Cen

  1. I have often considered doing the CEN exam, but my hospital never recognized it, or offerred any assistance with classes, or reimbursement of the fees, or anything, so I have not taken the exam. Now, however, I find I am moving to NY where I'm told it is recognized and will affect my salary quite a lot... so besides the glory of the actual challenge there is some benefit for me. My nurse manager told me she felt that the test itself was not very difficult, but other people have told me they felt it was impossible to pass without an intensive class etc... I have about three months to study and take the test before the big move happens. What do those of you who are CEN's think? Is the test passable with some careful study over 3 months? I'd love to be certified and with the salary differential, I now have a way to justify the fees! Any advice??
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   neneRN
    Its very doable- I obtained my CEN as a fairly new nurse (I hade been in the ER for two years straight out of school). It was a challenging exam, but I don't feel that it warrants a lot of studying in the areas you feel comfortable with. I brushed up areas I wasn't comfortable with, i.e., eye injuries/toxicology/L&D for about a month before the test.

    I did use one book called "Challenges in Emergency Nursing" that came with a disc containing practice tests. This book was VERY helpful because the questions were nearly identical to those an the actual exam. About a week before the test, I took an online 50 question test through the BON offered as a practice CEN exam; I think it was like $35, but gave you a good idea of whether you would pass the real exam.

    I did take 2 day CEN review course, but I don't count that as part of my studying because it ended up being taught by a bunch of physicians and was so far over the class's head that we all agreed it was a waste of time.)

    I think a big part of it also is how well you do in general taking tests. I work with a nurse with over 10 years ER experience who is an excellent nurse but still hasn't passed it after 3 tries. A supervisor told me she spent almost a year studying every day before she took. When I took it, two other nurses took it at the same time and passed- we were all newer nurses with less prep.
  4. by   KatieBell
    Thanks! Thats exactly what I wanted to hear...and the recomendation of the books was also especially helpful!
    I'll let you know how I do...
  5. by   candyndel
    You will have PLENTY of time to study and should have no problem (if you are a decent test-taker). GO FOR IT!!


    Quote from KatieBell
    I have often considered doing the CEN exam, but my hospital never recognized it, or offerred any assistance with classes, or reimbursement of the fees, or anything, so I have not taken the exam. Now, however, I find I am moving to NY where I'm told it is recognized and will affect my salary quite a lot... so besides the glory of the actual challenge there is some benefit for me. My nurse manager told me she felt that the test itself was not very difficult, but other people have told me they felt it was impossible to pass without an intensive class etc... I have about three months to study and take the test before the big move happens. What do those of you who are CEN's think? Is the test passable with some careful study over 3 months? I'd love to be certified and with the salary differential, I now have a way to justify the fees! Any advice??
  6. by   TinyNurse
    thanks for the advice NeneRN, I ordered the book off amazon, and hope to also test in 3 months!!
  7. by   grammyr
    You can do this!!!! I took the test in May after studying about 3-4 months and passed. I faced some different challenges because I work in a small rural ED with 4 beds and some of the content on the test was stuff that I had little if any working knowledge about. I took the 2 day course and felt it was very helpful to me. It was taught by an ED nurse who had many years of experience.

    My hospital doesn't recognize the certification either and the more I fought to have them recognize it, the more determined I was to get the certification. By
    the way, they still don't but I have something they don't and I can when I go, the certification goes with me.
  8. by   KatieBell
    Thanks for the recommendations (I also have ordered the book from Amazon, Nene the publisher should give you a cut of the profits!!).

    And thanks for the encouragement from the others. I'm registering to take the test today and I am so excited about it! I can not believe I am excited about taking a test, must be a little deranged!

    I'm curious about two things:

    Any other books people would recommend??

    And how many others are planning on testing in the next few months?
  9. by   Cali Nurse
    I just passed in June this year. I studied here and there for maybe 3 months. The best book I used was "CEN Review Manual", it's actually put out by the ENA. You can get it on the ENA website, it's $50 but worth it. The book gives you 5, 175 question tests with mixed questions from all topics that will be on the test. Also comes with a cd.
    Other books I used were Mosby's CEN Review, which has individual tests on each subject. I would also reccomend the Core Curriculum for Emergency Nursing. It's apparently the reference that is used to develop the questions.
    Personally, I would say it's a good idea to study at least a little of each topic and focus on what you feel you are weak in. I have 4 years of experience, 3 in ER and I thought the test was challenging. I took a review course 2 years ago and then put it off. I also took the online test practice test from the BON, which I failed, but I did pass the real test on the first try, so it can be done!

    Quote from KatieBell
    Thanks for the recommendations (I also have ordered the book from Amazon, Nene the publisher should give you a cut of the profits!!).

    And thanks for the encouragement from the others. I'm registering to take the test today and I am so excited about it! I can not believe I am excited about taking a test, must be a little deranged!

    I'm curious about two things:

    Any other books people would recommend??

    And how many others are planning on testing in the next few months?
  10. by   TinyNurse
    I recieved the book in the mail today......it definitely is not as intimidating as the CEN review manual from the ENA. hahaha. lets just hope i can study and do well!!
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Good luck - I did the CEN after being in a level one trauma center for two years and only looked at the book for about a week or so - personally, I think some of it just depends on what type of ER you work at. It wasn't that hard.

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