Burn care nurses are nursing professionals who primarily care for individuals who have suffered burn injuries. These nurses assist burn victims throughout all stages of their recovery - from initial trauma treatment to recovery to any post-trauma therapy that may be required. Without a doubt, the work of a burn care nurse occupies one of the most challenging specialties in the nursing field - both physically and emotionally. Nursing professionals working in the specialty should have a broad range of clinical skills in critical care, pain management, psychological counseling, triage, and trauma recovery. Not only does the burn care nurse treat and monitor the physical injuries that have resulted from different kinds of burns, but they also play an integral role in assessing the psychological and emotional trauma that often follows a serious burn injury.
Some duties carried out by burn care nurses include:
Burn care nurses can find employment in a variety of specialized or general medical settings, to include:
Burn care nurses are compassionate caregivers who have completed the necessary education and field experience to care for this vulnerable population. Some ambitious individuals, if they wish to reach the highest levels of the specialty or would like to be in a supervisory position in a burn unit, will go on to earn graduate degrees in intensive care nursing, emergency nursing, trauma or critical care, and other pertinent specialty disciplines.
Burn care nurses are required to hold either an ADN or BSN degree from an accredited institution and an RN license. Additional credentials that employers may require potential employees to have will vary from organization to organization. Many employers in the healthcare field will require those who work in burn care units to possess certifications like Advanced Burn Life Support, Certification for Adult, Certification for Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care Nurses, Trauma Nursing Core Course, as well as a Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification, and others. Some clinical work experience in the intensive care unit or other kinds of critical care experience may also be required by employers.
Burn care nurses are required to hold active and unrestricted RN licenses and should have some experience in the field in order to obtain the various certifications that one should possess for the profession. An ADN or BSN degree is appropriate, though many hospitals are beginning to require a BSN at a minimum.
In the field of burn care nursing, there is no single certification that is considered mandatory for or specific to the ‘burn care nurse'. However, that's not to say that holding certain certifications won't make you - as a potential candidate - more desirable to employers. These certifications or courses that will make you more desirable to employers include the following:
Unfortunately, incidents that result in burn injuries are unlikely to stop happening. Because of this, it's quite unlikely that the burn care nursing specialty is going to be phased out anytime soon. Presumably, for the foreseeable future, healthcare organizations will continue to hire burn care nurses regularly.
According to PayScale, an RN with burn care skills will earn average hourly of the wage of $27.36, or approximately $73,500 annually. The salaries of burn care nurses, of course, will depend on factors like educational credentials and certifications, years of clinical experience, the geographical location of employment, and the employer. Similar factors are also likely to contribute to the contents included in the employee benefits packages of burn care nurses.