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Critical thinking, confidence and a sense of pride and accomplishment top the list of benefits of the Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN) credential, according to a recent peer-reviewed research article in Air Medical Journal.

Nurses who hold the CTRN credential are “highly experienced and perceive multiple intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of CTRN certification, many of which are essential to safe, evidence-based nursing practice in the highly autonomous, complex, and dynamic ground transport environment.”

The 2022 Certified Transport Registered Nurse Pulse Survey ” highlights findings from the first value of certification survey of nurses who hold the CTRN credential, a national specialty certification for critical care ground transport RNs offered by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN)“Air Medical Journal values this important and first-of-its-kind research at the intersection of critical care ground transport nursing and specialty certification—both of which are vital to delivering advanced care in the challenging and dynamic out-of-hospital environment,” says Air Medical Journal co-editor Eric R. Swanson, MD, FACEP, University of Utah School of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

To earn the CTRN credential, nurses must pass a rigorous exam whose content spans clinical knowledge and professional issues specific to ground transports, safety, survival, disaster preparedness, scene operations management, communications, and equipment and vehicle knowledge. As the article’s authors write, this makes the CTRN “one of the most complex and multifaceted nursing specialty certification programs.” 

While the number of CTRNs has grown steadily since the credential was introduced in 2006, the number of CTRN-certified nurses has surged over the past three years, increasing by 19% in 2020, 29% in 2021, and 24% in 2022.

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Conducted in March 2022, the survey included nursing career and practice environment demographics, ground transport frequency, and the value of CTRN certification during the COVID-19 pandemic and an evaluation of the CTRN across ten value of certification categories.

According to the respondents:

  • The top three perceived benefits of being a CTRN are a sense of accomplishment and pride (95%), confidence as a ground transport nurse (88%), and critical thinking in the ground transport environment (88%)
  • 43% have more than ten years of ground transport nursing experience
  • 46% are employed by a stand-alone transport program and another 25% work for a university/academic hospital or university/academic trauma program
  • 43% said ground transports make up at least half of their current role, with 25% doing ground transports exclusively
  • 62% said being a CTRN “contributed to their ability to deliver the best possible care” to patients with COVID-19, and 51% reported doing more ground transports since the start of the pandemic

BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC, who co-authored the Air Medical Journal article, says, “Excellence in ground transport nursing is crucial to the public emergency response and the successful interfacility transfers of critically ill patients, and BCEN is committed to advancing the critical care ground transport specialty and the extraordinary nurses who commit to being board certified.”

“We hope this important foundational study will inspire CTRNs and transport teams to submit additional original research, case reports, and feature articles to continue to grow the body of literature describing the specialty of transport nursing,” says article co-author Jacqueline C. Stocking, PhD, MBA, MSN, NEA-BC, CMTE, CEN, CFRN, FP-C, CCP-C, RN, NREMT-P, the University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

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BCEN’s Critical Care Ground Transport Nursing Certification Earns Accreditation 

Are you looking for a career as a Certified Transport Registered Nurse? Check out Daily Nurse’s Career Resource Center to find a new job, get career advice, get certified, and search for scholarships.

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