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The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for specialty certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, today announced it is developing a burn nursing specialty certification. The new professional credential will be called the Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN). After collaborating with the American Burn Association (ABA) on the initial development of the CBRN, BCEN will own and maintain the CBRN certification program.

“Following years of extraordinary advocacy by the American Burn Association and the burn nursing community to set the stage for a burn nursing-specific professional credential, and knowing the impact specialty certification has on ensuring optimal patient safety and outcomes as well as nurse success and satisfaction, BCEN is honored to take on this important endeavor,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC.

“The CBRN will advance our specialty by promoting the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to care for those impacted by burn injury, thus encouraging quality nursing care and best patient outcomes,” said Gretchen J. Carrougher, MN, RN, Research Nurse Supervisor, Department of Surgery, UW Medicine Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. “I have been impressed by the dedication by many in our specialty and appreciative of the support by the ABA and BCEN in this long-standing effort.” Carrougher chairs the American Burn Association’s nursing certification committee.

BCEN Burn Nursing Certification Milestones (as of March 2022)

Among the ABA-led accomplishments leading up to the development of a burn nursing specialty certification was the formal recognition of burn nursing as a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association in August 2020 and the publication of Burn Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. The latest updates on BCEN burn certification can be found at

See also
BCEN White Paper: Certification Can Improve Patient Outcomes, Job Satisfaction, Salary

March/April 2022:

BCEN nursing specialty certification experts, American Burn Association (ABA) burn nursing subject matter experts, and BCEN test development partner PSI Services conduct the initial burn nursing role delineation study (RDS) to define the burn nursing scope of practice and body of knowledge.

Burn nurses participating in the RDS nurse survey play a very important role in defining and validating burn nurse roles, responsibilities and competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities). The results of the survey will help determine the content of the CBRN exam and be the basis for the detailed exam content outline.

SPECIAL NOTE: The burn nursing survey will be open until April 15. Burn nurses wishing to participate may contact Amy Grand at

Fall/Winter 2021:

Subject matter experts are selected for a burn nursing role delineation study (RDS), which then gets underway in early 2022.

The ABA continues drafting a core curriculum titled Burn Nursing: From Injury Prevention to Rehabilitation, which will be one of the primary resources for the creation of exam content.

Summer 2021:

BCEN enters into a partnership with ABA to develop a burn nursing specialty certification program. BCEN will solely own the certification program and maintain the exam.

September 2020:

Burn Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice publishes. Created by a diverse committee of experienced burn nurses, this reference provides the official scope and standards of practice for burn nursing and was critical to burn nursing being recognized as a nursing specialty.

August 2020:

The American Nurses Association formally recognizes burn nursing as a nursing specialty, approves the scope of practice, and acknowledges the standards of practice.

See also
The Path to Board Certification for Emergency Nursing


Please direct any questions or inquiries about the burn nursing RDS and burn certification program to BCEN Director of Certification and Accreditation Amy Grand, MSN, RN, at For more details and future updates about the CBRN, please visit BCEN’s CBRN burn nursing certification page.


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