Trauma nurses provide care for patients experiencing emergency medical situations. These specialized nurses must be prepared to handle any medical situation before the diagnosis has been made regarding the nature of the disease or injury. They provide their specialized services in emergency rooms and other environments with chaotic situations.
Trauma nursing also tend to earn competitive salaries, since the work tends to bring higher levels of stress and demands important technical skills in a fast-paced environment.
We recently received a question regarding trauma nursing:
I am interested in becoming a Trauma Nurse. Do I need to have a Bachelors Degree, or would a Associates suffice? Take into account I do not have a Bachelors Degree yet, but I do have an Associates of General Education already. I am interested in the Nursing Program at the community college level.
Thanks so much for your question.
In order to do any nursing, you will need to meet the requirements of nursing set forth by the Board of Nursing in your state. Generally speaking, this includes either an ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing), or a BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing).
You mentioned that you did have an Associates of General Education. This is great, and may help you to get your ADN or BSN a bit faster (especially if the curriculum required general courses you’ve already taken). It will also look good on a resume (any extra degrees always do). But nevertheless, you will have to get one of those degrees in order to become a licensed nurse.
Once you get an ADN or BSN, you will then have to take and pass the NCLEX test, which is the nursing licensing test. Once you pass this, you will be a licensed nurse and you are ready to work.
Can You Work As a Trauma Nurse with An ADN?
Yes, you should be able to work as a trauma nurse with either an ADN or a BSN. The main requirement is that you are a licensed registered nurse.
When you get hired on as a nurse in a hospital (or other healthcare organization), they will generally provide on-the-job training. This is exactly how it was for me when I worked in 2 different cardiac areas. I had no prior experience in cardiac nursing whatsoever before I worked on this, and all of my training was provided as I went along.
One thing I find interesting about trauma nursing (or emergency room nursing) compared to other types of nursing is this: Nurses tend to either love it or hate it.
If you like to “fly by the seat of your pants,” and feel a rush of adrenaline and have a fast-paced work environment, then you will absolutely love trauma or emergency room nursing. If, however, you get stressed out easily and like to work in a slow paced setting–you may not like it much at all.
In either case, there are lots of great online nursing programs, and also some accelerated programs to help you get your ADN or BSN quickly. Just make sure that the school is accredited, and that it will meet all of the necessary requirements by the Board of Nursing so that you can become licensed.
God bless you on your journey.