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The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, yesterday announced the 2019 winners of its national awards recognizing one top Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), one top Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN), and three healthcare organizations committed to emergency nursing excellence through board certification. There are approximately 39,000 nurses who hold the CEN and 5,200 nurses who hold the CPEN. Over 53,000 BCEN certifications are held by emergency, trauma and transport RNs who practice in a variety of settings worldwide.  

“Emergency nurses and organizations that support and advocate for their peers and staff to become board certified are growing and sustaining an expert emergency nurse workforce,” said BCEN Executive Director Janie Schumaker. “BCEN is pleased to recognize the winners for their professionalism, innovation and heartfelt dedication to providing the best possible care.”

Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) 2019 Award Winners

BCEN Emergency Nursing Winner Heather Insalata
CEN 2019 Emergency Nursing Winner Heather Insalata

2019 Distinguished CEN Award: Heather Linsalata, MSN, RN, CNL, CEN, TCRN, CPEN, emergency department education specialist, University Hospital, Newark, New Jersey. Linsalata resides in Clifton, New Jersey. Heather has been an incredible force in supporting professional development and nursing in her organization.

She is credited for greatly improving morale and stabilizing her department. One way she has done this is through her tireless efforts for support of specialty nursing certification. Not only has Heather held numerous review courses, provided online learning materials and books to assist her team, she also has worked to remove financial barriers for the nurses to achieve certification. Heather provides fun fact Fridays with certification review questions. When it comes to recognition, Heather’s efforts continue to be robust with certification teas and badge buddies.

2019 Distinguished CPEN Award: Cara “CJ” Szeglin, BSN, RN, CPEN, pediatric emergency nurse, New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York, New York.

CPEN 2019 Emergency Nursing Winner Cara Szeglin
CPEN 2019 Emergency Nursing Winner Cara Szeglin

Szeglin resides in Levittown, New York. Cara has conducted numerous review classes and has set up a google classroom for her teammates to give them the tools to prepare for success. The CPENs in Cara’s department have increased from 1 to 11 in the past year. Cara works tirelessly to encourage and support her coworkers. She is truly a champion for CPEN certification and is making a huge difference!

2019 National Certification Champion Award (awarded in three categories):
Rush Foundation Hospital, Meridian, Mississippi (small healthcare organization)
Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville, Florida (large healthcare organization) Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville, Georgia (healthcare system).

Each winner demonstrated a commitment to excellence in pursuing advanced emergency nursing knowledge and expertise through board certification, showed exceptional achievement in designing and implementing effective and innovative practices and programs to encourage, support and recognize emergency nursing specialty certification, and demonstrated the impact of a board certified emergency nurse workforce on patient, nurse and organizational outcomes. Board certification, which independently validates a nurse’s specialty knowledge and expertise based on rigorous national standards, is nursing’s highest professional credential.

The awards were presented yesterday morning by BCEN Board Chairperson Lorie Ledford at the BCEN Certification Recognition Breakfast held during Emergency Nursing 2019, the Emergency Nurses Association annual conference, in Austin, Texas.

Visit for details about the winners’ accomplishments and information about all of BCEN’s awards, including the winners of the 2019 Distinguished CFRN/CTRN Award and Distinguished TCRN Award announced earlier this year.

Learn more at

Koren Thomas
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