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Emergency Room Nurse

The emergency room can be a fast-paced and rewarding place to work for health care professionals.  Successfully treating patients with urgent care needs can be an exciting and fulfilling experience.  It can also be stressful, so it’s important that you understand whether you’re cut out for it. 

As in all nursing industries, your ER nurse job description will vary based on your level of education.  For an emergency room nurse practitioner (NP), working as an ER nurse will probably mean treating patients as physicians do.   The job description is vast and includes intubations, central lines, even dealing with patients who’ve coded.  And the education is significant.  To become an ER nurse practitioner, you’ll need a masters or PhD in nursing along with a series of medical rotations, and of course, your RN. 

An Emergency Room Staff Nurse triages patients, determines the level of urgency, makes physical and psychological assessments based on their condition, and organized patient flow through the ER.  They are generally either trained with a BSN or Associates in nursing. 

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How to Become an Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner

If you haven’t obtained your bachelor’s degree and know that you want to work as a nurse practitioner, your best bet is to obtain your bachelor’s of nursing first, and then apply for an MSN program. 

IF you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, there are nursing masters degree programs that serve as a bridge, allowing you to obtain your BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) along with your MSN (masters of science in Nursing).  This bridge nursing program is called RN-to-MSN.  It’s a great option for individuals that want a masters of nursing but didn’t obtain a nursing undergraduate degree. 

An MSN program prepares students with a wide range of medical knowledge, allowing them to work in positions such as physician assistant or nurse practitioner, or health care administration and leadership.  Options such as midwifery, or nursing consultant jobs are also available when you have your MSN.  It’s the best way to reach those high paying nursing jobs that you so desire. 

An RN is also required to work as a nurse practitioner, and likewise a requirement for nursing graduate school.   To get your RN, you’ll need an associates or bachelors in nursing and then to pass NCLEX examination.  This proves that you are capable to work as a nurse.  Many folks begin working with their RN as they continue school.   An associate level RN is prepared to work in entry level nursing jobs. 

Emergency department nursing certificates are also available and often a requirement to work in an ER as a nurse.  Courses for ER nursing certificates can include courses in ER nursing and will likely include a certain number of clinical hours in an emergency room setting.  

Emergency Room Nurse Salary

An ER nurse practitioner salary averages around $100,000 per year but can be upwards of $120,000 per year.  Many starting NPs (even in the Midwest) start at around $85,000.  An associate level registered nurse salary can be anywhere between $25,000 and $45,000.  BSN salary can range between $45,000 and $65,000.