Is CEN enough?

It would be nice if all Emergency Room Nurses were CEN’s, Certified Emergency Nurses.

But is that enough in today’s emergency departments with what ED nurses are called upon to do.  The CEN exam focuses on Emergency Care, initial stabilization and reassessment of treatment. (a simplification).  But on a busy day, I’m required to manage multiple blood product delivery in a multi trauma patient, Juggle the cocktail of IV medications needed to resuscitate a hypotensive poly pharmacy overdose, (b-blocker and calcium channel blocker as well as a full bottle of Lortab, don’ forget it’s the APAP that will kill your patients), then take care of the septic patient, with no central line, pressers, and a vent.  All on patients who have been in the ED for 12+ hours because the ICU is full.  Don’t forget the neurosurgeon who wand to put a bolt in.

Not much of that is covered in the CEN core curriculum.

For me I took the time to study for, take and pass the CCRN exam also.  I did have ICU time, in a pretty high acuity ICU, as well as having spent time as a critical care/Emergency Agency nurse.

Is it time for a change in the certification blueprint.  Should we be advocating duel certifications for our ED nurses, Critical Care and Emergency.  Or is it time to just establish a new certification.

I do feel that Trauma nurses need both of the certifications.




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