Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing

Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing

Developing and delivering a brand-new certification for burn nurses


Oakbrook, IL

Certification, Healthcare

Table of Contents

BCEN PSI success story


PSI has a long-standing relationship with the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) – the only certification provider for nurses specializing in emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, pediatric emergency, and trauma nursing. BCEN partners with PSI for test development and psychometric services, as well as multi-modal test delivery, data forensics, and web crawling.

Until recently there was no certification for the burn nursing community. And when burn nursing was recognized by the American Nurses Association as a specialty in 2020, BCEN and the American Burn Association (ABA) partnered to conduct a feasibility study for a new burn nursing certification.

The response to the feasibility study, and from the BCEN board, was very favorable. A burn nursing certification:

  • Supported the BCEN mission and vision.
  • Fit well into their existing portfolio.
  • Presented an opportunity to grow.

We passionately believe nurses should be certified in their specialty and burn nurses didn't have a certification of their own. It's just jaw-dropping the work these nurses are doing with patients and families. Our biggest goal was to allow them to have recognition in their specialty. We came to PSI to help us achieve that.

Janie Schumaker

Chief Executive Officer, BCEN

In 2020 the BCEN team approached PSI to help make this new certification a reality.

The Challenge

The new certification needed to provide a valid, reliable and fair demonstration of the knowledge, skills and abilities required in burn nursing. And while the BCEN team had worked with PSI for many years, creating a new certification from the ground up was not routine to them.

“We knew PSI would continue to be a great partner to help support the development of this new certification. I don’t think we would have even thought about going anywhere else, because we already have such a great relationship with PSI for test development.”
Amy Grand, Director of Certification and Accreditation, BCEN

burn nursing certification


Working together, PSI and BCEN followed best practice processes for developing a new certification. This involved multiple Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), with oversight by PSI and BCEN at every step of the way, including some of the following key development stages:

  • A job analysis by SMEs, to create a content outline of the knowledge and tasks required to perform the role of a burn nurse to the necessary standard.
  • A separate group of over 25 SMEs writing items for the new test. Training workshop for SMEs on good item writing, supported by PSI psychometrician.
  • Another group of SMEs to review and finalize the items before the test goes live.
  • A different group of SMEs to set the passing standard for the test.

A seamless collaboration and a deep understanding of BCEN’s certification goals allowed PSI to ensure a smooth and efficient certification development process.

With so much excitement in the burn community about this new certification, the team didn’t run into any challenges recruiting volunteer SMEs to participate in the process.

A seamless collaboration and a deep understanding of BCEN’s certification goals allowed PSI to ensure a smooth and efficient certification development process. By following best practices and integrating multiple SMEs at every step, PSI and BCEN successfully created a comprehensive content outline, crafted high-quality test items, and established a rigorous passing standard for the certification.

At the outset of the development project, a timeline of PSI and BCEN activities was created, to make sure they all integrated well. Working in partnership, the teams have adhered to all timescales and hit all the deadlines. Beta testing is taking place in mid-2023, with full scale implementation taking place towards the end of 2023.

BCEN valued PSI’s responsiveness, knowledge, and commitment to delivering on their development process agreements, making the collaboration truly invaluable in creating this new certification.

psi client testimonial

I look for people that are responsive and knowledgeable. That can help guide us in areas where we may not be experts. People that do what they say they're going to do without us having to chase them around a lot. In my book that’s worth gold because it’s getting harder and harder to find.

Janie Schumaker

Chief Executive Officer, BCEN

psi client testimonial

PSI expertise was very helpful during this process. Having a timeline in front of you with all the activities, with the client and the vendor, that was extremely valuable. So, we're all on the same page working from the same timeline. And we've hit every single milestone on time.

Amy Grand

Director of Certification and Accreditation, BCEN

board certification for emergency nursing