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Emergency Room Nurse Certification and Certificate Program Info

Learn about the education and experience requirements to become certified as an emergency room nurse. Read on to learn about the certificate programs that offer training in this field of nursing.

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Essential Information

An emergency room nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who undertakes specialized training to work in an emergency room or intensive care unit. While many RNs get on-the-job training in emergency rooms, some choose to complete a certificate program in the field and earn certification from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. The Board offers several categories of certification, including one for nurses who work in the flight transport of patients.

Some 4-year universities offer emergency department nursing certificate programs through their colleges of health science or continuing education. These programs provide nurses with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to care for critically ill or injured patients in an emergency room setting.

The curriculum included in an emergency nursing certificate program covers techniques and skills in patient assessment, triage, shock management, respiratory stabilization and wound treatment. Students learn the theories of initial patient assessment and emergency care in classroom settings before going on to apply them in clinical rotations. Certificate programs in emergency nursing often require students to fulfill at least 60 hours of clinical experience.

Education Prerequisites

Students interested in completing an emergency nurse certificate program are required to be registered nurses and have professional clinical experience. Such certificate programs can be ideal for RNs who are looking to fulfill their continuing education requirements to maintain their licensure.

Program Coursework

Courses included in an emergency nursing certificate program are designed to provide current nurses with an understanding of the type of patient care that is required in an emergency or intensive care setting. Courses are practical in nature and can cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to emergency room nursing
  • Initial patient assessment
  • Common medical emergencies
  • Emergency room injuries
  • Toxicology and substance abuse
  • Disaster nursing
  • Environmental emergencies
  • Emergency department equipment

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information on registered nurses in general rather than emergency room nurses specifically. For the years 2010 through 2020, the BLS predicted a 26% job growth for registered nurses. The BLS also reported in May 2012 that these nurses earned median annual salaries of $65,470.

Certification Options

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) offers certification for emergency nurses to prove that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the field. BCEN offers several designations to individuals who pass the appropriate examination, including Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN) and Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN).

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics