Emergency department nurses are registered nurses who provide immediate assessment and care to people experiencing a potentially life-threatening crisis. There were 139 million emergency department visits reported to the Centers for Disease Control in 2017, and this number rises each year. The demanding, unpredictable nature of emergency room nursing requires strong triage/prioritization skills, attention to detail, and swift decision making. Physical and mental demands are much higher in the ER than in the general hospital.
Working in the emergency department offers a high-intensity work environment where ED nurses treat all different age groups, from infants to aging adults. No two days are the same, and it can be a rewarding job with high acuity patients that need high level care.
Emergency department nursing is a highly sought-after specialty on NurseFly with thousands of ED nursing jobs available nationwide.
Emergency department nurse salary
Staff nurses working in emergency departments earn an average annual salary of $67,573 (PayScale). This works out to an average weekly salary of $1,299 and about $32.48 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week. According to NurseFly data, travel emergency department nurses earn a gross average weekly salary of $1,687. This includes additional compensation like housing allowances and per diems for meals or other incidentals. Unlike a base salary and overtime income which are taxed, these additional stipends are tax free if travel nurses can claim a permanent tax home.
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ED Nurse FAQs
What are the best agencies for ED Nurse jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most ED Nurse jobs are TaleMed (522), American Mobile Healthcare (515), and OneStaff Medical (398).
How Much Do ED Nurse Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Tuesday, September 22nd 2020, the average weekly pay for ED Nurse jobs is $1,718, but can pay up to $3,800 per week. In 2020, Emergency Department Nurses jobs on Nursefly paid a gross average weekly pay of $1,867 per week working an average of 36 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, and housing which add up to an average value of $1,111 per week.
- min - $691
- avg - $1,718
- max - $3,800
What does an emergency department nurse do?
ED nurses quickly and accurately assess the needs of patients who require immediate attention, prioritizing care based on the critical nature of each case. They stabilize and treat patients, and assist doctors with emergency procedures. ED nurses may admit and discharge patients, often arranging for them to be admitted to other facilities. There’s no typical day for an ED nurse, but some standard duties include:
Conducting physical examinations
Taking vital signs
Recording patient histories
Treating critical injuries, illnesses, and allergic reactions
Monitoring X-rays, scans, lab work, and other tests as needed
Monitoring patient progress and reassessing needs
Discharging or admitting patients based on treatment results
Where do emergency department nurses work?
Emergency department nurses primarily work in emergency rooms at hospitals, but there is also demand for experienced ER nurses in trauma units, urgent care centers, burn centers, military bases, and correctional facilities. They may also work in travel and tourism industries, such as in hotels or on cruise ships, and at educational institutions, camps, and sports facilities.
What skills that make a good emergency department nurse?
The emergency department is a fast-paced atmosphere that requires ED nurses to be highly effective problem solvers and multitaskers. They need exceptional assessment and triage skills to quickly prioritize the order in which patients should be seen. Advanced knowledge of a wide range of medical conditions, injuries, and illnesses is required to treat and monitor patients who may require rapid intervention.
ED nurses must also work effectively with all health care team members and be able to confidently communicate with staff, patients, and their families. It is essential to be able to focus under pressure and handle the emotional weight of the ER which can mean severe trauma or loss of life.
How to become an emergency department nurse
Emergency department nurses must hold an active Registered Nurse license in the state they wish to practice. This requires earning an associate degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, although a BSN isn’t required. Graduates must then pass the NCLEX-RN and complete any other state requirements to obtain their RN license.
ED nurses are required to complete Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training and certification. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) may also be a required. After completing two years of related emergency experience, RNs may apply for certification from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. While BCEN certification isn’t required, it proves competency in the emergency room. In order to work as a travel emergency department nurse, most employers will require at least one year, but preferably two years, of recent experience in the specialty.