Emergency nurses are trained to initially treat patients who’ve experienced severe trauma. These specialists must have various skills, be efficient, and be empathetic toward the people they treat.
Few nursing specialties compare to emergency nursing. To effectively treat patients, emergency nurses need to have specialized and general medical knowledge. They must be prepared to treat patients with various medical problems, including heart attacks, strokes, severe burns, etc. Currently, there are about 90,000 emergency nurses practicing nationwide.
The following are duties of emergency room nurses:
- Patient Care – treat people in emergency rooms, ambulances, urgent care centers, life flight helicopters, government buildings, stadiums and arenas, and any other location where medical emergencies frequently occur
- Education – teach classes about injury prevention and healthy lifestyles, which could include drug abuse awareness, bike safety, smoking cessation, etc.
- Leadership and Research – fill management and research positions and conduct research designed to enhance emergency care
Since emergency nurses are trained to treat patient in most life threatening situations, they typically do not specialize, but some specialize in injury prevention, geriatrics, pediatrics, and trauma.
Before specializing in emergency care, you must be licensed as a registered nurse. Emergency nurses often obtain certifications in injury prevention and pediatric, trauma, and critical-care nursing.
The following are locations where emergency nurses typically work:
- Emergency rooms
- Administration offices
- Research labs
- Episodic and urgent care centers
- Colleges, universities, and nursing schools
- Ambulance and life flight helicopters
- Telephone triage
- Poison control facilities
- Military and veteran’s hospitals
- Pharmaceutical and medical technology companies
- Correctional facilities
- Crisis Intervention Centers
- State nursing boards and government agencies
- Community Centers
- Arenas and stadiums
- Cruise ships
- Summer camps
- Community events and concerts
- Airports and train stations
Nationwide, registered nurses earn average salaries of $46,782 annually.
Since emergency nurses handle life and death situations, they must obtain continuing education to remain informed about new technologies and medical procedures, trends, and factors affecting emergency room care. Emergency nurses are frequently required to take a test proving their competency and skills. If they pass it, they become certified to practice emergency nursing.
During 2010, the following percentages of nurses held these types of degrees:
- Graduate degree – 10 percent
- Bachelor’s degree – 33 percent
- Associate’s degree – 34 percent
- High school diploma – 23 percent