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Emergency Nurse

Emergency nurses are nurse specialists that are trained to treat patients who've experienced severe trauma. Emergency nurses must possess advanced nursing skills, be efficient in caring out their duties, and show compassion and empathy toward their patients, and their patients' families.

Not many nursing specialties compare to emergency nursing. To be effective, emergency nurses must possess both a general and specialized knowledge or medicine. They are trained and prepared to treat patients with various acute and critical medical conditions, including strokes, heart attacks, severe burns, etc. There are currently about 90,000 practicing emergency care nurses in the United States.

The Roles of An Emergency Nurse

The following are a few of the many responsibilities of an emergency room nurse:
  • Patient Care - Treat and attend to people in emergency rooms, urgent care centers, ambulances, life flight helicopters, and other locations where medical emergencies may occur.
  • Education - Teach classes and courses in injury prevention, smoking cessation, drug abuse awareness, emergency medical care, healthy living, etc.
  • Leadership and Research - Fill management, supervisory and research positions designed to enhance emergency care and healthcare delivery systems.

While emergency nursing is itself a specialty within nursing, many nurses will specialize in a specific type of emergency nursing such as geriatrics, pediatrics, injury prevention, or trauma.


Before you're able to become a nurse specialist in emergency care, you must be a licensed registered nurse. Emergency nurses frequently seek additional certification in pediatric, trauma, injury prevention, and critical care to qualify for specialized positions and career advancement opportunities. Many emergency care nurses today also pursue a master's of science in nursing (MSN) in order to gain necessary knowledge, expertise and specialized training.

Practice Settings

Emergency nurses practice in a variety of healthcare and medical settings. These include:
  • Emergency rooms
  • Hospitals
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Telephone triage centers
  • Administration offices
  • Research labs
  • Episodic and urgent care centers
  • Colleges, universities, and nursing programs
  • Poison control facilities
  • Military and veteran’s hospitals
  • Ambulance and life flight helicopters
  • Correctional facilities
  • Crisis Intervention Centers
  • State nursing boards and government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical corporations
  • Medical technology companies
  • Community Health Centers
  • Arenas, stadiums and large venues
  • Cruise ships
  • Community events and concerts
  • Summer camps
  • Airports and train stations

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide emergency nurses on averages earn approximately $50,000 a year.

Education Requirements

In some states, emergency nurses are required to have a graduate level education. All emergency nurses are required to obtain continuing education in order to keep up to date on the newest technologies, medical procedures, and trends affecting emergency patient care.

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