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Exam Development and Updates


BCEN® follows a rigorous development, review, and update process to ensure the content of its exams reflects the skills and knowledge needed in today's  emergency nursing environments.

Exam Development 

Content experts who write items (questions) for BCEN exams represent various aspects of emergency nursing, emergency transport nursing, and pediatric emergency nursing. BCEN strives to screen applicants to ensure geographic, demographic, and practice diversity. BCEN chooses new item writers for its programs at least every 2 years. See BCEN's policy for Item Writer Selection.

Item writers are trained in item-writing principles and develop approximately 20 items per year.  Each item writer is part of an item-writing team and is assigned an Exam Construction Review Committee (ECRC) mentor who reviews all newly written items. Items are reviewed for accuracy, critical content for the exam, bias and sensitivity issues, and correct classification to their respective content outline. Mentors provide detailed feedback to item writers after every assignment.  
 
Once or twice a year, depending on the program, BCEN ECRCs meet to assembly forms of their respective exams according to a test blueprint. The ECRCs review all newly written items, pretested items, and scored items to create a new form the the exam. All newly written items are individually reviewed with one of three outcomes: approved for pretesting, revised and approved
 for pretesting, or eliminated. BCEN ECRCs also review items that have been pretested. Performance statistics for each item are scrutinized by the ECRC at the direction of a psychometrician from BCEN's test development vendor. If the item performs well enough, it will be included as a scorable item on a future exam. Items that are changedeven minimallyare pretested again. All scored items are also reviewed with one of three outcomes: acceptable as an active item , not acceptable and eliminated, or revised and pretested again. At the end of the review, the ECRC will have approved a draft exam.

Scoring of Exams
After an exam is completed, candidates immediately receive the results before leaving the testing site. Following each examination, BCEN's test development vendor electronically delivers all data  to BCEN where the candidate’s certification file is updated. A wallet card and certificate are then mailed to candidates. BCEN also receives a technical report for each of its certification programs summarizing exam performance at regular intervals throughout the year.  BCEN also maintains a database of all CENs®, CFRNs®, CPENs®, CTRNs®, and TCRNs®.

Ongoing Review of Exams

Item analysis is a continual quality process in which performance statistics are collected on each item following exam administration. Items and their statistics are reviewed by the respective ECRCs. Summary statistics are calculated regarding the reliability of each exam. Difficulty indexes, performance indexes, and discrimination levels also are  alculated. All items that do not perform well are identified and reviewed by the specific ECRCs for review and action.
Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification

BCEN's Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN®) and Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN®) credential have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).

Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association