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Hospital nurses earn Trauma Nurse Specialist certification

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,

Hinsdale – In order to effectively fulfill a high standard of quality patient care, two Adventist Hinsdale Hospital emergency department nurses recently underwent a rigorous course to achieve certification as trauma nurse specialists (TNS).   


Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s patient promise assures that emergency room patients will be tended to in five minutes and will have a doctor begin treatment within 30 minutes. All ER doctors and nurses are trained in pediatric life support and a pediatrician is available 24 hours a day.


“As an emergency nurse at Hinsdale Hospital, I felt this course would be an educational asset to my nursing career,” said Angela Topolewski, RN, BSN, TNS, TNCC, ECRN, ACLS/PALS, of Bolingbrook.  “Overall, the program enabled me to learn how to better care for trauma patients,”


The two nurses underwent six weeks of training- more than 90 hours of class time- at Loyola University Medical Center.  The program was co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of EMS and Highway Safety.  The course is designed to educate emergency department and intensive care unit nurses, focusing on the care of trauma patients.  It concluded with a certification that required the nurses to obtain a minimum score of 80 percent.  The TNS license is valid for four years and requires 64 hours of trauma specific education upon renewal.


“This course encompasses so much information that emergency department nurses should know,” said Michelle Voight, RN, ECRN, ALS/PALS, TNS, of Joliet.  “With the TNS certification, we were able to experience hands-on learning in patient care, treatment and testing that helps us improve our knowledge base and teach others.”


Topolewski said the course covered areas of trauma care including head trauma, burns and cold injuries, thoracic trauma, spinal cord injuries, respiratory emergency and development of the emergency medical system.  The program’s focus was to teach nurses how to assess a trauma patient, identify immediate life threats and intervene on identified injuries.


“A great commitment must be made to this course because it incorporates lectures and classroom demonstration time,” Topolewski said.  “It also required a lot of reading and studying outside of the classroom.”


Shawn Tyrrell, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s vice president/chief nursing officer described both nurses as having an unbelievable ability to care for their patients. 


“Having this certification identifies our nurses as having additional education and training in trauma patient care,” said Tyrrell.  “As a level II Trauma center, our emergency department is striving to have more of our nurses achieve this certification.”



Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.  To find a physician, visit