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The Power of Trauma Nursing

Elwell, Sean M., MSN, RN, NE-BC, TCRN, EMT

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000421

Correspondence: Sean M. Elwell, MSN, RN, NE-BC, TCRN, EMT, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803 (

The author declares no conflicts of interest.



I have always thought of nurses as one of (if not the most) powerful people in the health care community. What exactly does that mean? Power can be described as something enabling a person or a group to achieve goals (Sepasi, Abbaszadeh, Borhani, & Rafiei, 2016). It is our responsibility, as nurses, to use the power we have to make a difference.

As trauma nurses, we have the power to impact our patients and families, provide exceptional patient care, and contribute to quality patient outcomes, among many other things. As STN members, we have the power to impact trauma nursing in multiple ways. In our last issue, I shared with you the updated strategic plan and goals the STN has set for the near future. We have the power to meet these goals and many others. The possibilities for us, as an organization, are endless.

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I am excited to share that February marked our third anniversary of the Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) credential. Both the STN and the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) are happy to celebrate this important advanced professional certification for trauma nurses. This certification has its roots in a partnership between the STN and the BCEN, a partnership that remains strong today. Our success in this partnership is directly related to the voice of our members. Our members sought out a way to distinguish trauma nurses from other specialties.

Although TCRN certification is offered by the BCEN, our members played an integral role in the development of this credential. In three short years, more than 3,300 nurses have earned the certification as a TCRN. This is quite an accomplishment that exemplifies the power of our members. Learning more about the TCRN and understanding the certification process have never been easier via BCEN's new website at

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This issue of the journal is focused on pediatric trauma care. As a pediatric trauma nurse, I recognize the dedication it takes to be a specialty care nurse. Whether its prevention, clinical care, decreasing our patients' length of stay, educating our nurses, or leading our pediatric teams, our nurses, regardless of role, are the backbone of what we do. Specializing in one facet of nursing allows us to hone our skills and become the best nurse possible.

The STN Pediatric Committee is rapidly growing and is working to ensure they are providing resources to pediatric trauma nurses. This group of dedicated individuals has focused on improving the clinical resources available for our bedside nurses, while also spearheading pediatric research efforts. Pediatric trauma nursing will continue to be a large part of what STN does.

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Whether its trauma clinical care, becoming an expert in a subspecialty, or developing trauma certification, the STN is committed to bettering our profession. Individually, we are all powerful. Together, we have the power to tackle any task, no matter how large. Take time to recognize your power and use it to further trauma nursing.

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Sepasi R., Abbaszadeh A., Borhani F., Rafiei H. (2016). Nurses' perceptions of the concept of power in nursing: A qualitative research. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 10(12), LC10–LC15. doi:10.7860/jcdr/2016/22526.8971
Copyright © 2019 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.