Trauma Program Manager, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, VA and Chairperson of BCEN’s TCRN Exam Construction and Review Committee (ECRC)
Nurse since: 1990
CEN since: 1995
TCRN since: 2016
The Quick 10
I’m currently: Completing my DNP and preparing for an American College of Surgeons (ACS) verification visit
I’m a member of: Society of Trauma Nurses (STN), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), Sigma Theta Tau, Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS), and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
Last place I visited on bcen.org: The BCEN Store
Favorite BCEN merchandise: The Half-Zip
Section of TCRN exam I nailed: Pediatrics
Section of TCRN exam I’m glad I studied up on: Geriatrics
What kind of learner am I: Kinesthetic
Go-to Cert Prep Tool: BCEN Practice Exams
When I recertify, do I Retest or Attest: CE Attestation forever!
Top Cert Prep Tip: Study the topics you don’t like (too often we spend too much time on what we love)
If I could travel back through time, I would tell my novice nurse self … Learn everything and listen carefully to what more experiences nurses have to say. Soak up all you possibly can.
Why trauma nursing? When I was a young, new nurse, I was drawn to trauma patients. I have since moved away from direct patient care and into program management so I could have an impact on larger populations and entire systems, the resiliency of trauma patients, even in the face of tragic losses, still amazes and inspires me.
My TCRN knowledge has been a game changer … every time I get a new PI (performance improvement) project and every time I review evidence to look for new evidence-based guidelines. It’s the strong clinical foundation that comes with board certification that makes all the difference.
Being BCEN-certified matters to me … for the validation of my knowledge and expertise, the sense of pride and personal accomplishment, and because it opened up the opportunity for me to volunteer with BCEN. Plus, it has helped me advance up the clinical ladder everywhere I’ve worked.
My favorite part of being part of the TCRN ECRC is … I actually started as a CEN item writer in 2005 when my son was very young. I really wanted to make a contribution to the profession and item writing offered that opportunity with the kind of flexibility I needed. Then, as I advanced to the CEN ECRC, I met so many more intelligent people with the same and different perspectives and a wide range of experience, and it was very stimulating and rewarding. About the time the proposal to create a trauma nursing certification (today’s TCRN) came along, my career was shifting towards trauma care and it has been a great fit. The TCRN role delineation study (RDS) was completed in late 2014. And I couldn’t be prouder of how the BCEN TCRN team took the TCRN from RDS completion to launch in February 2016 and then to Magnet®-accepted program in April 2017, which for many employers is a criteria that must be met before they will provide financial or other support to nurses seeking a particular certification. Earning Magnet status helped a lot of nurses on the front lines of trauma care. I also couldn’t be prouder that the TCRN is now ABSNC accredited. That accomplishment is the icing on the cake.
My role model is … my academic advisor, MaryAnn. We’ve had a great connection over the past three years of working together, and as I write my DNP final project on promoting mental health of first responders, she has taught me a great deal about patience. I’ve been fortunate to have many great mentors and role models over the years.