March 2023

2023 will be another busy year for the Certification Board of Commissioners, certification item writers, and test development volunteers. The pilot tests for the new CNE®cl exams were completed on February 2 and new cut scores have been determined and implemented. A practice analysis will be done for the CNE® exam this year. Practice analysis volunteers met every Friday during February to begin the multi-step process of getting a survey ready to send out to current CNEs. 

Item writing is underway for both CNE®n and CNE®cl exams. There will be approximately 170 new questions being written for these two exams. Once the items are completed, the test development committees for each will meet to review the new items. 

The renewal committee has been working on updating language and providing a video to help nurse educators understand the renewal process and how to write rationale for continuing education credits for each competency. 

The NLN Education Summit will be in Washington, DC, September 28-30, 2023. 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 we will be announcing the STAR Award recipients. I hope to see you there!

Pam Fifer, EdD, RN, CNE



Happy Certified Nurses Day on March 19 to all our certified nurse educators!

Hopefully spring is just around the corner for most of you. This winter has been brutal in certain parts of the country. The NLN Certification Division has initiated some new practices that should be of interest to all certificants.

The Board of Commissioners has voted to expand the Certification Star Award. Not only will the award now be given to a nursing education program, but there will also be an award for an individual who has demonstrated excellence in the commitment to nurse educator certification. The applications will be posted on the NLN website and nominations will be due mid-summer. The awards will be presented at the 2023 NLN Education Summit held at National Harbor just outside of Washington, DC, this September 28-30.

The Certification Program Test Development committees have been quite active. The Practice Analysis for certified academic clinical nurse educator (CNE®cl) has been completed and two new forms of the CNEcl exams have been piloted and released. The certified nurse educator (CNE®) Practice Analysis Committee has begun the work of updating the CNE program with a new survey. This also will lead to two new forms of the CNE exam later this year.

The CNEcl and the certified novice nurse educator (CNE®n) exams now have only three options to each item rather than the traditional four. The decision to make that change is supported by current testing literature. The outcomes of making this change for the CNE and CNEcl exams will be presented at the Certification Reception held at the Summit this fall. I also would like to thank the folks at Meazure Learning for all the support as our testing administration partner in the work and the review of data that is so critical for excellence in a certification program.

Be sure to read the latest Highlight article in the new Nurse Educator Perspectives journal. The discussion points of the article are all about the three certifications that we now offer, presenting multiple pathways to nurse educator certification. The International Council of Nurses meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada this July has accepted three abstracts (one for each certification) regarding outcomes of our certification testing.

Please remember that if your certification expires in 2023, you are able to submit the application renewal at any time this year. Applications for renewal are due to the program by October 1. All renewal activity is done electronically, so you must have correct login information to access the Certification Portal. This will allow the program to process the renewals before the end of the year. The expiration date on the certificate may say December 31 but the renewal must be completed before that date. And also keep in mind that the office closes for the holidays around December 21. 

Follow-up on Dr. Malone’s Certification Story

I hope that you enjoy reading Dr. Beverly Malone’s bi-weekly Member Update. We really appreciate her recent sharing of her certification experience.

Dr. Malone’s story about losing her certification was a sad, yet avoidable situation. Please do not let that happen to you for any certification that you may hold. Below is information about a renewal of the NLN nurse educator certification, whether it may be the academic nurse educator (CNE®) or  academic clinical nurse educator (CNE®cl) that may come up for renewal.

First, it is important that you enter your Certification Profile (via the Certification Portal) on either the CNE or CNEcl webpage. Making sure that your email address is current will provide the NLN Certification Division with the correct address for the mailing of renewal reminders. The program generally sends three reminders during the expiration year.

Entering your Profile will also ensure that your login and status is correct. We have many members that have duplicate accounts in the NLN system. This will allow you to correct that situation if it has happened to you. The certification system does not know which account is right, so entering your profile is blocked. Membership can assist you with this problem.

Secondly, applications to renew are due to us by October 1 of the year of expiration. You may renew by portfolio submission into your profile or by registering to renew by retest. The due date allows us to process all renewals before the December 31 expiration date. Please keep in mind that the NLN offices generally close for a holiday break around December 21.

If you have missed the deadline of October 1, and have waited too long, there will be no one in the office to assist you if you have an issue. Renewal applications received after December 21 will not be reviewed, and the certification will expire on January 1 of the following year. The grace period will be from October 1 to November 1. There may be a late fee assessed for any application received after November 1.

An application for Retired status also must be received before December 21. Retired status is only granted for active certifications.

The last thing the division wants to do is to deny renewals, so please follow the policies that are established to ensure that your renewal or application for Retired status is processed in a timely manner and does not pose a risk for you to lose your certification.

