An emergency nurse is one of the most varied of nursing professions because it encompasses care for all patients and conditions. Because these nurses generally work in an ER, it frequently involves unexpected situations. In that regard, a typical shift on the job might mean a slow night suddenly turning into a major medical emergency.
These scenarios make emergency nurse careers exciting, though also taxing at times. Anyone in this career needs fortitude and thorough knowledge.
Becoming an emergency nurse requires more education than general nursing careers because of the extensive medical techniques required in emergencies. You’ll also be surprised at the variety of places you’ll work, which means you’re not always stuck in an emergency room.
Most of all, you have a career that’s high in demand as most nursing careers are now. The pay is excellent, and you’ll be well-compensated for the sometimes grueling and long hours you’ll frequently put in.
What Type of Duties Will You Do as an Emergency Nurse?
Because you’re dealing with emergencies, you need readiness to perform myriad medical techniques. Patients coming in may have general illnesses or be severely injured as a result of accidents. In other word, the complete chaos of an ER is ever-present, and you need to think fast on your feet. This isn’t always easy after working incredibly long shifts as emergency nurses do.
You may have to administer IV’s, do blood transfusions, or CPR. All of these require specific disciplines, including delivering babies, or setting broken bones for patients in accidents.
All of this is just part of what you’ll have to do, and some tasks almost work in tandem with a doctor. The fact that you also have to diagnose x-rays and have basic knowledge of most diagnostic tests, you see how comprehensive your skills are.
Getting Your Education
You can’t have a career as an emergency nurse with just an associate degree. While many nursing careers only require an associate degree (or sometimes less), you need at least a bachelor’s degree for serious consideration as an emergency nurse. Many of these nurses go beyond a bachelor’s and work toward a master’s degree or a PhD for employment as an advanced practice nurse. Obtaining a license is also mandatory, as always.
The more education you have, the better the opportunities, even if emergency nurses show their doctoral stripes more than once.
Keep in mind that practical experience working in clinics or in an ER has preference since this career deals with the unexpected. The more real-world experience you have, the more you’ll be in demand. Considering the dearth of nurses in clinics, a good education and experience in the field gives you exceptional job opportunities.
You probably wonder, though, whether you’ll be stuck in an ER for most of your career. The diverse places where you’ll work helps provide plenty of variety if you want to move from place to place.
Where You’ll Work
While emergency rooms are the most common place, many emergency nurses decide to work in more calming environments. This includes schools, plus universities. Research centers also hire emergency nurses as a more docile side of this career.
For quicker pace, you may want to work in a crisis intervention center, poison control centers, or even in the military. Some emergency nurses work overseas to tend to injured troops during times of war.
You’ll never have to worry about a low salary, because emergency nurses with thorough education and certification make between $44,000 to $57,000 a year. You can also expect emergency nurses to stay in demand through the coming decade. The need for expert emergency care never wanes with the times or with age.
Contact us here at Nursing Examiner to find out more about nursing careers and the numerous rewarding job categories they entail.