Quick thinking, decisive action and a strong stomach. Those are just three of the things you'll need for your career as an emergency room nurse. Emergency room (ER) nurses work in critical care emergency facilities to assist doctors and work with emergency medical technicians in helping people in pain and possibly life-threatening trauma.
ER nurses work as part of a team with physicians, other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide care, monitor health conditions, plan long-term care needs, administer medicine, use medical equipment, perform minor medical operations, and advise patients and their families on illness, care and continued care after a hospital stay.
Emergency rooms are often the first line of defense for accidents, allergic reactions, and any number of urgent medical care. ER nurses work to quickly assess the needs of each patient, prioritize care based on its critical nature, and work to stabilize a patient, treat the problem, discharge the patient after the emergency is over or make arrangements for a longer hospital stay.
Registered nurses must have one of the following: a bachelor's of science in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, or have graduated from an accredited and approved nursing program.
In addition, licensure is required, and may be obtained from graduating an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Depending on the state, there may be other requirements.
Nurses can then specialize in emergency room medicine through experience and continuous education.