August 2023


Greetings. I hope you have been able to get some rest during these summer months. Here is some of the work that the Certification Commission and volunteers have been doing. The CNE Test Development Committee has been working on the CNE Practice Analysis. 

CNEcl item writers and Test Development Committee members wrote 106 items and updated 102 references to existing items. The CNEn item writers wrote 111 items. 

The NLN Education Summit will be near Washington, DC, September 28-30. If you plan to attend, please join us for the 2023 Certification Reception. We want to honor all certified nurse educators during the reception and will be announcing the Peg E. Daw NLN Certification Star Award recipients. I hope to see you there!

If 2023 is the year to renew your certification, please remember your renewal application must be submitted by September 30. You can find information for renewal through Certelligence here.

Pam Fifer, EdD, RN, CNE




It is hard to believe with the extreme heat that has affected much of the globe that the summer is almost over. The Certification Department and the Test Development Committee for the CNE program has maintained “hot” momentum. The CNE practice analysis was completed and analyzed. A new test blueprint was decided upon. The new test blueprint will expand the testing categories out to the eight competencies. Some task statements have been removed and new ones added. Prior test plans had collapsed some categories into one with subcategories. All of the CNE test bank items had to undergo a reclassification process to ensure correct connection of item with competencies. Two new forms of the CNE exam will be released on January 2, 2024.

Accreditation has received much attention this summer. The CNE NCCA accreditation is due for renewal and the renewal application was submitted. The CNEcl program was also submitted to NCCA for initial certification. The current plan is to submit CNEn next year for accreditation.

I had three abstracts accepted by the International Council of Nurses for the meeting in Montreal in July. Three posters were presented. There were more than 6,000 nurses in attendance. It was quite an event. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was a featured speaker at the congress. As I prepared the posters, I discovered that the Certification Program has had testers from 22 different countries around the globe. That is so exciting as we continue to try to grow our international presence. I also presented at a nursing congress meeting on nursing and nursing education in Frankfurt, Germany, in late July.

An abstract was also accepted for the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. I have been placed to present within a panel discussion on bias in testing. The information to be presented is about how we ensure that any potential bias be removed from all test items. This also helps to ensure that the test items are sound for our international testers.

And, of course, it is NLN Summit time again. I hope to see many of you at the Summit. We will have our annual Certification Reception on Thursday, September 28, at 7 p.m.  The Peg E. Daw Certification Star Awards will be presented to the individual winner of the award and the program winner of the excellence award. Last year, we had the biggest attendance of certificants at the reception that we have ever had! I hope to keep that trend going.

The Certification update presentation will be Friday, September 29, at 8:15 a.m.

Best wishes for a successful fall term!

Larry E Simmons, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC. CGNC, ICE-CCP

Eligibility Requirements for CNE, CNEcl & CNEn Exams

Certified Nurse Educator (CNE®), Academic Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE®cl), and Certified Academic Nurse Educator Novice (CNE®n) are essential certifications for nurse educators that demonstrate expertise in nursing education. Each certification demonstrates different competencies and task statements reflective of the different roles, and as such, the eligibility requirements vary. To help candidates identify the certification that best reflects their experience, we wanted to briefly review the eligibility requirements for each of the three certifications.

To be eligible for the CNE® exam, candidates must hold a valid and current registered nurse (RN) license. Additionally, they must have a master's or doctoral degree in nursing. Finally, candidates must meet one of the following options: educational background or experience. For educational background, candidates must have either a major emphasis in nursing education during their graduate degree, a post-master's certificate in nursing education, or at least nine credit hours of graduate-level education courses focusing on pedagogy and nursing education. Those candidates without an educational background in nursing education must have at least two years of employment in a nursing program in an academic institution within the past five years. 

