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Trauma Nurse

Trauma nurses treat patients who have endured a serious injury and need emergency care. All of their efforts are put toward maintaining a patient’s vital signs and preventing health complications and death. They handle victims of car wrecks, accidental injuries and those with life threatening conditions. Many of the trauma cases involve life and death situations, where the patient has been life-flighted or an ambulance has taken them to the trauma unit. Trauma nurses are constantly faced with high-stress cases, but it is that same stress and urgency that creates adrenaline that makes them work swiftly and efficiently to save a person’s life.

Trauma nurses are licensed registered nurses (RNs) with an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing or nursing diploma. In addition to a nursing education, students must take and pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam in order to become a licensed registered nurse. Once these steps have been met, nurses will be ready to begin the trauma nursing training and education. Prospective trauma nurses will need to complete the Trauma Nursing Course Certified (TNCC), which is a 16- or 20-hour course that is a part of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). This course will teach RNs about emergency nursing procedures, as well as applicable psychomotor skills for trauma. Nurses who are not experienced in trauma may have to take an additional 20-hour course to become more acquainted with the specialty.

Trauma nurses will continue to be in high demand as people face countless injuries, accidents and life-threatening incidents every day. Therefore, registered nurses who are trained and willing to enter this fast-paced and often stressful specialty are expected to have positive job and salary opportunities. According to PayScale, certified trauma nurses who work in emergency rooms, make a median hourly rate of $27.61. However, their salaries can vary by location, employer, education level and trauma experience.