I want to be a burn nurse but how?


I am a Northern Virginia Community College student and I really want to be a burn nurse. But I am not sure what exactly I need to be looking into. In other words, do I just become a registered nurse and apply for burn units once I get my RN? Or should I be looking into special training programs? Please help me. This information is also for a school paper I am writing so I need information back ASAP. Your help is most appreciated. Thank you for all that you do.


Sarah F.


305 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, MICU. Has 7 years experience.

I'm not a nurse (yet...3 more weeks till I graduate) however, like you, I am EXTREMELY interested in working as a burn nurse. There is only one main trauma hospital in my area that has a burn unit. To be eligable to work there, you need 6 mo in critical care ICU. I'm planning on starting in a critical care intern program in a sister hospital of the main trauma hospital, working ICU for 6-12 months and then transferring to the burn unit. Hope this helps.

Specializes in Anesthesia.


I've been a burn nurse for 3 years. I hired into the unit right out of school. Everything burn specific you will be taught during your orientation period. Here in my unit you have two weeks of class before you even enter the unit and then another 16 weeks with a preceptor.

However, each unit is different and may require prior ICU experience before being taken on in the burn unit. My unit is completely self contained, we have our own educators that do nothing but burn education, our ICU, step down, out patient clinic, OR, and

OT/PT rooms are in the same unit.

Decide which Burn ICU you are interested in and call the Unit Manager to make an appointment to visit the unit, take a tour, see some burn patients and what the burn nurses do on an average day...if you haven't already done this.

Good Luck, let me know if you have any other questions.



805 Posts

Specializes in SICU.

If you stay in Northern Virginia the Washington Hospital Center is your best bet. They have the areas burn unit. They looked after all the Pentagon survivors after 9/11. WHC also take new grads. Call them and tell them you are interested in the surgical icu burn unit, also called 4 H. Good luck.

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