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

The Value of NLN Certifications as an Internationally Educated Nurse Educator & Leader: A Meaningful Path to Professional Development

Within a nurse educator’s professional development, there will always be peaks & valleys in its trajectory. It will come to a point where educators need to seek a seamless direction for advancement or gain a set of competencies to capitalize on as part of continued career growth. Retrospectively, as I looked back to my fascination in this beautiful career where we are given a platform to educate nurses of the future, I have always craved hunger for learning & curiosity to seek the right certification track that will best address my learning needs as an educator with an intense desire for advancement.  
I have always been curious about what the abbreviation “CNE” stands for, as I often see expert nurse educators have this title after their names. Although the NLN CGFNS partnership came to fruition and made this excellent certification credential accessible for nurse educators seeking this leadership recognition in their respective countries starting in 2016, that curiosity then led me to explore its value as a full-blown nurse educator with a significant set of competencies which also reflects as diverse avenues where an educator can expand their expertise, education, & scholarly pursuits.
Since this program is under the National League for Nursing (NLN), which has a strong credibility & excellence in the field of nursing education & leadership, it did not let me think twice about trying to break barriers within myself to discover taking a certification that requires rigorous studying, time management, & extensive planning. Therefore, the journey of studying for the exam might be a little challenging, but at the same time, a meaningful experience as you learn all these structured sets of competencies that are necessary to impact not only students, educational institutions, or even society, but in my case, as an internationally educated nurse educator from the Philippines & who is currently leading nursing programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at King Faisal University.
Looking back on 2018 after taking this certification, it is indeed become one of the best decisions that I have made that emanated from my learnings in the NLN leadership development programs (e.g. LEAD); executing one of the elements in my career trajectory plan project & making it into fruition that drove me to not only enhance leading a team of diverse academic nurse educators (e.g. Saudi, Indian, Egyptian, Filipino) but also developed nursing programs that will impart a future breed of nurses & a society that is on its journey of national nursing transformation such as the Saudi Vision 2030. The competencies that I gained from the certification led me to acquire and practice the skills to develop new programs in a structured & scientific way that opened opportunities for the development of the MSN Nurse Educator (NE) track that hopes to amplify the voice of nursing education in Saudi Arabia & the RN – BSN (Bridging Program) and which is about to start this March 2023 and is also expected to benefit thousands of diploma & associate degree nursing graduates to progress in their respective nursing careers. It is a road that will give hope & a chance for nurse technicians in Saudi Arabia to academically progress on their own path to transformation & making an impact on their communities. It also opened opportunities for me to become a nurse administrator of nursing programs (BSN/MSN) currently undergoing international accreditation projects & exploring the wonders of this robust set of competencies in the field of nursing education to practice in diverse settings.
The existence of nurse educators prepared with competencies such as from the NLN creates a pool of nurse educators with unique skillsets required to prepare the new breed of more diverse learners, impacted by technological advancements & exposed to complex learning environments. Because of this, there is an extreme need for nurse educators’ competency in understanding the complexities of these kinds of learners. According to Crisp & Iro (2018), there is a frequent emphasis on the need for global nurse educators who are expertly prepared to educate nurses at different levels. Both authors emphasized that the NLN core competencies for nurse educators offer valuable insights for these learners with diverse learning needs. 
The NLN certification is an extreme driving force that strengthened my capacity as I evolved in this journey of continued transformation as a nurse educator & leader. These robust NLN nurse educator competencies are necessary to overcome the various constraints in educating diverse learners who are deemed to be the future breed of nurses that will be prepared to tackle the existing global shortage worldwide. This, it thus continued to serve my passion & purpose in this field. Lastly, it amplified the essence of one of my favourite quotations by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”  
Crisp, N., & Iro, E. (2018). The Nursing Now campaign: Raising the status of nurses. The Lancet, 391(10124), 920-921. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30494-X

Benjamin Brebonaria, DNP, RN, CNE, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia

CNEn Certification Interviews – January 2023

The academic novice nurse educator certification exam (CNEn) was introduced in March 2022 as a tool for novice nurse educators to demonstrate their knowledge (National League for Nursing ([NLN], 2022). To date, over 200 educators have earned certification as a CNEn (NLN, 2023). The Certification Board of Commissioners was interested in learning about why educators are pursuing this new certification, what it means to them, and how this certification has influenced their professional practice.

To help answer these questions, two recently certified academic novice nurse educators were interviewed, Erin S Alexander, EMSN, MSN-Ed, RN, CNEn, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Loewenberg College of Nursing, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee; and Caroline Fisher, DNP, RN, CNEn, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona.  Both educators have extensive experience in clinical practice and are newer to nursing education. Each educator was asked a series of questions. Their responses were compiled, and themes were identified. 

