Who We Are

The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN) awards the only professional certification for gastroenterology nurses, which validates the highest standards of patient care, and recognizes the caregivers who demonstrate this commitment through CGRN achievement.  It is an independent board established in 1986 to administer the Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse (CGRN) program.

To help demonstrate the importance of the CGRN and similar certifications, ABCGN is a member of the Professional Certification Coalition, an organization that addresses efforts to enact state legislation that would undermine the activities or recognition of certifications developed or offered by non-governmental, private certification organizations.

2021 ABCGN Virtual Annual Business Meeting

ABCGN hosted its Annual Business Meeting as an interactive webinar on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 12:15 pm (CST) following the closing session of the SGNA Annual Course. The business meeting provided an opportunity for certificants to learn about all that ABCGN has accomplished over the past year, 2021 award winners and our 2020 end of year financial report. View the recording >

More About ABCGN

Mission, Vision & DEI Statements >


The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses provides a certification and recertification program for gastroenterology and gastroenterology endoscopy registered nurses that promotes their knowledge, skills and competencies in order to ensure quality patient care and outcomes.


To lead and promote professional excellence in the practice of gastroenterology nursing.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement:

The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN) is committed to embracing the diversity of our board, volunteers and certified professionals that support the need for equity and inclusiveness in our organization, our profession, and in our efforts to lead and promote professional excellence in the practice of gastroenterology nursing.

ABCGN is committed to striving for equity for all CGRN candidates and recertificants. Equity for our candidates means that everyone who meets the eligibility criteria has access to exams across all populations.

History >

In May 1986 at 26 locations across the United States, 669 candidates sat for the first gastroenterology certification exam. What an exciting day and milestone for GI nurses! This was the culmination of several years of planning and rigorous preparation. 

The first seeds for certification were sown by SGNA, then named SGA—Society of Gastrointestinal Assistants. In 1979, SGA formed an Ad Hoc Certification Committee to study the feasibility of a certification program. In 1980, this group became a standing committee and developed five steps leading to certification:

  1. Standards of Practice
  2. Educational Curriculum Guide
  3. Educational Training Programs
  4. Accreditation Program
  5. Implementation of Certification

In 1985, the certifying group separated from SGNA and became the Certifying Council for Gastroenterology Nurses (CCGN). The first role delineation study was conducted, which identified the competencies and skills in the scope of practice for a certified gastroenterology nurse. The first exam followed. 

Through the years, we have experienced many changes. Our name has changed three times - from Certifying Council for Gastroenterology Nurses to Certification Board for Gastroenterology Nurses to our current name, the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses. Yet one thing has remained constant, our dedication to the GI profession. 
Congratulations to all of you who recognized the importance of demonstrating continued competence and became certified. Over the 25 years, more than 10,000 nurses have taken the exam; 4,000 nurses are currently certified. 

As we celebrate this milestone, let’s acknowledge those who recognized the need to standardize our specialty and who worked tirelessly to develop our program. We are indebted to the countless volunteers who have written and reviewed items to provide a quality exam and those of you who served on the Board of Directors and various committees.

Strategic Areas of Focus & Goals >

Area of Focus 1: 
Enhance the visibility and recognition of the value of the CGRN certification

Strategic Goal 1: ABCGN will develop and focus its marketing and branding efforts to enhance the understanding of the value of the CGRN certification among key stakeholders and to increase the number of individuals applying for certification.

Area of Focus 2: 
Ensure ongoing relevance of the CGRN exam content and format

Strategic Goal 2: ABCGN will assess the content and format of the CGRN exam to ensure alignment with certification requirements for other specialized nursing professionals.

Area of Focus 3: 
Ensure re-certification requirements maintain and enhance the value of the CGRN certification

Strategic Goal 3: ABCGN will redefine re-certification requirements to reinforce the value of the CGRN designation and promote the ongoing development of certificants.

Bylaws >

Past Presidents >


For additional information, contact ABCGN Headquarters.