CEN, ENA, TNCC

  1. to anyone who has any of these certifications can you tell me from personal experience what to expect? how hard is it to obtain the certification, how much , how long did you work in the ER before getting certified what skills did you have to do etc? thanks in advance for any info you can give me!
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  2. Visit yankee nurse09 profile page

    About yankee nurse09

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 10; Likes: 11

    16 Comments

  3. by   Be_Moore
    I have the TNCC and I can say it was a joke. Had about 1 year ICU experience at the time and it's nothing that you don't already know (if you have nursing experience), it's just placed in a format that is kinda new. As far as skills, you just have to do a full assessment and list treatments for any problems found. Nothing new.

    The CEN, however, will not be a joke. It will probably take a bit of studying. I have my CCRN (equivalent certification, but for ICU) and this level of cert gets specific. Interestingly, the CEN does not have a minimum requirement for experience (but recommends 2 years) or hours worked. It has about a 70% pass rate. Get a good book, and put 1-2 months studying into it. Put more into it if you are a new nurse, less if you are seasoned (5+ years in a Level I or II trauma center and you probably won't even need the book).
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    ENA is the Emergency Nurses Association, and is not a certification. TNCC is a just two-day class (which I didn't find particularly difficult, we have similar classes in EMS), whereas the CEN is a certification exam. I had 5+ years of experience as a paramedic when I became a nurse, which gave me an advantage where these types of certs are concerned. I had been an ED RN for about 10 months when I took the CEN, but again, I had 5+ years of medic experience as well as more than 4 years of time working in an ED setting when I passed the CEN. (FWIW, my coworkers who have both the CEN and CCRN found the CCRN to be much more difficult.)
  5. by   robinbird
    I just took TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course) after working in the ED for 9 months. I bought the book for the course 6 weeks before the course and read most of it. The course was 2 days long, which focused trauma assessment and system by system review of what we need to know for the trauma patient. The course was focused, and relevant to my practice as an ER nurse (with very little actual trauma experience). We had a 50 question multiple choice test and had to perform a trauma nursing process assessment on a mock patient. I found that this class really tied together everything I've learned so far in the ER.
  6. by   mwboswell
    Quote from Be_Moore
    I have the TNCC and I can say it was a joke. Had about 1 year ICU experience at the time and it's nothing that you don't already know (if you have nursing experience), it's just placed in a format that is kinda new. As far as skills, you just have to do a full assessment and list treatments for any problems found. Nothing new.

    The CEN, however, will not be a joke. It will probably take a bit of studying. I have my CCRN (equivalent certification, but for ICU) and this level of cert gets specific. Interestingly, the CEN does not have a minimum requirement for experience (but recommends 2 years) or hours worked. It has about a 70% pass rate. Get a good book, and put 1-2 months studying into it. Put more into it if you are a new nurse, less if you are seasoned (5+ years in a Level I or II trauma center and you probably won't even need the book).
    The pass rate is 80% nationally (BCEN Data @2007)....

    Just because yo work in a "trauma center" will NOT necessarially give you the experience you need for the CEN exam....it's NOT all trauma. You'll still need to be familiar with the run-of-the-mill stuff (Gout, Parkinsons, ALS, Stroke, Migraines, DVT's, Pancreatitis, Diverticulitis, STD's, Infectious Childhood Illnesses, Anemia, Pneumonia, Bronchiolitis, Pre-eclampsia, Newborn delivery/resuscitation etc....)...sometimes working in a "trauma center" you get too compartmentalized and don't get the diversity of experiences.
  7. by   DanMacRN
    I have been an Emergency Nurse for 6 years and I have seen every one of the conditions described by mwboswell and then some working in Level I Trauma centers. Sorry, mw.
    I took TNCC last year and found the course to be interesting, but somewhat unrealistic. For one thing the course puts the nurse in the doctor's chair, the RN has to think and function as a doctor in the skills stations. Strange, but interesting. As far as costs, your hospital pays for TNCC if they require it as many do.
    CEN is another animal completely. Very in-depth and ALL nursing. It is very challenging and time consuming--if that would be a concern for you--and you have to do it all over again every four years to keep it. Worth it? Absolutely. You can never afford to stop learning or improving your skills as a nurse. Good luck.
  8. by   DanMacRN
    TNCC is an interesting course and is required to work trauma in many hospitals. It is a bit strange because in theTNCC course you have to think like a doctor, not a nurse. It is sort of a fish-out-of-water experience, but it is interesting and, as I said, increasingly required. If it is required your employer will pay for it.
    CEN is another thing entirely. Very comprehensive and all of the information is important to know for a professional Emergency Nurse. Most employers do not require CEN so you will have to pay for it and it can be pretty expensive. Preparation is also time consuming and you have to recertify--take the test--every four years to keep it. Is it worth it? I think so, but I know many CENs who don't think so. At any rate it is important to keep learning and improving your skills as a nurse throughout your career if you want to ba a true professional. Good Luck.
  9. by   LilgirlRN
    TNCC, easy, don't sweat it. Lots of common sense stuff.
  10. by   nghtfltguy
    TNCC is easy as has been previously stated. Getting your CEN on the other hand is no joke..

    study.. study..study.. learn everything you can about cardiac stuff.. know your EKG stuff inside and out.
    you need to be able to determine the difference between a 1st,2nd,or 3rd degree block easily..

    i know that might sound easy.. but trust me.. its not always that easy...

    wish you the best of luck!!..

    like i said before.. if you are going for your CEN.. get the books... study the material.. dedicate yourself and you will do fine...~~

  11. by   JessicRN
    I took the CEN after I took a critical care course without even steping in an ER yet and passed. I would not have passed if I had not have taken the course in my opinion. I recommend you take the CEN review course first. TNCC was pretty easy and even if you fail the test they let you take it again
  12. by   NYnurseatheart
    Hi there,

    As others have posted, the CEN is much more challenging than the TNCC (and way more in depth). The TNCC is as stated before a 2 day course. I am not sure where the poster who states it is more doctor oriented is coming from. Its focus is obviously on traumatic injury. You focus an assessment from ABC's, and then head to toe. Knowing the mechanism of injury is essential in helping your care promptly for a trauma patient. I think that as nurses in an ER (traum or not), we essentially learn thru experience what to anticipate with trauma patients, and we do think in terms of diagnosis (medical, not nursing). The TNCC makes you think in terms of intervention - based on symptoms seen. If someone comes in from a car accident and is short of breath we are going to intervene first by assessing their airway, then their breathing, and are going to know exactly what the doctor is going to want (CT or xray of chest), however these tests are after we make sure their airway is secure...sorry to get on my soapbox.

    Nurses do not simply do nursing care plans. We are using evidence based practice more and more, and developing more and more autonomy (based on your hospital's polilcies and proceedures). The more certifications you can obtain, the higher your level of knowledge - the best thing to strive for as a nurse in my humble opinion.

    Don't try to do your CEN without substantial experience behind you - or if you have a photographic memory and a study guide - like a friend of mine - go for it. Good luck!
  13. by   franpinky17
    This site is misleading, I was searching for TNCC classes /training and this site pop out and ask me to register to see the available classes..ReallY ! and all I see are nothing except a bunch of comments. No schedules of classes ,nothing except advertisements of online schools and degrees.,what a waste of my time..
  14. by   FlyingScot
    Quote from franpinky17
    This site is misleading, I was searching for TNCC classes /training and this site pop out and ask me to register to see the available classes..ReallY ! and all I see are nothing except a bunch of comments. No schedules of classes ,nothing except advertisements of online schools and degrees.,what a waste of my time..
    Is this your first time searching the internet for information?

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