World's 1st certified burn nurse credential ready to roll out

Beta testing of the world's first burn nursing specialty certification will take place from July 10 through August 6. Eligible nurses can apply, beginning May 10, to be one of the first to take the test and earn a certified burn registered nurse credential — CBRN. The testing will be fully rolled out this fall to the entire nursing community. 

When a burn patient comes into the emergency department or trauma center — and even during transport — there is no time to spare in getting them care, and "having advanced knowledge and expertise, and having the confidence and the ability to make the right choices when it matters the most, is crucial" to providing the highest quality of care, Janie Schumaker, BSN, RN, CEO of the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing, told Becker's.

She added board certification contributes to a nurse's confidence, earns the respect of their colleagues and contributes to their career success. 

"When their employer supports certification, it contributes to their job satisfaction and retention," said Ms. Schumaker, who is also the immediate past president of the American Board of Nursing Specialties. "We fully expect CBRNs will quickly become recognized as burn care mentors and resources by their peers and teams."

Like other nursing specialties, the burn nurse certification verifies the credential holder as a nurse who practices evidence-based, patient-centered care, rooted in the burn scope of practice recently updated by the American Burn Association. 

Emily Werthman, MSN, RN, burn program coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Burn Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, co-authored an article published in the March 2023 Journal of Burn Care & Research. She noted, "the time has come" for a CBRN.

"As burn nursing involves so many aspects of nursing, from critical care to psychosocial support, recognizing the importance of the burn nurse's work in this way is incredibly meaningful to our community of professionals," Ms. Werthman told Becker's.

All nurses from the United States, Canada and Australia who have earned and maintain an unrestricted RN or APRN license can apply to take the beta exam. There are only 400 seats available for the beta testing; interested nurses can create an account at so they will be ready to apply on May 10. The application portal opens at 10 a.m. Central.

Nurses from other countries must go through BCEN's international credentialing evaluation process before they will be allowed to take the test this fall.

The BCEN recommends two years of experience as a burn nurse before taking the CBRN beta exam, but it's not a requirement. 

"What is noteworthy and exciting about the CBRN content outline is that the burn care community can now see the scope and depth of the advanced burn nursing knowledge, skills and abilities — from prehospital and acute care, patient and family support, recovery and rehabilitation, and prevention and education — that will distinguish board-certified burn nurses," Ms. Schumaker said.


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