The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) has announced that Julie Donnelly, MSN, RN, TCRN, is the recipient of 2021 Distinguished TCRN Award.
Donnelly is director of patient care services at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. At Jefferson, she led efforts to increase nursing certification rates in the emergency department and other trauma-designated units. Thanks to her work, the certification rate of ED nurses with at least three years of experience has increased from 38% to 100%.
“Julie’s phenomenal success in supporting nurses to earn their TCRN trauma certification sets a prime example of how specialty certification contributes to better trauma nursing and better trauma patient care,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “She is a true champion for trauma excellence.”
The Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) certification is trauma nursing’s highest professional credential. It was introduced five years ago, and it is now held by nearly 6,200 nurses.
“When the TCRN was introduced, we were so excited to have a certification just for trauma that we could offer to nurses in the trauma bay and in our intermediate and ICU trauma-designated units,” Donnelly said. “I am truly honored to receive this award. I see it as a team award for Jefferson and all of the trauma nurses here, not just me.”
Nurses who earn the TCRN must demonstrate advanced clinical knowledge and expertise across the continuum of trauma care from injury prevention to acute care to rehabilitation. According to Donnelly, trauma programs that encourage certification will see growth in teamwork and staff expertise.
“Certification grows your programs,” Donnelly said. “Your outcomes are going to change. For example, when you get the traumatically injured OB patient that you get three of a year — those skillsets kick in automatically because those certified nurses remember that. They know where to grab that in our internal protocol because they have reviewed it — because they knew they were sitting for that exam a couple months prior.”
“Julie has demonstrated remarkable leadership and been a fierce advocate to improve trauma patient care and advance nurse education,” said Kate FitzPatrick, DNP, RN, ACNP, FAAN, NEA-BC, system chief nurse executive officer of Jefferson Health. “This recognition by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing is an honor that both reflects her talent for elevating nurse professionalism in all the TJUH units involved in the care of trauma patients and supporting our system focus on improving lives.”
Read more about Julie in the BCEN’s “Meet the Winner” Q&A.