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Masters in Nursing Critical Care & Trauma

One of the specialization options for a MSN student who is working towards a clinical nurse specialist credential is the Masters in Nursing for Critical Care & Trauma. This is the classic emergency room nursing role, except that clinical nurse specialists working in that environment play a central role in diagnosis and treatment alongside the RNs who are there to provide supporting services. Graduates with this degree often handle the triage function when someone arrives at an emergency room for treatment, developing a preliminary diagnosis and determining what immediate treatment may be necessary. There are several specialized roles in an emergency room environment today; the MSN graduate in Critical Care & Trauma often plays a management role with the nursing staff, particularly in busy situations when all available MDs are unavailable.

Many RNs opt for this advance practice specialization because of the variety of medical challenges that arise. Some emergency rooms have pediatric specialists who work in critical care treatment; often they are clinical nurse specialists. Critical care and trauma treatment also often requires communicating with family members in a stressful situation or, on departure, discussing the proper care of the injured or ill patient at home. The Master in Nursing for Critical Care & Trauma prepares experienced RNs to tackle those roles that have traditionally fallen to physicians in past years. Some advanced practice nurses who have worked in this field also find themselves gravitating to forensic nursing because so many trauma patients are victims of accidents or abuse.

Other critical care environments include intensive care units and cardiac recovery wards, post-operative care stations and acute care wards for people who have suffered serious injury. The Master in Nursing in Critical Care & Trauma degree is somewhat similar to training in acute care nursing, except that this program provides education in the management of patients (and families) that have been traumatized. Emergency room work can be somewhat stressful and is known as a burn-out environment in the nursing profession. But MSN graduates trained in critical care have other options for professional placement as well as training that will serve them well in large clinics or public health service centers.