Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Becoming a Trauma Nurse: Job Description and Compensation

Job Descriptions September 23, 2013

The job outlook for healthcare careers including trauma nurse is on the rise, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS states that nursing jobs will increase faster than other industries. In fact, many states report a shortage of qualified candidates in the nursing field. Nurses can advance their career options with continuing education and training that allows them to work in emergency medicine. Trauma nurses play a critical role in crisis healthcare management. These dedicated professionals treat emerging cases in chaotic environments in order to save lives.

Description and Job Duties

Trauma service takes the nurse off the ward and away from bedside care. This career path deals with patients injuries instead of diseases. By definition, it means injury or shock occurring from an accident or violence. The trauma nurse cares for individuals involved in vehicular accidents, suffering from gunshot wounds, with puncture injuries from knives, caught in fires or dealing with some other traumatic emergency.

This specialized nursing category requires sharp assessment skills and attention to detail. Even a slight change in a patient’s condition might be a critical sign. In a trauma, the nurse works closely with emergency physicians to treat injuries that are potentially life threatening. This requires extensive knowledge of emergency drugs. For example, some treatment protocols are meant to stabilize heart rate and blood pressure. Administration requires expert titration to achieve that goal. A nurse in this field must display skill and good judgment in a fast-paced and stressful environment.

Trauma nurses provide critical care for patients on ventilators, with open wounds and spinal injuries. From broken bones to cardiac assessment, the nurse is in the front line of care for patients who have grave injuries.

Education

The exact educational requirements depend on the state. Ideally, a trauma nurse has a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The minimum requirement is an RN license available after the completion of a qualified nursing program. This specialty occupation is not available to LPNs. It requires advanced certification only offered to registered nurses.

Certifications

All licensed trauma specialists must complete and pass a basic life support course. In addition, the trauma nurse must have advanced cardiovascular life support, or ACLS certification. The nurse must recertify with the state nursing board every two years. Recertification requires a passing grade on both a written and practical exam.

Critical care experience is another probable requirement for state licensing. This would include hands-on work in a hospital ICU or ER environment. In some areas, trauma work might require a critical care registered nursing license obtained from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. To receive CCRN designation, a nurse must complete the required number of work hours in a critical care environment, as well as sit for an exam.

Completion of a trauma nursing core course from the Emergency Nurses Association is an added advantage. This 20-hours course includes six months ER training.

Salary

Jobs in trauma will be primarily at healthcare facilities and medical centers. Nurses in this field will often live in large cities, as opposed to remote, rural areas. Trauma centers in metropolitan areas handle cases coming in from less populated regions transported by helicopters.

The advanced training and certification requirements for a trauma nurse mean better than average salaries compared to the basic RN. Payscalereports the minimum salary for a trauma or emergency room nurse with TNCC certification is around $67,019 annually. The exact compensation will vary by location and educational requirements.

Advanced Trauma Careers

Trauma is already an advanced career for nurses. To move even further up, they can get a master’s degree or doctorate to work in administration or teaching. Trauma nurses can become nurse practitioners who specialize in emergency care, as well.

Nurses looking to work in the field can opt to cross train as flight nurses. This would require continuing education to get certification as a flight nurse. Flight nurses provide trauma assessment and treatment during transport to a medical center.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Our mission is to develop skilled nurses who embody the best qualities of the profession
  • SACS accredited with campuses in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina & South Carolina
  • Two workplace externship opportunities to give you hands-on experience
  • Practical Nursing (PN), Nursing Degree (ADN), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Qualifying students can take faith in EPCI’s unwavering Fixed Tuition Pledge
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Find Online Schools. 100% Online Accredited Courses
  • Get Matched to Programs In A Few Clicks!
  • Earn an Affordable Degree from Home at your own pace
  • Get College info today. Its Free and Easy!
  • Online Courses
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Affordable and Flexible Nursing Degree Programs from Top Colleges Across the Nation. Both Online And Campus!
  • You Can Find Nursing, RN to BSN, LVN/LPN Degree Programs and More.
  • Just Fill Out a Few Questions and Get Matched to Your Perfect Nursing Degree Program Within Minutes.
  • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!
  • Online Courses

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Find Online Schools. 100% Online Accredited Courses
  • Get Matched to Programs In A Few Clicks!
  • Earn an Affordable Degree from Home at your own pace
  • Get College info today. Its Free and Easy!
  • Online Courses
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Affordable and Flexible Nursing Degree Programs from Top Colleges Across the Nation. Both Online And Campus!
  • You Can Find Nursing, RN to BSN, LVN/LPN Degree Programs and More.
  • Just Fill Out a Few Questions and Get Matched to Your Perfect Nursing Degree Program Within Minutes.
  • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!