Emergency Room Nursing Jobs

An ER (emergency room) nurse is a health care professional that diagnoses, treats and cares for patients in an ER setting. Being an ER nurse requires that you think fast on your feet and can multitask very well as you are on the move almost every moment that you are at work. Working as an ER nurse you might handle patients with something as simple as a broken toe or patients being rushed in from a car accident that have near fatal wounds. For this reason, all ER nurses must be familiar with a wide range of techniques, equipment and often be able to diagnose patients quickly before running thorough exams.

ER Nurse Education and Salary Expectation

To become an ER nurse you must first be trained and certified as a registered nurse (RN). To be a registered nurse you must obtain a nursing school degree such as a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) which usually takes about three to four years to complete and then you must pass the national licensing exam NCLEX-RN. At this point you need to pass the state board exam for the state you wish to work. Once you have passed this exam you can go to work in the ER. The average annual salary for an ER nurse is $60,000. Salaries vary throughout the country based on what state you live in, the type of facility you work in and how many years of experience you have.

ER Nurse Duties

ER nurses have many different duties and functions within an ER team. They will work closely with doctors and other nurses to provide constant supervision and treatments to their patients. An ER nurse will regularly take vital signs, administer medications, and start IV lines. ER patients can be anything from small children to elderly patients and are admitted for a wide range of problems, so ER nurses must be able to respond to various situations quickly. An ER nurse must also have great communication skills as they deal with not only patients but also family members who are often stressed and possibly highly emotional.

ER Nurse Specialties

After you have one year of experience working in an ER and have established a good reputation for yourself, you could choose to become specialized within the ER nurse field. There are two different types of specialization to consider for an ER nurse.

  • CEN or what is known as a certified emergency nurse is one who after proving a high level of expertise in the ER writes for the CEN exam. CEN exams are offered by The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) in all states and are recognized nationwide. The CEN exam certification is valid for four years and then must be renewed.
  • ENP known as an emergency nurse practitioner focuses on helping patients recover from illness or accidents by providing education that should prevent future reoccurrences. ENP nurses work very closely with patients and their families and are also nurses who have advanced skills like x-ray interpretation, wound dressing and casting.

Salaries for specialized nurse can differ from non-specialized ER nurses. Average salaries for an ENP nurse range from $60,000 – $75,000 a year while a CEN nurse will earn on average $70,000- $85,000 annually.

Travel ER Nurses

Throughout the country travel ER nurses are in high demand in hospitals, urgent care facilities and Pedi-ERs as well. There are many benefits to being a travel ER nurse in the US. The compensation is usually above the average annual salary of an ER nurse under contract at the same facility. Bedsides competitive compensation travel ER nurses will also usually be provided money for housing, insurance and bonuses. Travel nursing is also a great way to see many different places and become familiar with a wide range of practice settings and locations.

Being an ER Nurse

Working in the ER can be one of the most challenging places to work as a nurse. The stress can be high, it is often non-stop from the time you walk in the door until you leave, but you often get to help in saving lives and working with people in a way that many other nurses never do.

What are Emergency Room Nurse Jobs?

Emergency room nursing is a specialty in the health care industry in which nurses care for patients with an emergency or who are experiencing a critical illness or injury phase. An emergency room (ER) nurse is one that is skilled in dealing with patients that may not have been diagnosed or the problem may be still unknown. Within the emergency room nurse field you can choose to be a (CEN) Certified Emergency Nurse or (ENP) Emergency Nurse Practitioner. An emergency room nurse is an important part of any emergency room and emergency room nurse jobs offer great opportunities for those looking for a very rewarding career in the health care industry.

Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)

To become a CEN you must first be trained and certified as a registered nurse (RN). To be a registered nurse you must obtain a registered nursing certificate or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) which usually takes about three to four years and then you must pass the national licensing exam. Once you are an RN who has demonstrated high expertise in emergency nursing you can then take the CEN exam. The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) offers the CEN exam in all states nationwide. It is a computerized test consisting of 150 questions, you must score a 75% or higher to pass and you have three hours to complete the exam. If you pass the exam and obtain the certificate it is valid for four years and can either be renewed by passing another exam or by completing 100 continuing education units (CEUs) in the specialty. The CEN exam questions cover topics like cardiovascular emergencies, toxicology and environmental emergencies, shock and multiple system emergencies, substance abuse, professional issues and more.

Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)

An ENP is a nurse specialist (RN) that cares for a wide range of common accidents and injuries and can asses, investigate, diagnose and treat patients, often without referencing any other medical staff in an emergency care setting. An ENP focuses on preventing future illness through educating the patients and families. ENPs are trained in advance nursing skills like X-ray interpretation, anesthesia, wound dressing, casting, splinting and advanced airway techniques to name a few.

ER Nurse Compensation

The annual salary for an ER nurse can range from $50,000 to $90,000. The median expected salary for a typical ER nurse is approximately $65,000 a year. These figures can vary depending on what state you live in and what certificates you hold. A CEN for example should be earning close to the top end of the scale, while an ENP will probably earn the median salary after several years of experience.

ER Nurse Responsibilities

Although one could never list all the responsibilities of an ER nurse, here are some of the most important and most often performed duties. Constantly monitoring patient’s vital signs, inserting IV lines, administering medication and treatments are some of the duties that they do on a continuous basis. As an ER nurse, you can often be the one link between the patient and a team of doctors, you will be in constant communication with both parties and often act as a check and balance system. An ER is a very unique environment as you will treat patients of all ages with a wide range of problems, all at the same time

Being an ER Nurse

Being an ER nurse can be a great career choice for people that love to help others and often save lives. An emergency room nurse is a vital part of every hospital’s ER department team. An ER nurse is responsible for constant supervision of their patients and monitoring all vital signs, administering medications and at times performing CPR. Being an ER nurse requires that you work well under stress and also have great communication skills. It is important to always be positive as you are often meeting people at the worst time of their lives. You must have the skills and a huge desire to be able to help patients, doctors, families and other hospital staff simultaneously.


Learn More: Working in the OR