How To Become an Emergency Nurse

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    Hi I am Amanda and have my dream of being an ER nurse for my Career and I basically need how to become and ER nurse for dummies so if you could tell me as simple as possible! Sorry for post a dumb question but the internet was no help!

    Greatly Appriciated,

    Amanda
    be the change likes this.
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  4. 1
    Hi Amanda. I've been an er nurse for 3 years, never worked anywhere else. First of all, are you in nursing school? Obviously, that's the first step. Do good in your pre-requisite classes, get accepted into nursing school, do well, study hard, and apply at the hospital of your choice. Make sure you specify on your application, resume, and in your interview that you want to be an er nurse. Usually they will hire new grads, although some require from 6 months to a year on med-surg (mine didn't). If your heart is set on not working anywhere but ER, find a hospital that will hire new grads in the ER. There is a learning curve in ER nursing, and it can be overwhelming, but the rewards outweigh the drawbacks in my opinion. Good luck, and it's not a stupid question. I wish you the best. If you have any more specific questions, just ask.
    Last edit by kyboyrn on Jan 14, '08 : Reason: typo
    emily_ganshert likes this.
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    no I am actually in highschool, and by nursing school you mean nursing college? and what is pre-requisite? sry for all this high school worry

    Amanda
  6. 1
    Prerequisites are classes you must take before applying to nursing school. Yes, nursing school take place at colleges.

    Good luck to you!
    emily_ganshert likes this.
  7. 1
    Talk to your high school counsler to find out about nursing program in your areas. Graduate from HS and start applying to colleges with nursing programs. There are several different types of programs, ADN, BSN, diploma. If you need help deciding which one is right for you - there is a board here on allnurses that discusses that very topic.

    While waiting on acceptance to the nursing program (usually pretty competitive) you can work on your pre-reqs or classes that are required prior to actually starting the nursing program. The entire process can take anywhere from 3-4 years, depending on the program and/or degree you obtain.

    Once you finish your nursing program, you'll be eligible for the NCLEX-RN which is a national licensure exam. Once you pass the NCLEX, you are then an RN.

    Allnurses has great boards that are devoted to pre-nursing, nursing school, NCLEX, etc....that can be of great help to you as well during your journey.

    As far as how to become an ER nurse, you apply once you graduate and you become an RN. Your actual training is all done on the job (OTJ) and most good ER's with good solid orientation programs will provide you with all the classes/certifications you need your first year or two.

    However, while in nursing school (NS) you will be exposed to many different areas and many different view points on entering different fields of nursing. You may very well change your mind while in school and decide a different path other than ER. That's the great thing about nursing - there are MANY paths a person can take.

    Good luck in your journey!!!
    Last edit by mom2michael on Jan 14, '08
    emily_ganshert likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from happy_bunny_101
    Hi I am Amanda and have my dream of being an ER nurse for my Career and I basically need how to become and ER nurse for dummies so if you could tell me as simple as possible! Sorry for post a dumb question but the internet was no help!

    Greatly Appriciated,

    Amanda
    Hi Amanda,

    The ER is no place for dummies! In fact, just the opposite - you have to know your stuff and apply it independently. Check out the ER forums here, talk to your guidance counselor about how best to prepare for nursing school, and realize that not everything can be condensed. The wonderful thing about nursing is that if one specialty is not for you, you can find a job in another one.

    Good luck!

    Blee
    psu_213 and emily_ganshert like this.
  9. 0
    I'm not an ER nurse, but in nursing school and hoping to get a position in the ER when I graduate in May.

    While you are in high school, keep your grades up and take a science course each year/semester.. I know my school counted what you took in high school as part of satisfying the requirements for acceptance. If you didn't take what they need then you have to take those courses before you can apply into the nursing program.

