Specialty Certified Critical Care Ground Transport Nurses are Highly Experienced and Value CTRN Certification, According to Original Research in Air Medical Journal

Specialty Certified Critical Care Ground Transport Nurses are Highly Experienced and Value CTRN Certification, According to Original Research in Air Medical Journal

Critical Thinking, Confidence and Sense of Pride and Accomplishment Top the List of Perceived Benefits of CTRN Certification


OAK BROOK, IL (February 15, 2023) – According to a peer-reviewed original research article in the January/February 2023 issue of Air Medical Journal, nurses who hold the Certified Transport Registered Nurse (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,” said 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 not only clinical knowledge and professional issues specific to ground transports but also 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.

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 10 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 10 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, said, “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,” said article co-author Jacqueline C. Stocking, PhD, MBA, MSN, NEA-BC, CMTE, CEN, CFRN, FP-C, CCP-C, RN, NREMT-P, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California. Stocking is co-editor of Air Medical Journal, and another editor conducted the editorial process for this article.


About Air Medical Journal
Air Medical Journal (AMJ) is the official journal of the five leading air medical transport associations in the United States: the Association of Air Medical Services, Air Medical Physician Association, Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association, National EMS Pilots Association, and International College of Advanced Practice Paramedics. Published by Elsevier, AMJ is the premier provider of information for the medical transport industry, addressing the unique concerns of medical transport physicians, nurses, pilots, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, communication specialists, and program administrators.

About BCEN
Founded in 1980, the independent, not-for-profit Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN®) offers robust nursing specialty certification programs fostering empowered nurses across the emergency spectrum who contribute noticeably to patient care, safety and outcomes. Over 59,000 BCEN credentials are held by RNs and advanced practice 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®) certification programs.


CONTACT: Hilde Marnul, Director of Marketing & Communications | hmarnul@bcen.org | 630-352-0811

#  #  #