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ECRC and Item Writers: Our Subject Matter Experts

 

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 (WA)
    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

    Chairperson (TX)
    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

    Chairperson (IL)
    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

    Chairperson (VA)
    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

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

    Autumn Riddell, MSN, RN, CEN, CNS, ACCNS-AG
    Pearl City, HI

    Laura Coles, MSN-Ed, RN, CEN
    Rochester, NY

    Amanda Schultz, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Memphis, TN

    Heather Swindle
    Morris, AL

    Jessica Sanata
    Ridgefield, WA

    Angela Powell
    Roseburg, OR

    Heidi Gilbert
    Stillwater, OK

    Tashauna Dyer
    Elmont, NY

    Joseph Christensen
    Prince Frederick, MD

    Aracely Orozco
    Downey, CA

    Alexandra Gary
    Washington, D.C

    Sara Gears
    Chicago, IL

     

  • 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
    Floyd, VA

    Angela Atwood
    Sandy, UT

    Tonya Marshall
    Lubbock, TX

    Emma Hart
    Georgetown, TX

    Sarah Padesky
    Kansas city, MO

    Jennifer Williams
    Nettleton, MS

    Lindsey Duff
    Lakewood, CO

     

  • CPEN Item Writers

    Mara Harner, MS, RN, CPEN
    Erie, CO

    Ann Crawford, PhD, MSN, CNS, CEN, CPEN
    Belton, TX

    Cara Szeglin, BSN, RN, CPEN
    New York, NY

    Tara Doherty, BSN, RN, CPEN
    New York, NY

    Megan Pinardo
    Philadelphia, PA

    Mary Kate Abbadessa
    Aston, PA

    strong>Marla Frase
    Alliance, OH

    Josie Kik
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Teresa Bontrager
    Overland Park, KS

    Lisa Chambers
    Orange, CA

    Kara Piganelli
    Oakland, CA

    Jaclyn Eineder
    Dade City, FL

     

  • TCRN Item Writers

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

    Amy Krichten, RN, MSN, CEN, TCRN
    Camp Hill, PA

    David Booker, BSN, RN, TCRN, CFRN, CEN, CPEN, MICN, NREMT-P
    Wildomar, CA

    Renee Zinken, RN, BSN, PHN, TCRN
    St. Paul, MN

    Michael Gibson, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CFRN
    Salinas, CA

    Karen Leal, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN, TCRN
    Houston, TX

    Heather Timmons, RN, BSN, CCRN, TCRN
    Plano, TX

    Gordon Siu, MSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN, TCRN, NRP
    Midland, MI

    Andrea Light
    Grove City, OH

    Melaina King
    Syracuse, NY

    Jennifer Gieger
    Stanhope, NJ

    Mark Schmit
    Maple Grove, MN

    Rebecca VanStanton
    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!

    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

    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
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Memberships

    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.