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White paper highlights value of nursing certifications
The reasons for becoming a certified emergency nurse are compelling
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Information and graphics provided by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Nurse leaders also can read the BCEN’s white paper “Take Your Emergency Department to the Next Level with Board Certified Nurses.”
And for emergency nurses who are already certified, keeping that certification up to date is essential, according to a newly released white paper by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Titled “5 Compelling Reasons to Get (and Keep) your Emergency Nursing Specialty Certification,” the paper highlights the benefits of emergency nursing expertise in multiple specialities — from adult and pediatric emergency care to critical ground transport, flight nursing and trauma settings. An emergency nurse certification is a boon both professionally and financially, with nurses making an additional $1,397 to $1,868 on average in annual pay with each new certification. Here are the reasons for obtaining and maintaining certification in this specialty, according to the BCEN.
Becoming certified as an emergency nurse helps to promote a positive image of your specialty. Emergency nurses who hold the specialty certification have an opportunity to promote greater knowledge, expertise, technical performance, accuracy and ethics that can elevate the specialty. You also have an opportunity to be a mentor, leader and role model to fellow emergency nurses, while inspiring them to be the best they can be in their profession. “Nurses who are certified are the type of nurses you especially want to collaborate with on your projects and throughout your professional development,” said Kimberly DeNicolo, BSN, RN, CPEN, of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Advance the profession
Becoming certified in a specialty can be a major career asset that benefits both nurses and patients, particularly when it comes to emergency nursing.
Be the best you can be
Stay current and relevant
With healthcare frequently evolving, staying current on the latest technology, techniques and approaches to patient care is a must. Nowhere is that more true than emergency nursing, which requires nurses to be able to do a multitude of various tasks while picking up new skills along the way. Maintaining the emergency nurse certification allows nurses to keep their knowledge fresh, become reenergized and provide better patient care by brining new approaches to their teams, units and communities.


Boost your bottom line and your career
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Improve your salary potential and professional success with an emergency nursing certification. Both certification and recertification can mean higher pay and bonuses. The 2017 BCEN study showed nurses with the CEN credential — viewed as the foundational emergency nursing certification — reported earning an average of $1,397 more annually than their non-certified counterparts. They further reported earning an additional $1,868 per year on average for each additional BCEN certification they held. Emergency certification also gives nurses credibility and a competitive edge in the job market. More than 90% of emergency nurse supervisors consider certified emergency nurses important in their organizations, according to BCEN research.
Did you know 90% of emergency nursing say holding a CEN Certified Emergency Nurse certification) boosts their confidence in their careers, giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment? A detailed BCEN study released in 2017 showed a strong connection between the CEN certification and nurse efficacy.
Do it for your patients
“Certification gives you a confidence that you have the knowledge and expertise you need when you are caring for patients,” Teresa Coyne, BSN, RN, CEN, said in the white paper.

A 40-year nursing veteran, Coyne works for Memorial Hermann Katy South Emergency Room, a freestanding ER in Greater Houston. “The knowledge that comes with certification also helps you feel more confident working with your physicians and coworkers, and they definitely appreciate that you have that extra expertise.”
Research has shown an important connection between patient outcomes and certification. A 2014 landmark study shows certified nurses have a higher aptitude toward surveillance, making them more prone to detecting complications, initiating early interventions and making fewer errors. With Gallup poll results showing nurses continue to be the most trusted profession, being certified in emergency nursing is an important part of emergency nurses’ credibility and helps build trust with patients and their families. “Patients and their loved ones do notice and appreciate when the care they receive is being delivered by a certified emergency nurse,” Emily Colyer, BSN, RN, NRP, CEN, CTRN, CFRN, a critical care transport nurse at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska. Read the full white paper, including success stories from certified emergency nurses.
80% of nurses with a current CEN certification said being certified means being more likely to have the knowledge needed on the job.
Logic model illustrating relationships of certification to outcomes
Value of Emergency Nursing Certification Study
Accuracy, Technical Performance & Ethics
Supervisors said nurses holding a current CEN are more likely to: 
  • Perform patient care with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Efficiently and effectively perform the key technical aspects of her/his job within the healthcare team.
  • Anticipate hazards and promote safety in patient care.
  • Remain current on new technical developments related to her/his job.
  • Exhibit ethical behavior and concern for accuracy and truthfulness of information.
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