Nursing Highlight: Emergency Room

Emergency nurses  work in hospitals, the military, prisons and poison control centers. They have a degree in nursing and a certification in emergency nursing.

Have you ever thought about becoming an emergency nurse? These individuals are quick thinkers that work in the ER to provide critical help to individuals experiencing a wide range of medical issues. Learn more about what emergency nurses do and where they work here: 

What do emergency nurses do?
These nursing professionals monitor patient's vital signs and perform physical and mental assessments. They gather medical histories and work with doctors to determine a care plan. Emergency nurses administer medication and monitor test results. They also are the main point of communication with the patient, answering questions and discussing possible treatment options. These nurses also discharge patients after completing the necessary course of care. This includes fully charting the visit and issuing instructions to the patient to continue their healing process.

Emergency nurses must have strong stomachs and be able to stay calm in chaotic situations. Excellent communication skills are necessary for them to talk with patients, fellow nurses and doctors. They must also be able to quickly and efficiently assess patient's needs and help decide the proper course for care.

Where do they work?
There are many jobs for registered nurses in the emergency medical field. Emergency nurses can be found in critical care clinics, emergency rooms, on helicopters and planes. They also work in prisons, in the military, and at poison control, trauma and triage centers across the globe. 

How can I become an ER nurse?
It is necessary to become a registered nurse by earning an associates or bachelors of science in nursing before entering the emergency nursing field. Once they have earned their degree, nurses must have at least two years of experience in order to apply for a certification from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses. Some choose to specialize, earning a flight, critical care ground transport or pediatric emergency nursing certificate to allow them to learn more circumstantial care.

According to the Emergency Nursing Association, many employers expect these nurses to have experience in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, emergency nurses' pediatric courses and trauma nursing core courses. These teach quick assessment and treatment of medical issues often seen by these nurses. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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