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. 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 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. Applicants must be registered nurses and have professional clinical experience.
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Certificate Programs in Emergency Room Nursing
Courses in an emergency room nursing program are practical and can cover the following topics:
- Introduction to emergency room nursing
- Initial patient assessment
- Common medical emergencies
- Emergency room injuries
- Toxicology and substance abuse
- 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 2014 through 2024, the BLS predicted a 16% job growth for registered nurses. The BLS also reported in May 2015 that these nurses earned median annual salaries of $67,490.
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).
Certificate programs in emergency room nursing prepare graduates for the area, as they learn about crucial topics such as toxicology, equipment operation, stabilization, and emergency treatment.