Emergency Nurse Jobs

What is an emergency nurse practitioner?

Emergency nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in providing care to patients of all ages in emergency departments (EDs) or urgent care facilities. As most patients in ER have minor health problems, they work closely with an interdisciplinary team to provide primary care services and manage patients with chronic diseases, obstetric and gynecological issues, and infants and young children. However, they must also be prepared to initiate care for patients with urgent, higher acuity conditions, traumas, and injuries, and to provide acute resuscitation and stabilization for those with life-threatening emergencies. Emergency nurses often work long hours, including night shifts, weekends, and holidays, and may be on call. 

Many emergency nurses are family nurse practitioners who have received additional emergency specialty education through academic or post-graduate fellowship programs or on-the-job training and continuing education (CE). 

Emergency nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospital emergency departments, ambulances, trauma centers, critical access hospitals and urgent care centers.

These professionals must be able to make quick, accurate assessments and decisions, and must be able to remain calm and composed under pressure. 

In addition to their clinical responsibilities, emergency nurses may also be responsible for managing and coordinating patient care, maintaining medical records, and communicating with patients and their families. They may also be involved in education and training, helping to teach other healthcare professionals about emergency care.

How to become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner?

Becoming an emergency nurse in the United States requires a specific set of steps. Here is an outline of how to become an emergency nurse in the US:

Earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing: to become a registered nurse (RN), you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). This typically takes four years and includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other subjects related to nursing.

Pass the NCLEX-RN exam: after earning your BSN, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to receive your RN license. This is a standardized exam that tests your knowledge and skills as a nurse.

Gain experience as an RN: while it is not required to have experience as a nurse before becoming an emergency nurse, it can be beneficial. Working as an RN in a hospital or other healthcare setting can give you valuable experience and help you develop the skills you will need as an emergency nurse.

– Earn an MSN or DPN: to become a nurse practitioner, such as an emergency nurse practitioner, registered nurses must earn either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). While both registered nurses and nurse practitioners focus on patient care, nurse practitioners have additional responsibilities, such as being able to prescribe treatments, order tests, and diagnose patients – tasks that are typically only performed by physicians. If you’re considering a career in nursing, you may want to consider a graduate degree program to prepare you for more specialized and upper-level nursing opportunities. Both the MSN and DNP degree programs are designed for nurses who want to further their education and explore a wider range of career options. The MSN can provide you with specialized knowledge and skills in areas such as nurse administration, nursing education, and clinical nursing, while the DNP can help prepare you for advanced nursing roles and leadership positions. 

– Family nurse practitioners: these family nurse practitioners who want to earn their Emergency Nurse Practitioner certification can do so by taking an exam offered by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certifying Board (AANPCB). This exam covers knowledge specific to emergency care, and upon passing, confers the credential of Emergency Nurse Practitioner-Certified.

– Get certificates: many nurse practitioner programs offer specialized tracks that focus on preparing graduates for careers in emergency care. These programs often provide the experience and knowledge needed to work in emergency departments or trauma centers, including training in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS). These programs also prepare graduates to become credentialed as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (ENP-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This credentialing process involves submitting a portfolio of work, rather than taking and passing a certification exam. 

Emergency nurse skills

To be a successful emergency nurse, the following skills are required:

Clinical skills
Emergency nurses must have strong clinical skills, as they are often responsible for managing complex patient cases and making quick decisions under high-stress situations. They should have a thorough understanding of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other medical concepts, and be able to apply this knowledge to the care of their patients.

Communication skills

Good communication is essential for emergency nurses, as they may need to coordinate with other healthcare professionals, explain medical procedures to patients and families, and provide emotional support to patients. They should also be able to effectively communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds and with different levels of medical knowledge.

Problem-solving skills

Emergency nurses should have strong problem-solving skills, as they may need to come up with creative solutions to challenges that arise in the emergency department. They should be able to think critically and analyze information quickly to make sound clinical decisions.

