Trauma nurse: How to become a critical part of the ER

Life or death decisions in a fast paced environment make this a challenging specialty

Roles of a trauma nurse

Trauma nurses handle life-threatening and critical injuries while remaining calm under the pressure. Although they often work in emergency rooms, they have more experience and training than an ER nurse.

Georgia trauma nurses are paid an average annual salary of $77,395, according to ZipRecruiter, but the national average is $93,283, with 2% of jobs falling into the $147,500-$159,500 range.

How to become a trauma nurse

If you’re already a registered nurse, the process isn’t that difficult. The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing offers certification.

To sit for the exam, you have to have:

  • A current, unrestricted RN license in the United States or its territories
  • Two years of trauma nursing experience with an average of 1,000 practice hours per year is recommended, but not required
  • 20–30 hours of trauma-specific coursework across the trauma continuum.

Currently, more than 7,200 TCRN certifications are held by nurses throughout the U.S. and around the world.

According to “The senior year of a bachelor’s program typically offers the chance to choose a specialty rotation of personal interest, and this is a good opportunity to get a taste for ED, trauma, or critical care nursing, to see if a trauma focus is a fit.”

Then you can become certified.

Where you can work

In addition to emergency rooms and trauma centers, certified trauma nurses go on medical flights, work in burn units, and medical-surgical and rehabilitation units.

These nurses also educate not only the public about how to prevent injuries, but also health care professionals about how to treat patients.

Having to deal with nonstop life and death situations in a fast paced environment makes trauma nursing one of the most challenging specialties.