In response to the question, “Tell me about why you decided to obtain certification as a CNEn?” 

Ms. Anderson shared that she has 20 years of experience as a nurse, including prior experience in nursing professional development. She is in her second year of practice as an academic nurse educator and was feeling very novice in this new role. She recognized that her orientation as a new faculty was limited in depth and breadth, leaving her wanting more knowledge. As she grew in the role as a nurse educator, she realized that she wanted certification to validate her knowledge.  Additionally, she has set a long-term goal for obtaining certification as an academic nurse educator (CNE).

Dr. Fisher is a nurse practitioner in Women’s Health and has prior experience precepting and mentoring new employees and nursing students in the clinical setting. As she moved into academic nursing education, she described how she felt like a new graduate nurse in this new role. She values certification to further her knowledge and is a self-described lifelong learner who felt that she needed more help to fully operationalize the role of academic nurse educator. Dr. Fisher discussed how this certification demonstrates her commitment to nursing education and that the credential makes her application more competitive for full-time faculty positions.

Both nurse educators described the importance of expanding and validating their knowledge through certification. They view certification as a tool to help them better prepare for their roles as academic nurse educators.

What does it mean to hold the CNEn credential?

Ms. Alexander described her prior experiences working in a magnet hospital, and how the organization celebrated the achievement of certification, which made it a form of meaningful recognition. She discussed the value of investing time in learning the craft that you think you are good at, and then learning that there is more out there to learn. Certification validates what you know and what you don’t know.

Dr. Fisher views certification as a badge of acknowledgement recognizing her knowledge as an educator. She further described how the credential validated that she is officially an academic nurse educator and is on the path to becoming a certified nurse educator.

These educators described their personal journeys of self-discovery and professional development, as well as pride in achieving their goal of obtaining certification.

What’s the best advice that you’d give to someone who is considering obtaining certification as a CNEn?

Ms. Alexander encouraged other educators to view the preparation process for sitting for the certification exam as an opportunity for learning.  She further described her professional growth as an educator while she was preparing for the certification exam. She also encourages future certification candidates to intentionally prepare for the exam and dedicate time to preparation.

Dr. Fisher shared how she wasn’t sure where to focus her preparation for the exam. She found limited resources available for CNEn exam. Thus, she completed a prep course for the CNE exam available through NurseTim. These were helpful. However, I’m not sure that the CNE prep did not help as much as I hoped. Look for other resources.

Both educators encouraged dedicated, focused preparation for the certification exam. The NLN offers self-assessment exams that may be used as a tool to assess readiness to sit for the certification exam, and to identify areas of strengths and areas of growth. 

What personal value does this certification hold?

Ms. Alexander views certification as an accomplishment that helps set you apart from educators and facilitates connections with other certified nurse educators. She also described how certification provides value to your organization. She also sees the CNEn as path to earning her CNE. 

Dr. Fisher sees the value in certification as showing her commitment to nursing education. The process of obtaining certification has opened her eyes to other resources and opportunities available to nurse educators.

The value of certification as an academic novice nurse educator is that it serves as a hallmark of distinction and a point of pride, validating one’s knowledge as a nurse educator. Additionally, certification demonstrates a commitment to nursing education, serves as preparation for advanced certification in the future, and benefits one’s organization.

How do you apply this certification in your current role?

Ms. Alexander discussed how she uses the knowledge gained through preparation for certification in her work as an academic nurse educator. For example, she described how preparing for the certification exam has answered previously unanswered question related to operationalizing the role of academic nurse educator. For example, she described how she levels content using Bloom’s taxonomy and evaluates alignment between learning activities and outcomes.

Dr. Fisher described how she uses knowledge gained through certification to reinforce things that she’s experienced in her courses. For example, she shared how increasing her knowledge about item analysis facilitated her work preparing new exam items and reviewing exam items based upon item analysis data. This preparation has helped her feel more confident to expand in the role of academic nurse educator or step up to future academic leadership opportunities.

Preparing for and obtaining certification enhances the ability of the academic novice nurse educator to operationalize their roles and increases their confidence in implementing the role.

What are your future goals as they relate to your role as a nurse educator?
Both nurse educators view certification as an academic novice nurse educator as preparation for future certification as an academic nurse educator (CNE). 

In summary, I’d like to sincerely thank Clinical Assistant Professor Erin Alexander and Dr. Caroline Fisher for sharing their experiences with me and for allowing us to share them with you. 

National League for Nursing.  (2022).  Academic novice educator.  
National League for Nursing.  (2023).  Certification directory.


Dr. Brenda Morris
CNEn Test Development Committee