Top Certified Flight Nurse Honored With BCEN 2021 Distinguished Award

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The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) named Richmond, VA-based VCU Health flight nurse and paramedic Kevin A. Kissner, MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, NRP, as the 2021 Distinguished CFRN Award winner. Among his duties, Kissner provides support for the Virginia State Police's helicopter medical evacuation programs.

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BCEN's annual national award honors one top Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) for their advocacy for flight nursing excellence through flight nursing specialty certification.

"Kevin’s commitment to his specialty and his remarkable work as a VCU Health flight nurse supporting Virginia State Police and its Med-Flight I showcases how board certified flight nurses contribute to exceptional patient care, public service, and the advancement of clinical excellence."

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, today announced Kevin A. Kissner, MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, NRP, a VCU Health flight nurse and paramedic who supports Virginia State Police’s helicopter medical evacuation programs, as the recipient of BCEN’s 2021 Distinguished CFRN Award. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Kissner is part of VCU Health’s LifeEvac team that provides air and ground ambulance services across Virginia, in addition to providing nurses and medical direction to the Virginia State Police’s aviation unit.

This annual BCEN award recognizes one top board certified flight nurse who exemplifies excellence in flight nursing and a strong commitment to supporting and advocating for flight nursing specialty certification. Introduced by BCEN in 1993, the Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) is held by over 4,800 RNs and advanced practice nurses. The CFRN is a preferred national certification for flight team nurses, meets Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) requirements, and is an accredited and Magnet-accepted certification.

“Kevin’s commitment to his specialty and his remarkable work as a VCU Health flight nurse supporting Virginia State Police and its Med-Flight I showcases how board certified flight nurses contribute to exceptional patient care, public service, and the advancement of clinical excellence,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC.

A champion for evidence-based care, safety and education, Kissner has helped his base maintain a 100% certification rate, spearheaded a Virginia State Police initiative to standardize helicopter hoist rescue operations, been a driving force behind multiple state-wide clinical staff educational initiatives, and been recognized with several unit “Life Save” awards for successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest during transport.

“When your life depends on receiving the highest level of care, you want the best care team by your side to make important real-time decisions,” said Kathy Baker, Ph.D., associate chief nurse and associate vice president for patient care services at VCU Health System. “As a Level I trauma center, we are proud to have highly skilled, board certified team members like Kevin providing world-class service and care to the communities we serve.”

“Just achieving certification is impressive, but it is really what you do with it, such as being on the cutting edge of change during the pandemic, that inspires me,” said Kissner. “Flight nursing has been my passion for the past 16 years and receiving the BCEN award is honestly the pinnacle of my career to this point.”

Read more about Kissner in BCEN’s Meet the Winner Q&A at bcen.org/2021-cfrn-award-winner/.

Learn about the history of flight nursing and the CFRN in Excellence in the Air: The CFRN.

Award Presentation & BCEN’s National Nurse and Organizational Awards
BCEN officials will present Kissner with the Distinguished CFRN trophy during the 29th Annual Critical Care Transport Medicine Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama, on May 18. The conference is hosted by the

Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA), the Air Medical Physician Association and the International Association of Flight & Critical Care Paramedics.

The award winner was determined by a selection committee consisting of BCEN board members, staff and volunteer subject matter experts and an ASTNA official. Learn more about the BCEN Distinguished Awards and the BCEN National Certification Champion Awards at bcen.org/awards.

About BCEN
Founded in 1980, the independent, not-for-profit Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN®) offers robust national board certification programs fostering empowered nurses across the emergency spectrum who contribute noticeably to patient care, safety and outcomes. Nearly 59,000 BCEN credentials are currently held by registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, pediatric emergency and trauma nursing. BCEN offers the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN®), Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN®), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN®) and Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN®) certifications. The CEN, CFRN, CPEN, and TCRN certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). Learn more at bcen.org. Follow BCEN on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Note to Editors: Photos available by request.

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Hilde Marnul
Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN)
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