March 24, 2022

New Burn Nursing Specialty Certification Expected by 2023

New Burn Nursing Specialty Certification Expected by 2023

The Board of Certification of Emergency Nurses (BCEN) is developing the first and only burn certification for registered nursing. The Certified Burn Registered Nurse (CBRN) is expected to be available by 2023. 

“Following years of extraordinary advocacy by the American Burn Association and the burn nursing community to set the stage for a burn nursing-specific professional credential, and knowing the impact specialty certification has on ensuring optimal patient safety and outcomes as well as nurse success and satisfaction, BCEN is honored to take on this important endeavor,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC.

This certification has been in development since the summer of 2021 but was announced on March 15th to the general public. As a part of the certification development, they are conducting a large-scale burn nurse survey that will run through April 15th. This survey has been developed and sent to burn nurses throughout the United States and the world and will help shape the examination. The goal is to look at the scope of practice of a burn nurse including, 

  • Pre-hospital and acute care
  • Patient and family support
  • Recovery and rehabilitation
  • Educational outreach

Burn nurses interested in participating in the survey who did not receive the survey invitation are encouraged to contact BCEN Director of Certification and Accreditation Amy Grand, MS, RN, at

It wasn’t until August 2020 that the American Nurses Association (ANA) formally recognized burn nursing as a nursing specialty. The ANA approved the standards of care as well as the scope of practice for burn nursing.

As a result, ABA created and published the Burn Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, as an Ebook in September 2020. This reference provides the official scope and standards of practice for burn nursing and was critical to burn nursing being recognized as a nursing specialty.

BCEN entered into a partnership with the ABA during the summer of 2021 and it was determined at that time to start the development of a nationally recognized certification. Once the examination is fully developed and live for nurses, the BCEN will run and maintain the certification. 

“The CBRN will advance our specialty by promoting the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to care for those impacted by a burn injury, thus encouraging quality nursing care and best patient outcomes,” said Gretchen J. Carrougher, MN, RN, Research Nurse Supervisor, Department of Surgery, UW Medicine Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. “I have been impressed by the dedication by many in our specialty and appreciative of the support by the ABA and BCEN in this long-standing effort.” Carrougher chairs the American Burn Association’s nursing certification committee.

About BCEN

The BCEN offers five different certifications including, 

Founded in 1980, the BCEN has certified over 50,000 RNs who specialize in emergency, pediatric emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, and trauma nursing. According to the website, the mission of the BCEN is “the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing supports nurses to achieve excellence by being the industry leader in professional credentialing while promoting the value of certification and lifelong learning.” Furthermore, the goal of the BCEN is for all patients to receive care from a certified nurse. 

About ABA

The ABA has over 2,000 members in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Members are not limited to only registered nurses but also physicians, occupational and physical therapists, researchers, social workers, and firefighters.

The ABA is focused on prevention, education, and research. The organization offers continuing education classes, research symposiums, and resources for prevention. 

Go to the top of page