Nursing tales, Study Guides

How to Study for the CEN

Are you thinking about becoming a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)?

Want to know what to study and how to study?

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Ever since I passed the CEN, I have been getting asked what I did to study for the CEN. Before I answer this question, I want you all to know, I studied excessively, and most people will NOT need to study as in-depth as I did. 

The main tool I used can be found at https://www.mededseminars.net/ and is an educational website that has courses that help you prepare for different aspects of nursing, such as your CEN.

The course I took was called CEN Exam Review and was taught by Jeff Solheim, MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, FAEN, TCRN.

The cost was $169 and you get access for an entire year. There are 11 modules. Each module has powerpoints and handouts to accompany the videos. The handouts are a shortened to-the-point notes with a short test at the end. The videos are of Jeff Solheim going through the power points and explaining what you need to know.

 

Let me be very clear, this course was the single most helpful study tool I used.

 

I studied for 3 months, specifically 12 weeks. I started the review right away and did one module per week. I watched the module through 3 times. The first time I wrote notes on the powerpoints, the second time I wrote notes on the handouts and the third time, I stopped the module intermittently while creating flashcards. For the last week, I practiced flashcards, took practice exams from ENA CEN Review Manual and read Trivium CEN Review book.

I really feel that the ENA CEN Review Manual was only partially helpful. To start, they didn’t have any review material, it was just 5 exams with 150 questions each and their rationales. Taking the exam questions was really good practice, however, many of the rationales were not so great and I found myself more confused than before.

The Trivium CEN Review book was more helpful because it had information for you to review and at the end of the book a 165 question test to take. BUT there weren’t any rationales for the answers to the questions. I still rate this as more helpful than the ENA CEN Review Manual because the information was short, concise, and not confusing.  If you want a book that is to the point and covers most of what you need to know, this is the book to buy.

The test questions and rationale on the MEDED e-learning online course were the most helpful. They had detailed specific rationales and the questions themselves helped prepare me the most for the exam.

When I took my exam, I felt like Jeff Solheim had written the exam himself. The material he said would be on the exam, was on the exam. The format of questions where exactly like the format on his online course. I felt very prepared, which is ironic because I was freaking out about taking this exam.

So how did I go from freaking out to feeling prepared? I get asked this a lot, so I am going to share the study list that I used. Click below for a PDF of my 13-week study plan.

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