A nurse who is interested in burn care might consider enrolling in a 2-year Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a specialization in acute care, trauma, and emergency nursing. Master's degree programs like this often incorporate classroom lectures, laboratory experiences, independent research, and clinical rotations. Such a program can prepare students to become either clinical nurse specialists or acute care nurse practitioners and can prepare graduates to receive specialty certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A Master of Science degree can be earned in two years or less. Only registered nurses with an undergraduate degree in nursing and professional nursing experience can apply.
Master's Degree in Acute Care, Trauma, and Emergency Nursing
Courses included in a master's degree program in emergency and trauma nursing build upon previously-gained nursing experience and provide advanced insight into specialty nursing roles. Students learn about advanced acute care management, diagnosis and treatment of critical health situations, advanced patient assessment, and clinical pharmacology. Some specific courses include:
- Advanced pathophysiology
- Acute health assessment
- Assessment of the critically ill and injured
- Research in advanced practice nursing
- Diagnosis and management of acute care problems
- Clinical management of acute care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Clinical nurse specialists and advanced practice nurses who have specialized in trauma and emergency care nursing can gain employment in critical care or burn units of several types of clinical facilities. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide information on burn nurse specialists, the bureau did project that employment for all nurses would grow by 12% from 2018-2028. Additionally, the bureau stated that nurse practitioners, including clinical nurse specialists, will be in high demand. The median annual salary for nurse practitioners was $107,030 in May 2018.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers several certification options for nurses who have completed a master's degree program and are interested in focusing on acute care and burn nursing. Individuals can become certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioners or Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialists. The American Burn Association also offers an Advanced Burn Life Support course for medical professionals who are interested in working in burn units.
Practicing nurses who wish to work in burn care can either gain on-the-job training or pursue a master of science degree in nursing with a specialization in acute care to become specialists.