Emergency and Trauma Nursing


A career in emergency nursing or trauma nursing is a good choice for someone who likes to think on their feet and enjoys helping people during a critical time. This rewarding career offers excitement, a good salary, and job security.

Educational Requirements for Emergency Nursing and Trauma Nursing

To become an emergency or trauma nurse, you must be a registered nurse (RN). You can attend an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Most ADN programs are two years in length, whereas the BSN degree takes four years to complete. After graduation, you must take and pass the NCLEX-RN test. To gain entry into either nursing program, schools often require successful scores on the TEAS test.

Emergency and Trauma Nurse Certification

Many nurses who work in emergency and trauma nursing obtain a certification in critical care nursing, as well as certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). The Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses (BCEN) offers certification as a CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse). To take the examination, you must have worked for two years in an emergency department, hold an active RN license, and have an Associate’s degree or higher.

Emergency and Trauma Nursing Career Opportunities and Salaries

Emergency nurses and trauma nurses work in a hospital setting or an urgent care center. These professionals provide care to patients who have suffered serious injury or events, such as heart attacks, stroke, motor vehicle accidents, and natural disasters. These types of injuries can result in serious physical damage, cardiac arrest, shock and even death.

Nurses in this area can also work with the flight team and assist with people who arrive at the hospital via air transport. The typical average salary for emergency nursing professionals ranges from $55,000 to $90,000 per year, according to many web sources. This, of course, depends on your level of expertise, certification status, years of nursing experience, and level of education.

Job Duties of the Emergency Nurse or Trauma Nurse

There is not a specific program that trains you to work in an emergency room setting or in a trauma center. The majority of people who enter into an emergency room or a trauma center have serious or life-threatening injuries. Emergency nurse often assist with procedures, administer CPR, perform diagnostic testing, give life-saving medications, counsel patients and families, and monitor patient hemodynamic status.


BCEN (2013): http://www.bcencertifications.org/Get-Certified/CEN.aspx

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