As a manager of an ED, I can give you a few pointers.
1. Know about the ED you are interested in. Know the types of patients they see, their nurse to patient ratios, the culture, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
2. Understand the manager's style.
3. I can teach you how to be an ED nurse. I cannot teach you how to WANT to be an ED nurse. It is more than wanting a fast paced environment. You need to WANT to be in difficult situations, enjoy problem solving, have a lot of initiative, be able to think critically, and LOVE mystery and puzzle solving.
4. Be ready to talk about your strengths AND weaknesses.
5. Be humble. Explain what you don't know, and be ready to express a desire for learning.
6. DO NOT talk about how much easier a job in the ED will be. It's just not true. ED nurses are some of the strongest, highly worked nurses around. We do everything for everyone, and it isn't an easy job. I actually have had people tell me that they were applying to the ED because it had to be easier, really, what could you possibly have to do? Needless to say, they did not get jobs with me.
7. You need a sense of humor, and it helps if it is a bit sick! Sometimes humor is the only thing that gets you through a tough shift, that and your teammates.
8. You must VALUE teamwork. I mean true teamwork, where you have everyone's back, and everyone has yours. It takes the entire team to get through a rough shift.
9. Look for a program that gives you a long orientation. We run a transition program that is 12 weeks long to help ensure success for those RNs with experience who are ready for a change. It has been very successful.
10. HAVE FUN! ED is a great place to be. Give yourself a good 2 years to feel comfortable, spend time learning, and enjoy it.