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Has 1 years experience.

Hi ! I am an ED RN for 2 yrs. I work night shift. Planning to take the CEN exam, badly need help on tips ( what books/study guide to read)and strategies on taking the exam. Any help would be great! thanks!

What books would you guys recommend? I already bought Sheehy's 7th edition.

Thanks in advance!


Specializes in BSN, RN CEN. Has 5 years experience.


I used Solheim's pocket pearls and I also attended a 2-day review course. Another great resource was the CEN review manual. It comes with practice tests including rational. Which is over 1,000 practice questions and 2 online tests. I did all of them. I did them during down-time, on my days off, whenever I had a chance! Good luck to you!


Specializes in Emergency Dept. Has 10 years experience.

I second Solheim's class if you have the opportunity. He has high pass rates for those who attend. I took his course for my TCRN along with two others from our facility and all three passed.

For my CEN I used the ENA's CEN Review. It offers videos to watch which I didn't find overly helpful but it did have printouts on each category that I studied and was able to make note cards from and was successful with that. I liked the printouts much better than the videos. It all depends on what your learning style is.

Good Luck on your test!

NurseNelly24, BSN

Specializes in ER, Tele/Medsurg, Ambulatory PACU. Has 7 years experience.

Just passed my CEN this week and concur with the above statements. 

The ENA review questions book is what I basically used in the last 3 weeks of studying. End up doing 750 questions. Whatever I got wrong, I went over the content.

The online modules from ENA I didn’t find helpful, the instructors were basically reading off the review handouts word for word. 

Solheim’s review course is extremely helpful in terms of understanding the “why”—patho and brief pharmaco—about the diseases so you understood exactly why you’re doing a certain nursing intervention.


the only downside I found the videos to be way too long on certain chapters and then for other topics like Professional Issues he glossed over. Since the test itself doesn’t go too much into detail on a topic, I think you should use the ENA book for practice and Solheim for review for only areas you’re weak in


So I 

Raven Sierra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma, Emergency Department, Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

Not sure if the OP still needs advice, but, at the risk of thread necromancy - I may be the outlier who didn't find Solheim's online class to be super-helpful. I got some things from him, but it wasn't working for me overall so I changed study tactics. But he's a good teacher, and it could be a quirk of how I learn, as I'm a strong visual learner and generally like to work at my own pace. I used Pass CEN! the book and the corresponding app; I did hundreds of practice questions. Pass CEN! explained things really well for me. I did review questions anytime I had five minutes or more and access to my phone.

Passed CEN first try.

TheSquire, DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I took Solheim's class from the man himself back in the before-times and then passed the test a month later, so while I can't comment on the efficacy of the online version, the in person format worked well for me.  He's also good at going over the things you might not see in your area, but are on the test.

Also, you definitely should sit through your ENPC and TNCC prior to taking the CEN - a lot of the material from those two classes make it onto the exam.