Emergency Room Nursing

by Heather Hutchins

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, emergency, or trauma, nurses work in hospital or stand-alone emergency departments, providing initial assessments and care for patients with life-threatening conditions. They are expected to act quickly and decisively every day because their patients can range from those with a cold to those with multiple gunshot wounds. ER nurses must also be comfortable with a great deal of autonomy dealing with patients.


Most emergency room positions require that applicants be registered nurses. In addition, registered nurses can prepare themselves for an emergency room specialty by taking additional courses or by earning the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) designation from the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).

The ENA also offers certification for flight nurses called the Emergency Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) designation.

Additional course work to prepare for positions in an emergency room setting should include classes in quickly assessing patients (also called triage), cardiac rhythm interpretation and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).

Related Nursing Specialties

Nursing specialties that are related to emergency room nursing are trauma nursing, forensic nursing, flight/transport nursing, domestic violence nursing and telephone triage nursing.

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