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Certification for Emergency Nurses (CEN)

Certification, in general, is a mechanism in which the public and employers are able to identify practitioners who have met certain standards in their particular nursing specialty. Because of this, there are certifications in obstetrics, oncology, surgical nursing, critical care, flight nursing, etc.

The CEN ® certification is the certification specific to emergency nursing and measures the attainment of a defined body of nursing knowledge pertinent to that particular specialty. A role delineation study is conducted approximately every five years to assure the examination reflects current emergency nursing practice. Although there are CENs throughout the world, the CEN exam is based on emergency nursing practice in the United States.

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The Value of Certification

For the emergency nurse, certification provides:

  • Personal satisfaction through increased confidence and personal growth
  • Validation of emergency nursing expertise
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Monetary differentials
  • Job opportunities

The Benefits of Certification

For the institution, employing certified nurses:

  • Assures the general public that the nurse is competent and current. This is becoming a relevant issue since the Pew Commission, representing the general public, is asking for nurses to validate their competency.
  • Can be used as a marketing tool,i.e., "Our emergency department is staffed by certified emergency physicians and nurses".
  • Can result in employing nurses that are high achievers, have a high patient satisfaction rating and are more effective communicators with other health care providers
  • Can result in a decrease in hospital insurance premium costs