Certified Emergency Nurse Exam and Certification Requirements

Certified Emergency Nurse is an optional credential for nursing professionals. Get some quick facts about the education and experience necessary to qualify for Certified Emergency Nurse.

An associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and a registered nursing license are required to take the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) exam. In addition, two years of job experience in emergency nursing or a related field are recommended before taking the exam.

Essential Information

The Certified Emergency Nurse exam is an examination that allows registered nurses to test and prove their skills in the area of emergency nursing. This test covers a broad range of topics that provide an in-depth examination of the nurse's abilities.

Required Education An associate's or bachelor's degree, or a diploma in nursing
Required Experience Two years of experience recommended
Exam Requirements Must be a licensed RN, passing score on exam
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 16% for registered nurses
Median Annual Salary (May, 2015)* $67,490 for registered nurses

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certified Emergency Nurse Exam

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) created the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) exam to verify and measure the knowledge and skills of emergency nurses. The test was first administrated in July 1980 and the American Board of Nursing Specialties accredited the test in February 2002.

The CEN exam is a comprehensive examination that covers a range of topics related to emergency nursing and medicine, such as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, gynecology, neurology, orthopedics and psychology. The CEN exam also covers specific types of duties that an emergency nurse handles, including wound care, substance abuse and shock. According to the BCEN, the overall goal of the test is to ensure nurses that pass the test are knowledgeable and skilled in every area aspect necessary for providing excellent nursing care in an emergency setting.

Passing the CEN may offer higher salary and more nursing job opportunities. Payscale.com reported in September 2016 that emergency room registered nurses (RNs) with the CEN credential typically made between $23.75 and $45.69 an hour.

Certified Emergency Nurse Certification Requirements

CEN exam applicants must be RNs with a current and unrestricted license, including probation or any limitation in function or duties. A disability does not count as a restriction and if there is pending action against a nurse's license then she or he may be able to take the exam as long as duties are not restricted and approval is given by the BCEN.

It is also recommended, but not mandatory, that a nurse has two years of experience in emergency nursing or comparable area. There are three options for CEN certification renewal, which must be done every four years, including Internet testing, traditional exam and continuing education credit.

The CEN nursing credential can lead to a higher salary and more job opportunities. In order to obtain this credential, registered nurses must take the CEN exam, which covers a wide range of topics that nurses would need to know when providing emergency care.

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