Before 2016 in southern New Mexico, the closest trauma center for patients was El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces, New Mexico, in Doña Ana County began developing its first trauma center in 2016 and became designated in 2017. The development of this trauma center changed trauma triage destination protocols for trauma patients. The improved collaboration and teamwork with prehospital personnel, surrounding hospitals, and existing trauma centers led to the development of trauma triage and transport guidelines. These protocols categorized trauma patients and constituted a guide for emergency personnel. Developing a trauma center in Doña Ana County improved the New Mexico Trauma System by implementing trauma triage and transport guidelines. These guidelines, when implemented, decreased inappropriate air helicopter transport and generated increased revenue for the trauma center and the trauma system.

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Level of Degree


Department Name

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First Committee Member

Dr. Lavin

Second Committee Member

Dr. Preda


: trauma, inappropriate air medical or helicopter transport, trauma system, trauma center, trauma triage guidelines, destination protocols