The CNE®cl exam is designed for academic nurse educators who work primarily in clinical settings. All candidates must hold a valid RN license and have three years of experience in any area of nursing. Similar to the CNE® exam, there are two options for the final requirement: educational background or experience. Candidates with a graduate degree focusing on nursing education are eligible to test based on their educational background. Candidates without a graduate degree in nursing education are eligible with a baccalaureate degree in nursing and two years of teaching experience in an academic nursing education program within the last five years. Nurse educators employed by health care organizations are not eligible for the CNE®cl certification.

The CNE®n certification is tailored for novice nurse educators and differs from the other certifications as it is only valid for three years. It is also non-renewable as the intention is that CNE®n certified nurses will pursue one of the other certifications to demonstrate the advancement of their skills and knowledge. Candidates must have a valid RN license and a graduate degree in nursing with either a major emphasis in nursing education, nine or more credit hours of graduate-level education courses, or a post-baccalaureate or post-master's certificate in nursing education. Candidates must also be within their first three years of practice as an academic nurse educator. 

Meeting the eligibility requirements is the first step towards becoming a certified nurse educator, a mark of distinction recognizing excellence in nursing education. Additionally, professionally certified nurse educators serve as role models for nursing students, encouraging lifelong learning and professional certification in their chosen profession. The NLN and the Certification Board of Commissioners are here to support you as you work toward this recognition. Please reach out if you have any questions regarding eligibility for any of the three certifications.

Vanessa Lyons, Certification Board Member

Pursuing Continuous Quality Improvement thru the NLN Item Writing Experience

As a nurse educator, I understand that the role is complex and multidimensional as it calls for a dedication to continuous quality improvement, which is especially important in a rapidly evolving sector like nursing education. In addition, we need the skills to function effectively as citizens of the world. Engaging in ongoing professional development is essential to keep up with the changing educational demands of nursing students of varying ages. The nursing education they're receiving is different from our own. Nurse educators can work toward better quality in several ways, including taking up the role of item writer with the NLN Certification Division. Writing items improves our knowledge of assessment and evaluation techniques and our ability to shape the future of nursing education. Nurse educators can be the beacons of hope and clarity for their students' thanks to the NLN's dedication to fostering excellence. The written questions assess our readiness for an industry incorporating cutting-edge technology, such as augmented/virtual reality and AI. It's inspiring to know that I'm helping shape the future of nursing education by training professionals who are both skilled and kind and who, in their own ways, can help make a difference in the world and in the health care industry. 

As someone with first-hand experience with the NLN's item writing process, I can attest to the value of such well-crafted inquiries. Although getting started can be challenging, this method quickly becomes second nature the more you use it. A well-designed test item results from careful forethought and the time spent reviewing relevant evidence-based materials. This method not only aids in locating potential gaps in knowledge or ability, but it also forces us to critically consider how we would react to hypothetical situations that put our clinical and deductive reasoning abilities to the test. It takes a group effort to review items for the testing environment. Each competency is carefully examined by considering the nurse educator experts' specialized knowledge and perspectives. This guarantees a well-reasoned conclusion regarding the relevance of each inquiry. The company providing the testing platform conducts psychometric reviews of all already used items, reviews all newly written things and makes any necessary changes.

As someone constantly learning about this endeavor, I learned a great deal from it. Each member of the Test Development Committee must be able to problem-solve, engage in social interaction, stimulate creativity, enhance communication skills, and increase confidence as they regularly write more questions and create ones that are probably even a surprise because of unexpected discoveries from ongoing inquiry in using evidence-based resources. Everyone gets a genuine "eargasm" from contributing to and receiving feedback on the teams’ collective knowledge-building efforts in crafting high-quality questions. There's a great chance for CNEs (Certified Nurse Educators) to expand their knowledge and network with like-minded experts. Send your resume to the director of the certification program to get started. After the test development chair reviews your application, you'll be placed on a committee that best suits your interests, expertise, and availability. I hope you don't miss this fantastic opportunity to impact and build your professional network.

To submit your CV for consideration, kindly email it to Larry Simmons, Director of Certification Programs, at


Benjamin Brebonaria, Certifcation Board Member