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Healthcare In Five: Trauma Nurse

Trauma nursing offers a fast-paced, high-intensity career option for licensed registered nurses seeking a challenge in the nursing field. Trauma nurses work closely alongside physicians, surgeons, and other members of the care team to care for patients experiencing serious trauma in the form of illness or injury. Continue reading to learn more about the trauma nursing pathway.


What is a Trauma Nurse?

Trauma nurses are licensed registered nurses who work in trauma centers, emergency rooms, and other emergency care disciplines to administer life-saving care to those facing critical illnesses or injuries.


What does a Trauma Nurse do?

Trauma nurses are skilled nursing professionals who work alongside physicians, surgeons, and other medical practitioners in emergency or trauma units of a hospital. Their primary function as nurses is to help stabilize and care for patients facing serious, life-threatening injury, illness, or death. These nurses work in fast-paced, oftentimes rapidly changing environments that require close attention to detail and acute precision in patient care. Some core responsibilities include:

  • Managing and monitoring wounds or acute illnesses
  • Patient stabilization during their stay in the unit
  • Preparing patients for hospital/trauma surgery or advanced care
  • Assessing trauma patients and prioritizing their immediate care needs.
  • Working alongside first responders and hospital staff to coordinate care.


Where do Trauma Nurses work?

Trauma nurses work predominantly in hospitals. Within hospitals, trauma nurses can work in various units or settings that primarily focus on the care of critically injured or sick patients, including trauma units, emergency rooms, and critical or intensive care units. In some cases, trauma nurses can also work in mobile care units such as ambulatory care or emergency flight services for hospitals. These nurses focus on field work with an emphasis on patient stabilization and preparation for transportation to a hospital for care.


How do you become a Trauma Nurse?

The pathway to becoming a trauma nurse includes a combination of schooling and licensure. While nursing professionals with NCLEX licensure and an Associate Degree in Nursing can become a trauma nurse, many hospitals encourage RNs with an ADN to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which provides a more enhanced understanding of core nursing concepts and practice. Additionally, nurses with a BSN can go on to pursue greater career and educational advancement opportunities.

Unlike some positions, licensed RNs can begin practicing right out of school. However, many choose to gain experience in the nursing field and choose to pursue professional certification. Outlined is a common educational and professional pathway:

  1. Graduate high school or earn a GED
  2. Graduate with an Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  3. Receive Licensure through NCLEX
  4. OPTIONAL: Earn professional certification


Trauma Nurse Career Outlook?

Nursing is one of the largest professions in healthcare, accounting for over three million positions across the country. Demand for nursing professionals is projected to increase over the next ten years, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting the profession will add over 100,000 jobs with a projected faster growth rate of six percent – faster than the national average.

The road to becoming a trauma RN starts with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The University of Providence offers multiple BSN pathways designed to meet the needs of students across all different educational and career points. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate considering nursing for the first time, a bachelors degree holder considering a career change, or a licensed RN seeking a bachelor’s degree, our nursing programs provide students with quality, mission-focused, patient-centered care.

Explore our program lineup: University of Providence Nursing Programs