CEN certification questions

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    I graduate in two weeks and have already accepted a position in an ER. I read in a book that was recently given to me that there is a CEN exam for ER nurses. I do not know too much about this,and was wondering if I could have some input from the group...First off, is taking the CEN exam something to seriously consider, and secondly, how long should I wait to gain experience to take the exam?? Any help would be appreciated...Thanks....
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  4. 0
    We're in the same boat !!!

    I graduate saturday, and will start working in the ED in June. I am also a member of Emergency Nurses Association, the org. that supports the CEN. (you can join as a student for a lower rate, and get a pin for your new badge!)

    I did my preceptorship at a level 1 TC and worked with many nurses who were CEN, and they all encouraged me to sit for the exam after I have had adequate experience, the common suggestion was 2 years ED experience. Their reasoning is that you want to see and experience as much as you can before you shell out money for certification. Also, I've heard that attaining all your ED certs -- ACLS, PALS, TNCC, etc. is something you want to do before you get certified. I hope some CEN's reply to this thread, i'm curious as to what they have to say.

    Congrats on your new job -- I am totally excited!

    becca
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    I don't think that they'll let me join now, since I graduate on May 22nd, but I am definitely going to join....Congrats on your job......
  6. 3
    Check out the Emergency Nursing specialty forums. We have several threads on the CEN and even a CEN support thread. I would say you need to focus on the NCLEX and obtaining RN credentials. Without RN after your name, specialty certification simply is not an option.

    Next, worry about getting through your first year as an RN. The first year will be hard and confusing. You really need to figure out how to be a nurse before looking at taking specialty exams. Understand, you will have more than enough challenge learning how to be a nurse during your first year.

    In addition, you need to take courses such as ACLS, PALS, and TNCC during your first year or so as an RN and really learn and understand this material. The CEN assumes that you are well versed with AHA guidelines and the trauma knowledge is all based on what is taught in the TNCC class. You will also need pedi, adult, psych, medical, and trauma experience as the exam will cover all types of patients and patient populations.

    Finally, you need to understand the ER process, the triage process, and understand how patient care flows and is priortized based on the ER process and triage process as a whole. Teaching, education, disaster management, HIPPA, EMTALA, and transport/tansfer considerations are all areas of knowledge that can be tested.

    So, slow down and get through this first year, then worry about certification.
  7. 0
    Quote from gs1976
    I graduate in two weeks and have already accepted a position in an ER. I read in a book that was recently given to me that there is a CEN exam for ER nurses. I do not know too much about this,and was wondering if I could have some input from the group...First off, is taking the CEN exam something to seriously consider, and secondly, how long should I wait to gain experience to take the exam?? Any help would be appreciated...Thanks....
    The CEN exam is a knowledge based exam. It takes awhile to get that knowlege, so you can take the exam as soon as you feel you have the knowlege. My advice though it to wait a year or so and learn as you go. It will make you a better nurse and decrease the test anxiety. There is however no real set time limit. Go ahead and get some study guides, Study them, apply the informaiton to your practice to help realy learn it and then one day, (it's different for everyone) you'll realize you know this stuff and go take the test. I use it as a "graduation of sorts" for my nurse residents.

    So once you start working, and get your orientation schedule, just take the end of your orientation and set youself a continuing study plan.

    Congradualtion on school and welcome to the fold.
  8. 0
    Thanks to all the posts so far...I almost feel as if I am overwhelmed right now....I don't graduate until the 22nd of May, and I don't start in the ER until June 1....It's like December 24th at noon....You know Christmas is coming, but time just moves so slow.....
  9. 0
    I'm currently studying for the CEN. I have been a labor pool ED nurse for almost 6 years. I work very part-time hours right now.

    I started studying in Feb, taken a CEN review course and do a practice questions eveyday...There really is A LOT of stuff I haven't seen in a while and things I have not heard of....I mean have you ever heard of a 'snout sign'????? I have recently taken TNCC, ENPC, PALS...all of that was great review.

    I hoped to be ready to test by the end of this month...but I think I need to adjust my timeline. I just do NOT feel ready

    Most recommend minimum 1-2 years in ED prior to taking the exam. Also brush up on your A & P. It will help!
  10. 0
    Thanks for your post 92 and congrats to all on your jobs!
    I did 2 years in a level 1 ER a few years ago, and after some Home Health and Managment (ick!) I'm on my way back to the ER at the end of the month.

    I have my head burried in books reviewing stuff. I'm surprised how some concepts that I just didn't get a few years ago now make perfect sense to me. Guess my brain just needed to "gel". We never have TNCC, etc here locally, so I'm looking at going out of town for that then possibly testing by January.

    By the way - I looked up the "snout sign" Thanks for that!
    DAwn in PA
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    You can see a listing of review classes on the ENA (Emergency Nurses Association) website at http://www.ena.org/bcen/cen/ReviewCourses.asp
  12. 0
    I did the CEN exam after two years of level one trauma ED experience. Very easy at that point.


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