CO)
Steven Malarchick, DNP, MSN, CFRN, CTRN, NRP, FP-C
Committee Member (NJ)
Jeanette Pascale, MSH I, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CTRN, CCRN, EMT
- CPEN ECRC
Rebecca Steinmann, MS, APN, NPD-BC, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, CCRN, CCNS, FAEN
Committee Member (MN)
Dede Koenekamp, RN, CEN, CPEN
Committee Member (MA)
Susan Maymon, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CPN
Committee Member (PA)
Julie Ruddy, BS, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
Committee Member (NM)
Sara Daykin, DNP, MSN, RN, CPEN, TCRN, CPST
Committee Member (NC)
Katherine Walker, BSN, RN, CPEN
- TCRN ECRC
Kelley Rumsey, MS, RN, CEN, TCRN, ACNP-BC, PNP-BC
Committee Member (MO)
Jami Blackwell, RN, TCRN, CEN, BSN, BS
Committee Member (MA)
Joseph Blansfield, MS, RN, ANP-BC, TCRN
Committee Member (AZ)
Shari Rybak-Flores, MSN, MBA, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
Committee Member (OH)
Brody Eick, MBA, HCAN, BSN, CEN, TCRN, CCRN
Committee Member (OH)
Rebecca Geyer, MSN, RN, TCRN
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
Autumn Riddell, MSN, RN, CEN, CNS, ACCNS-AG
Pearl City, HI
Laura Coles, MSN-Ed, RN, CEN
Amanda Schultz, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
Prince Frederick, MD
- CFRN-CTRN Item Writers
Nyssa Hattaway, BA, BSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, CPEN
Peachtree City, GA
Russell Haight, MBA, BSN, CCRN-CMC, CFRN, EMT-P
San Diego, CA
Jeanette Pascale, MSH I, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CTRN, EMT
South Plainfield, NJ
Alex Writ, RN, BSN, CEN, CFRN, CCRN, NRP, FP-C, CCP-C
Kansas city, MO
- CPEN Item Writers
Mara Harner, MS, RN, CPEN
Ann Crawford, PhD, MSN, CNS, CEN, CPEN
Cara Szeglin, BSN, RN, CPEN
New York, NY
Tara Doherty, BSN, RN, CPEN
New York, NY
Mary Kate Abbadessa
Grand Rapids, MI
Overland Park, KS
Dade City, FL
- TCRN Item Writers
Mary Waldo, RN, BSN, CEN, TCRN
Amy Krichten, RN, MSN, CEN, TCRN
Camp Hill, PA
David Booker, BSN, RN, TCRN, CFRN, CEN, CPEN, MICN, NREMT-P
Renee Zinken, RN, BSN, PHN, TCRN
St. Paul, MN
Michael Gibson, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CFRN
Karen Leal, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN, TCRN
Heather Timmons, RN, BSN, CCRN, TCRN
Gordon Siu, MSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN, TCRN, NRP
Grove City, OH
Maple Grove, MN
West Bloomfield, MI
- 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!
Criteria for participation as a BCEN item writer are as follows:
View BCEN’s policy on Item Writer Selection.
- 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
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
An online application must be submitted to BCEN for review.
To apply, log into your BCEN Account and hover over the Get Involved box. If you hold a BCEN certification, you will see a link to an Item Writer application. Click on the link and select Create New Collection under the relevant certification program to open the online application. Complete the required fields and submit.
You will be asked about your:
• Years in nursing
• Credentials held
And will be asked to write three brief narratives:
• Why would like to become a BCEN Item Writer
• Description of your current position
• Description of your experience in emergency, transport (flight and/or ground), or trauma nursing
We value the time and expertise our item writers commit to our programs.
Become an ECRC Member
Item writers who consistently 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.