What is CEN, or CCRN?

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    Im brand new here, and just started nursing school about a month ago so please forgive me for what's probably going to be a 'duh' question....
    What's a CEN or CCRN? What are the benefits of having it, is it worth the extra effort to get it? (I am interested in going into the ED, and had an EMT license previously, but couldnt get a job without experience...) Do you have to recertify every year? Is there an additional course or formal in school training required? Please feel free to add any other info that may be important, thanks!
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    CEN = Certified Emergency Nurse
    CCRN = Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse

    To become certified first you must have a certain amount of actual, paid experience working as an emergency or critical care RN. Then to become certifed you take and pass the certification exam. I can't remember how many hours of work experience are required to be elligable to take the test but it seems by the time people have worked 2 years in the ICU or ER they are more than elligable.
    The exams are tough and require a lot of self directed study. Certification is good for 4 years then you must take the test again to re-certify. This is new as in the past you could recertify without re-taking the exam. The advantage of having certification is respect. When people see you are certified they KNOW you are and experienced ER or ICU nurse since those without experince are not allow to test. They also know that to pass the test requires advanced knowlage of critical care nursing. In practical terms I have found that CCRN & CEN (I am certified in both) far, far outweight having a BSN when looking for a job.
    Pixie.RN, brainkandy87, Aggie RN, and 2 others like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    In practical terms I have found that CCRN & CEN (I am certified in both) far, far outweight having a BSN when looking for a job.
    Love this. I've never met a CEN I wouldn't trust with my life.
    Pixie.RN and aachavez like this.
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    PMFB-RN thank you so much for this info, this is exactly what I was looking for. It's a few years off for me, but it sounds like something I'll definetly look into when I get there. Thanks again!
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    With respect to recerting the CEN, here's the latest update I found for CE's. Of course, you can always take the test again, but I like the CE option myself.

    Every four years, the BCEN Credentialed nurse is required to renew or recertify to keep his or her certification active. BCEN believes that your continued growth in your field of nursing is critical to providing high-quality health care to your patients. Effective January 1, 2013 BCEN is changing the CE requirements for CEN, CFRN and CTRN for all renewals by CEs.
    1. What does this mean for you? BCEN credential holders that are certified prior to January 1, 2013 will continue to follow the current CE requirements for one renewal term. Upon renewal completion the credential holder must follow the new CE guidelines that require 50 of the 100 contact hours come from accredited sources for all future renewal terms. BCEN credential holders that become certified on January 1, 2013 or later must follow the new CE guidelines that require 50 of the 100 contact hours come from accredited sources.
    2. When should I start following the new requirements? In order to ensure that you have enough acceptable CEs at time of renewal start following the new requirements as soon as possible.
    3. What's required? Credential holders can continue to document professional development activities with a clear and direct application to the practice of emergency care nursing earned over a period of four years. Current Requirements: 100 contact hours  75 of the 100 contact hours must be in the CLINICAL category,  and up to 25 may be in the OTHER category. New Requirements: 100 contact hours  50 of the 100 contact hours must be from accredited sources,  75 of the 100 contact hours must be in the CLINICAL category,  and up to 25 may be in the OTHER category. Note: It is acceptable to have more than 75 of the contact hours in the CLINICAL category. One contact hour is equivalent to 60 minutes of instruction.
    4. About accredited contact hours. A minimum of 50 contact hours must be from accredited sources. The remainder may be from non-accredited activities such as those listed in the following chart. All national accrediting agencies are accepted for your recertification. These include but are not limited to American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and State Nurses Associations/State Boards of Nursing (SNA/SBN).

    New New CE Renewal CE Renewal CE Renewal CE Renewal CE Renewal CE Renewal CE Renewal Requirements Requirements Requirements Requirements
    Effective January 1, 2013
    CEN®
    CFRN®
    CTRN®
    CE Renewal Options How it can apply to your CEN recertification
    1. Renewal by CE The following may be used to fulfill the CE option: Minimum of 50 hours from accredited sources
    a. Provider Courses
    (ENPC, TNCC, PALS, PEPP, ACLS etc.)
    One initial course and one renewal course for each provider may be counted as accredited CE, one time each, during each certification renewal cycle.
    Type: Accredited CE
    b. Presentations and Lectures
    Presentation may count as a one-time accredited CE submission if the course provides accredited CE.
    Type: Accredited CE or Non-accredited CE depending on the course
    c. Academic Credit
    Must have earned a “C” or higher and content must apply to emergency (CEN) or flight/transport (CFRN/CTRN) nursing from an accredited institution.
    Type: Accredited CE
    d. Preceptorship
    80 hours of precepting are equivalent to 5 contact hours. A maximum of 5 contact hours will be accepted in a renewal cycle. Contact hours will be in the clinical category although they will be non- accredited contact hours.
    Type: Non-accredited CE
    e. Authoring
    Publication must be peer-reviewed and content must be specific to emergency (CEN) or flight/transport (CFRN/CTRN) nursing.
    *Co-authorship credit is distributed evenly among all authors. Article = 5 hrs
    Chapter/module=10 hrs
    Textbook regardless of page number=50 hrs
    Type: Accredited CE
    f. Poster Presentations
    5 Contact Hours per poster developed. An individual will be allowed to submit a poster only once during the renewal period.
    Type: Accredited or Non-accredited CE depending on if the poster has been approved for accredited CE
    g. Item Writing
    0.5 Contact Hours per accepted exam item written and a maximum of 5 Contact Hours per year.
    Type: Non-accredited CE
  7. 0
    Wow, what great information, I too am interested in obtaining my credentials to work in the E.D. This certainly covers just about everything, Thanks!
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    You do not have to re-test to recert your CCRN. You can earn 100 synergy CERPs or re-test. I recerted in April without having to retest.
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    Just a small point of clarification -- there is no time requirement as a nurse to take the CEN, but the BCEN folks do recommend two years. I passed my CEN when I'd been a nurse for 10 months. (Oh crud, I expire this year. LOL) I believe the CCRN does have a minimum number of hours working to sit for the exam. I also believe that they didn't used to count ER time as critical care, but that has changed. I know I could take the CCRN if I wanted to (not sure I do, but I have some study stuff... hmmmm).

    Also, for those who work in an all-ages or pediatric ER, there is the CPEN. Very valuable to have as well!
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    They are turned into NOTHING at my health system. We don't get paid to take the test, have the certifications, or have on our badge anymore.
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    The whole process of studying for the CEN exam and taking the test was invaluable for increasing my knowledge of emergency nursing. It definitely made me a better nurse, and continues to do so, and that was the reason I studied for it. I took the exam without having worked in the ER (the requirement was an unrestricted RN license; two years of related experience was a recommendation). It was tough to study for, and the exam was hard. It was well worth it to me because of what I learned.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Jan 7, '13
    BrnEyedGirl likes this.


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