    Becoming an ER nurse is not much different than any other specialty to start with- you have to become a registered nurse first. For that you need to look into what kind of program you want. Like some of the others said- talk to your guidance counselor. There are Associate Degree RNs (ASN or ADN are the acronyms you will see alot) and Bachelors Degree RNs. (BSN) Both are a RN, take the same state board exam after graduating with their degree, and the most simple way to state the difference is that BSN is sometimes required to go into management or highly specialized areas in major metropolitan areas (big cities). For example: If I wanted to work in a downtown Chicago hospital in, say, the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit... where premature babies and sick newborns go) I'd most likely need a Bachelors. But, to work on a regular med/surg (medical/surgical recovery) floor I probably wouldn't. In most local hospitals a BSN is not usually required to work as a floor nurse in any specialty (specialty means other than med surg, like ER, ICU, Telemetry, CCU, OR, Peds etc) .

    That said, there are exceptions and I highly generalized and simplified it.

    So basically first you need to decide if you want to go for your associates (received from a community college- 2 year degree) or Bachelors (from a university- 4 year degree) Keep in mind many university have RN to BSN programs where you can continue on after you are licensed as a RN to get your bachelors.

    After that you need to pick a school. Find out what their pre requisites are (courses you need to take to be able to apply into the program, and other general education classes you can take during the program), its a good idea to take those first. That way when you start taking nursing classes thats all you take.

    Take any tests you need to take now. Go ahead and take your SAT and ACT when its time, that way regardless of what you decide you will be set as far as required testing goes.


    After you finish your pre requisites you can apply into the program. Then you must complete the program, graduate, and take the NCLEX-RN exam... that is the board exam to get licensed to work as a RN. During your last semester of nursing school you usually start applying for positions. Apply for an ER position. After you get out of school and start your job, you will go through a (hopefully) lengthy training period to help transition you from a student to a nurse, and this will provide training in your particular position.

    I think your best bet is to go talk to your guidance counselor. Also check out the student nurse forums here for an idea of what nursing school is all about.

    Good luck!
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    Hi there! You might also want to get in contact with your local hospitals. It's possible one of them might allow you to shadow a nurse for a few hours, and you can speak with someone in person and in the field. Also, are there any local nursing advocacy organizations in your community? You might find some great contacts there as well. Try contacting some nursing schools directly as well, and find out what prereqs you'll need. High-school guidance counselors don't always know that much about the nursing profession.
  11. 0
    Thanks a lot everyone you are all so helpful. I actually e-mailed my college prep. counsler (I am homeschooled) about my classes and I am planning to do some volenteer work at the hospital and see if it could do my work around the ER if that is possible I don't know. I will probably do the 4 year college degree for RN or BSN. Dose it really matter what college you go to for this degree? Or would you need to go to a better known one?

    Here is a link of where I want to go and the degree it is even connected to a nursing school

    http://www.snc.edu/futurestudents/nursing/

    (if you can't click on it copy and paste)

    Dose it sound good? Again thanks everyone soo much and i will look in pre-nursing fourm!!

    Amanda
  12. 0
    Quote from happy_bunny_101
    Thanks a lot everyone you are all so helpful. I actually e-mailed my college prep. counsler (I am homeschooled) about my classes and I am planning to do some volenteer work at the hospital and see if it could do my work around the ER if that is possible I don't know. I will probably do the 4 year college degree for RN or BSN. Dose it really matter what college you go to for this degree? Or would you need to go to a better known one?

    Here is a link of where I want to go and the degree it is even connected to a nursing school

    http://www.snc.edu/futurestudents/nursing/

    (if you can't click on it copy and paste)

    Dose it sound good? Again thanks everyone soo much and i will look in pre-nursing fourm!!

    Amanda
    Looks good!!!

    I would visit the school, talk to the instructors. See if you can talk to some students that already attend the program. Lots of schools have lunch meetings for pre-nursing students, go to one of those. See if you can find out how students fair on the NCLEX, you ideally want a school that has a 1st time NCLEX pass rate above the national average. Ask about people who have graduated, how many are working and in what areas are they working.

    Good idea on the volunteering - it would be great if you could try ER so you can see. See if your ER will allow you to job shadow (some do, some don't).

    As you get further in your education you might want to look at working part time or PRN (per-diem) as a CNA or tech during NS. That will also give you lots of exposure to a wide variety of areas and departments.

    You seem well on your way!!!!


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