An emergency room nurse is a nurse that is tasked with treating patients who visit the emergency room. These nurses treat people of all ages and provide treatments for a variety of issues such as injury, trauma, acute-onset symptoms, and more. Being a nurse in the emergency requires an innate sense of care and compassion, while also having the ability to multitask and make sound decisions under pressure. Nevertheless, it can be quite rewarding. Emergency room nurses are not only paid fairly well, but they are also afforded the ability to literally save lives.
What is an ER Nurse?
If you are interested in becoming a nurse in the emergency room, keep in mind that this career is not for the timid or squeamish. You will be expected to deal with things such as car accident injuries, gunshot wounds, heart attacks, strokes, major allergic reactions, and broken/fractured bones, among many other things. You will be expected to remain poised under pressure and may be required to make tough decisions with the lives and health of others at a moment’s notice. It is a job with high levels of burnout, as well.
Therefore, this not only requires lots of schooling and experience, but you also must feel that you are fit to handle an intense atmosphere day in and day out, for the long-term. These positions often require long hours and for you to put the health of others before your own. Additionally, this is an especially challenging field of nursing as the majority of your patients will arrive without no previous diagnosis and you often have to assess and determine one’s overall cause of illness in very little time.
Salary of an Emergency Room Nurse
Arguably, no amount of money would ever be enough to compensate those who help save countless lives on a daily basis. However, if you are wondering about an er nursing salary, this is an amount that tends to vary. Either way, the demand for all nurses is said to be on the increase from 2012 until 2022, and the field is expected to grow by 19% over this period of time. While the median salary for an RN is around $65,470, the annual salary for most ER nurses ranges from $45,152 to $89,393.
However, there are things that can be done to increase an ER nurse salary. For instance, one way to boost the salary of an emergency room nurse is by earning a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) credential. This requires at least two years of experience as an emergency room nurse before you are eligible to take the exam. Additionally, you can also pursue an emergency room nurse certification in CFRN, or flight emergency nursing. Alternatively, you can opt to get certified in pediatric emergency nursing (CPEN) and/or critical care ground transport (CTRN) nursing. Each of which requires you to re-certify every two years, while involves continuing education courses as well as an exam. There is also the option to climb the ladder to become an emergency room nurse practitioner.
How to Become an ER Nurse
In terms of ER nurse requirements, to become an er nurse, you need to complete the following steps:
- Complete Educational Requirements: In order to become an emergency room nurse, you must successfully earn a degree such as a BSN or an ADN.
- State Examination: Once you have earned your degree, you will become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination in your state.
- Get Experience: If you are a registered nurse that is interested in becoming an er nurse, you can apply for a department change after you have gained a few years of experience working in a different department.
- Getting Certified: As mentioned, there is an array of emergency room nurse certifications that you can apply for. For instance, the certified emergency nurse credential (CEN), is accepted at virtually every emergency room across the country. Given that it was developed by the emergency nurse association, nurses who receive this certification are considered to be experts on the practices and standards of the emergency room.
If you are interested in becoming an emergency room nurse, you have options. While there are emergency nurse certification requirements, you can also potentially become an ER nurse by working as a registered nurse and applying for a department change once you have gained enough experience. Either way, becoming an ER nurse just may be one of the best decisions you have ever made. Although this is not a career track for just anyone, this is a career field that is accompanied by a relatively high level of job satisfaction.