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Name: Trauma Nurse
Description: Trauma nursing involves responding quickly to a wide variety of single- and multisystem trauma involving different patient needs, ages, cultures, and severity of presenting symptoms. The trauma nurse must respond with decisiveness and clarity to unexpected events by assessing, intervening, and stabilizing patients about whom there is minimal information.
Practice setting: Inpatient critical-care settings and transport units
Client age group: All age groups
Diagnoses: Emergent conditions, including major multisystem trauma and shock from drowning, diving accidents, poisoning, and other medical emergencies
Practice roles: Clinical — staff nurse, flight nurse, clinical nurse specialist
Management — nurse manager, coordinator, supervisor
Administration — director
Nurse educator
Research nurse
Characteristics: Role autonomy and independence, variety of duties and assorted challenges, patient care and nurse-patient relationships, teamwork, innovative thinking, patient teaching
Challenges: Stress, conflicts, high pressure, patient/family grief and difficult contacts, short-term patient relationships, language and cultural barriers
Desirable skills: Medical/surgical, emergency, and/or critical-care experience (hands-on skills with IV therapy, ventilators, cardiac monitoring, pain management, pre- and postoperative care), flexibility, stress management, decision making, and assessment, assertiveness, communication skills, motivation, and interpersonal skills
Education: RN with AD, Diploma, or BSN (preferred)
Employers: Acute-care and specialty hospitals, emergency medical systems
Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses
915 Lee St
Des Plaines, IL 60016-6569
(800) 243-8362, ext. 2630
Emergency Nurses Association
915 Lee St
Des Planes, IL 60016-6569
(800) 900-9659
Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association
9101 E. Kenyon Avenue
Suite 300
Denver, CO 80237
(800) 897-NFNA (6362)
Journal of Emergency Nursing
International Journal of Trauma Nursing
Accident and Emergency Nursing Journal
ENA Connection Newsletter