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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Issue 4 

Lisa RadesiMagnet Logo
A Journey to National Certification

By Lisa Radesi, BSN, RN, CPN, CPEN, CEN

Did you know there are over 15,000 Certified Pediatric Nurses?  With so many pediatric nurses who have obtained certification in their specialty field, it may come as no surprise that pediatric nurses value certification. According to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) there are over 500 Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurses.2

Certification is an objective, measurable way of determining a nurse's competency that attests to the achievement of specialty understanding outside of basic nursing preparation.  Certification also identifies the nurse as having a recognized degree of proficiency in the acknowledged area of clinical practice. The benefits of national certification are many, a few include personal satisfaction through increased confidence and personal growth, enhanced career mobility, and recognition of special knowledge by employers, consumers, and colleagues.3

I have found both personal and professional growth, without a doubt, through the process of becoming a Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), and a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN). I first became nationally certified as a CEN because there was no certification in pediatric emergency care. My journey continued with becoming nationally certified as a CPN because it was the only pediatric certification available at the time. Recently, the PNCB and the ENA collaborated to develop the CPEN. I was thrilled that there was finally a certification for my specialty. Since then, I have been promoting that all nurses in the Emergency Department, who are eligible, become nationally certified in pediatric emergency care. One of our nurses has taken on this project and has made it her mission to encourage nurses to take the CPEN. Since January 2009, several emergency department nurses have taken or are registered to take the CPEN exam.

I am still continuing on in this professional journey of national certification. I have just been selected to be an item-writer for the PNCB/ENA CPEN exam. I will be part of the national exam writer’s board to ensure that we continue to have a quality exam for certification.
And the journey continues…..


1. Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. (2009). Certification. Retrieved on December   
       10, 2009 from:

2. Emergency Nurses Association. (2009). Board Certification of Emergency Nursing.
        Retrieved on December 10, 2009 from:

3. Society of Pediatric Nursing. (2009). The value of national certification. Retrieved on
       December 10, 2009 from:

In This Issue

A Decade of Difference

National Certifications

The Benefits of Certification

A Journey to National Certification

A Vision for Advanced Respiratory Therapist Credentialing

The PICU's National Certification Journey

Working for a Living

Success - A Team Effort