The Board of Certification for Emergency Room Nurses evaluated the relationship of the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN certification to outcomes that matter to emergency nurses who are considering the value of certification in regard to their own careers and their organizations. This study, the Value of CEN® Certification Research Study is of note both for its rigor and its scale. An article about this study, Today’s Owners, Tomorrow’s Leaders: Why Supporting Board Certification Matters by Jane Schumaker, MBA, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC, was published in Nurse Leader( in December 2018.

Major Findings

  • CEN certification is significantly and positively linked with multiple outcomes of value to individual emergency nurses and their supervisors.
  • Nurse supervisors rated CEN-certified nurses significantly higher than their non certified peers in all seven areas of emergency nursing expertise evaluated.
  • Supervisor responses also yielded significant positive relationships between CEN certification and multiple aspects of technical performance, accuracy and ethics.
  • Additionally, the overwhelming majority of supervisors and their charges agreed or strongly agreed on three things:
    • the value of the CEN;
    • the value of having certified nurses in their organizations; and
    • the importance of those nurses maintaining their certification over time.

Other information of Note

We are aware that people value and trust nurses, but we are lesser aware that consumers are aware of nursing certification, value it and prefer to be cared for by certified nurses.

Additionally, awareness of nurse certification exceeded awareness of certification for all other professions surveyed including physicians.

This article also quoted a 2013 Harris Interactive Survey which noted

  • 85% said it is important that health care professionals who are going to treat them have an independent body of health professionals evaluate their skills/knowledge to certify them as competent;
  • 91% of US adults think it is very important/important that a health care professional who is going to treat them has passed an examination on their profession’s specific knowledge; and
  • 89% believe it is very important/important that health care professionals who are going to treat them attend educational programs throughout their career to refresh their knowledge and learn about the latest scientific evidence and new programs.

According to the Board for Certification of Emergency Nursing “certified nurses are the whole package.” Characteristics of board certification include:

  • Nationally Certified
  • Professional Practice
  • Better Patient Outcomes
  • Enhanced Collaboration
  • Anticipate Hazards and Promote Safety
  • High Degree of Accuracy and Ethics
  • Greater self-efficacy
  • Critical Thinking and Superior Judgment
  • Advanced Skills and Expertise
  • Validated Specialty Knowledge

Do you recognize those characteristics in your own practice? Characteristics of certified nurses flow between specialties, we know from this article that consumers want certified nurses. Kudos to you for being certified. Encourage your colleagues to become certified.

This article is available at

Pat Krin, MSN, RN, FNP-BC-Retired, NCSN, FNASN
Executive Director