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Advice on nursing...

Russ Pasley trauma-list@trauma.org
Tue, 25 Jun 2002 14:15:54 -0700


I have a quick question to shoot out at any trauma/emergency room nurses
that would be kind enough to take a moment to offer me some advice or

I am about to pursue a career in nursing, more specifically working in
trauma.  I have had experience in the past as an EMT with the National Park
Service as a ranger.  Working on certain incidents in Yellowstone made me
realize that I wanted to follow a career path in trauma nursing.  I worked
well with my fellow colleagues (rangers, nurses, and doctor) , was
respected by them, and encouraged to pursue a career in emergency medicine.

My question is how does one work their way into trauma?  I do not want to
get into nursing to be a floor nurse in a hospital, work in a retirement
home, or in a doctor's office.  Is there a danger of being "pigeon-holed"
early in your career?  Right now I am starting to volunteer in the ER at
San Francisco General.  This is the main trauma center for this side of the
bay.  My plan is to reinstate my EMT and to then work my way into a tech
position in the ER if possible. This way while I am in school the ER staff
will get to know me, my character, and my abilities.  Does this sound like
a good plan?

The only other question is that of an Associate's degree vs a Bachelor's
degree.  Both qualify you to sit for the state exam for an RN.  For the AA
I have my prerequisite classes done, can get into a program now, and be
done in 4 semesters.  Pursuing the BS will take quite a bit longer.  I'm 40
and want to start things happening right now!  I guess what I am asking is
will the AA hinder my goals as opposed to getting the BS?

Again, I would be very appreciative to any of you out there who could take
a bit of time out of your busy lives to offer me some advice.

Thanks much and peace to you,

Russ Pasley