Organizational skills

Emergency nurses should be highly organized and able to multitask effectively in a fast-paced environment. They may need to manage multiple patients at once and keep track of various medications, treatments, and procedures.

Ability to work under pressure

Emergency nurses must be able to work well under pressure and remain calm in stressful situations. They should be able to stay focused and prioritize tasks in the face of high-stress situations.

Adaptability and flexibility

Emergency nurses should be adaptable and flexible, as they may need to adjust to changing patient needs and unexpected situations. They should also be willing to learn and adapt to new technologies and techniques.

Desire to help others

Finally, emergency nurses should have a strong desire to help others and be committed to providing high-quality patient care. They should be compassionate and empathetic towards their patients to provide good care.

Salary of an Emergency Nurse


The salary of an emergency nurse in the United States can vary depending on several factors, such as location, experience, and education level. The average gross salary for an emergency nurse in the United States is $83,645 per year, or an equivalent hourly rate of $40, according to SalaryExpert. In addition, emergency nurses in the US typically earn an average bonus of $1,372.


Emergency nurses working in hospitals tend to earn more than those working in other settings, such as clinics or nursing homes. Additionally, emergency nurses with advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), may earn higher salaries. The type of facility in which an emergency nurse works can also affect their salary, with nurses working in urban or high-demand areas often earning more than those in rural or lower-demand areas.

Overall, the salary of an emergency nurse in the US can vary widely, but with experience and advanced education, it is possible to earn a competitive wage in this field.



Q: What are the prospects for a career as an emergency nurse? 

A: The demand for emergency nurses is expected to remain strong in the coming years due to the aging population and increasing prevalence of chronic conditions. The BLS projects that the employment of registered nurses, including emergency nurses, will grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. As the healthcare system continues to evolve, emergency nurses may have the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities and advance their careers. Additionally, the demand for emergency nurses may be impacted by various factors, such as the availability of healthcare funding, advances in technology, and changes in healthcare policies.


Q: What is the difference between an emergency nurse and a trauma nurse? 

A: An emergency nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in providing care to patients in the emergency department. They are trained to assess and treat patients with a variety of acute illnesses and injuries. A trauma nurse is a specialized type of emergency nurse who focuses specifically on caring for patients with traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents, falls, or violence. They may work in a trauma center or an emergency department and are trained to provide care for patients with severe injuries.


Q: What can I do to increase my salary as an emergency nurse? 

A: There are several ways that emergency nurses can increase their salary:

– Pursue advanced education: earning a higher degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), can often lead to higher salaries.

– Obtain specialized certifications: certification in a particular area of emergency nursing, such as the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN).

– Gain experience: as with most professions, emergency nurses tend to earn more as they gain experience. Working in high-demand areas or leadership roles can also increase your salary.

– Negotiate your salary: don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary when applying for a new job or when requesting a raise. Research the average salary for your position and location, and be prepared to demonstrate your skills and experience.

– Keep up with continuing education: staying up to date on current guidelines and best practices through continuing education can help you stay competitive and increase your value as an emergency nurse.

– Join professional organizations: joining professional organizations, such as the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), can provide access to resources and networking opportunities that may lead to better job opportunities and higher pay.

Q: What are some struggles that emergency nurses may face in their job? 

A: Emergency nurses may face several challenges in their job, including working long and irregular hours, dealing with high levels of stress and pressure, and handling difficult patients and families. They may also encounter physical challenges, such as lifting and moving patients, and may be exposed to infectious diseases. Emergency nurses may also struggle with feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue due to the high demands of their job.



“State-by-State Requirements for RN Licensure.” National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Accessed December 26, 2022. https://www.ncsbn.org/state-by-state-requirements-for-rn-licensure.htm

“Are You Considering a Career as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner?” American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Accessed December 26, 2022. https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/are-you-considering-a-career-as-an-emergency-nurse-practitioner