BCEN Marks 15 Years of Critical Care Ground Transport Nursing Excellence

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Today the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its critical care ground transport nursing credential, the Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN), and releasing the latest installment in its Commitment to Excellence Series.

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BCEN's Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN) is earned by RNs who demonstrate mastery of critical care ground transport nursing.

“The bottom line is that having a CTRN-certified nurse on board during these critical transitions can make a big, and even lifesaving, difference,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker.

Today, the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its critical care ground transport nursing credential, the Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN), and releasing Grounded in Excellence: The CTRN, the latest installment in BCEN’s Commitment to Excellence Series.

Ground transport nurses play crucial roles in “on scene” responses, and even more frequently during interfacility transfers, where critical care patients—often with highly complex medical needs—are transferred to and from higher level facilities in specially equipped ambulances. These vehicles, which approximate an ICU and/or emergency department on wheels, have the capacity to carry multiple, highly advanced pieces of equipment to meet each critical care patient’s unique condition and needs.

“Multiple factors, underscored this past year by the pandemic, have led to a very long-overdue recognition of the need for nurses who possess critical care expertise specifically in the ground transport environment,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “The bottom line is that having a CTRN-certified nurse on board during these critical transitions can make a big, and even lifesaving, difference.”

To earn the CTRN, nurses must demonstrate advanced clinical knowledge and expertise in critical care plus all aspects of the ground transport environment, including safety, mastery of a wide range of complex protocols, equipment and apparatus, and the ability to manage and mitigate the unique effects that ground travel can have on patients and their conditions.

Introduced on March 31, 2006, the CTRN credential was born out of the recognition that ground transport nursing is unique and merited a separate certification program from its flight nursing cousin, the Certified Flight Registered Nurse, or CFRN. The CTRN certification program earned Magnet-accepted status in 2009. Today, the CTRN is one of BCEN’s fastest growing certification programs.

Grounded in Excellence: The CTRN describes:

  • Why moving patients is risky business, and why specially trained teams make a difference.
  • Why the number and complexity of interfacility transfers have increased so substantially, and what that means for nurses, patients and facilities.
  • How ground transport supports an overall wider range of patients due to the ability to accommodate more and larger equipment and an extended medical team—and sometimes a family member, too.
  • Why nurses’ scope of practice, educational foundation and clinical expertise are among the many reasons nurses, especially CTRN-certified nurses, are the top choice to staff and lead transport teams.

“In every healthcare system around the world, critical care ground transport is a vital link,” said BCEN’s Schumaker. “Nurses with a demonstrated ability to deliver advanced care and preserve the continuity of complex care for patients on the move by ground keep that link strong.”

Read the complete Commitment to Excellence Series here.

About BCEN
Founded in 1980, the independent, not-for-profit Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN®) offers robust national board certification programs fostering empowered nurses across the emergency spectrum who contribute noticeably to patient care, safety and outcomes. More than 57,000 BCEN credentials are currently held by registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, pediatric emergency and trauma nursing. BCEN offers the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN®), Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN®), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN®) and Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN®) certifications. The CEN, CFRN, CPEN, and TCRN certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). Learn more at bcen.org. Follow BCEN on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Hilde Marnul
Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN)
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