Trauma Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A trauma nurse is a nurse that specializes in caring for patients who have been affected by trauma. Traumatic events may be catastrophic events such as vehicle accidents and other emergency events. Nurses who specialize in trauma work in a fast-paced environments where there are patients with traumatic injuries. One example of a nursing position is in the emergency room of the hospital. ER nurses are also necessary when emergency situations occur such as plane or train crashes, earthquakes, and fires.
Emergency nurses work closely with doctors and other health care professionals to evaluate patients, assist in patient care, and provide assistance by providing life-saving techniques. The emergency nurse is an extremely stressful job which can become depressing over time. They are often called upon to work long hours and must be able to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
How to Become a Trauma Nurse
The path to becoming an emergency nurse is similar to other nursing positions. It is important for you to seek a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University. Once you graduated from a nursing program you must take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed in your state. You should also consider joining the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN). This group offers support and educational resources to nurses working in trauma area. Nursing students should consider externing in a hospital emergency room as part of their undergraduate or graduate studies.
Trauma Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The first educational requirement necessary to go into trauma nursing is to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). You should take courses throughout your undergraduate work that specifically deal with trauma, such as injury prevention. Nurses working in trauma must have a high level of expertise and experience working in areas such as emergency rooms. Not everyone is able to work well under the extreme stress and fast pace of the emergency room. After attaining your BSN degree you should try to get an entry level nursing position that will expose you to as many different medical situations as possible. Additionally, some nurses may choose to go on to attain a Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN). Choose a Master’s degree program that provides the best fit for your desire to become an emergency room nurse.
Trauma nurses seeking certification must do so in another area as there is no distinctive trauma-nurse certification. A similar area relevant to trauma nursing is emergency medicine. Interested persons may obtain certification as a Certified Emergency Nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Trauma Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The need for high quality nurses of all types is expected to rise in the coming years. Emergency nurses are specialized positions that are not easily replaced. Therefore the demand for these nursing positions is likely to be even higher than that for other types of nursing positions. The salary of an emergency room nurse depends on various factors including your education, your experience, and the location where you work. In general, the salary for this specialized nursing position is between $60,000 and $75,000. The high salary is often based on the fact that the position is highly stressful and requires a great deal of experience. Nurses with the highest level of education and the most experience can expect to make the most money.