An emergency registered nurse (ER-RN) is a registered nurse who is employed in an emergency room within a hospital. An ER-RN provides direct care to the patients in acute situations. The daily activities of a RN-ER nurse may vary. Generally, an ER-RN manages 1-2 patients at a time. The ER-RN must assess and triage each patient to determine the severity of illness or injury and urgency of care. The ER-RN must administer medications and perform procedures under the order of the ER physician. The ER-RN must be skilled at communicating with the patient, patient's family, physician and other medical staff. The ER-RN monitors for any changes in condition and intervenes accordingly. The ER nurse may also supervise supporting staff. Once stable, the ER-RN may discharge or transfer patients. Attention to detail and organization is key. The staff nurse must keep meticulous medical records, and may be required to use computers for charting. To become employed as an ER-RN, one must complete a minimum of a 2-year degree in nursing, pass a national nursing certification exam (NCLEX) and become licensed as a registered nurse in the state of residence. Employers show preference to those with a 4-year nursing degree. It is preferred that an ER-RN have prior experience as a critical care nurse prior to employment in the ER. ER nurses also need advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification for employment. ER nurses generally work a total of 3 twelve-hour shifts per week. Overtime is occasionally required. Shifts can include nights, weekends, and holidays. The ER-RN role may include heavy lifting of patients, exposure to bodily fluids, and large amounts of time on one's feet. A career as an ER-RN is a fast-paced, exciting, high-demand field.
Registered Nurse (RN), Emergency Room Tasks
- Provide care that includes triage, physical assessment, treatment, reassessment, discharge planning and health education to the Emergency Department patient.
- Monitor patient progress and consult with supervising physician.
- Conduct physical examinations and record patient histories.
- Provide direct patient care under indirect physician supervision.