Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN) is a certification exam developed by Board of Certification of Emergency Nursing (BCEN) and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). The objective of this examination is credentialing of advanced level skills and knowledge pertaining to emergency care of pediatric patients. BCEN is a certification body constituted by Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). CPEN is one of the certification exams administered by BCEN.
The eligibility criteria for this exam include:
- The applicant must be holding a current, unrestricted Registered Nurse license.
- The applicant must have practiced in pediatric emergency nursing specialty for 1000 hours in past two years.
BCEN recommends experience of 2 years in the specialized nursing area; however, it is not a necessity. There is no requirement of having done Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for taking this exam.
The test is breakdown into 7 content areas- Triage (16 items), Assessment (29 items), Patient and family care: managing technical skills (18 items), Patient and family care: medical emergencies (42 items), Patient and family care: surgical, trauma, and procedural sedation (27 items), Patient and family care: psychological and maltreatment emergencies (11 items), and Legal and professional issues (7 items).
The content covered in these sections is:
Triage: – Emergency intake, Triage interventions.
Assessment: – History and physical, Pain, Family.
Patient and family care – managing technical skills: – Various technical skills like cardioversion, cardiac pacing, specimen collection, wound closure, dressing, chest tubes, BiPAP, CPAP, spinal immobilization, enteral tubes, ventilator use etc.
Patient and family care – medical emergencies: – Airway, Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Neurological, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary and reproductive, Environmental, Neonatal and Other emergencies.
Patient and family care – surgical, trauma, and procedural sedation: – Surgical emergencies (Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary and reproductive, Musculoskeletal, Neurological and Postoperative), Trauma emergencies (Burns, Neurological trauma, Near-drowning, Musculoskeletal trauma, Abdominal trauma, Cardiothoracic trauma, Maxillofacial and dental trauma, and Multi-system trauma), and Procedural sedation (Patient monitoring, Consent, Essential equipment, and Medication and reversal agents).
Patient and family care – psychological and maltreatment emergencies: – Psychological emergencies (Suicidal ideation, Acute psychosis, Homicidal ideations, Substance abuse, Aggressive behavior and Post traumatic stress disorder) and Child maltreatment emergencies (Neglect, Sexual abuse, Abuse and Emotional abuse).
Legal and professional issues: – Legal issues (assurance of informed consent, Preservation of forensic evidence and chain of custody, and EMTALA regulations) and Professional issues (Critical incident stress management, Safety promotion and Resolution of conflicts with family members).
There are 150 multiple choice questions in the test. Out of these, 25 are unscored pretest items. The unscored portion is indistinguishable and is placed to collect statistical data for future administration of the test. The time allotted for completing the exam is three hours. The test is currently available only in computer based format.
The score of this exam is proportional to number of MCQs attempted correctly. There is no negative marking. The score report contains composite raw score, raw scores in individual sections and indication of “Pass” or “Fail”. The score report can be received only by mail or in person. It is never reported by phone, fax or e-mail.
CPEN is offered at more than 150 Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) assessment centers. It is administered fives days a week and on occasional Saturdays. The registrations are done online at www.goAMP.com or by requesting a paper application from AMP. A 90 days testing window begins from the application processing date. The applicant receives an eligibility e-mail, after which, he/she can schedule the exam online or by phone.
The fees for initial testing and retesting are $280 and $240 respectively. The international testing fee is $340. There is a charge of $25 for issuing a duplicate score report.