How'd You Get Your ER Job?

  1. 0
    I'm hoping to find an Emergency Room job when I graduate next year and was wondering how everyone found their job. My plan is to look for openings that do not require experience, just prefer it, then show up on the unit in professional clothing with my resume and hand it to the ER Director in person. I figure a face-to-face introduction shows much more initiative than submitting an online application. How did everyone else land their emergency job?

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  2. 41 Comments...

  3. 1
    I sought out an ER job pretty much out of school. They would not hire me without any experience. And I am GLAD now. I have worked in Med Surg and I am now in Urgent Care. There is a TON to learn. I would have died going straight into the ER. I don't think many hospitals hire new nurses into the ER unless you can get into an ER nurse training program. Good luck!!
    hoopschick likes this.
  4. 5
    Quote from commonsense
    How did everyone else land their emergency job?
    I worked hard for it...
    TabKC, LaughingRN, emmanewgrad, and 2 others like this.
  5. 3
    Join the ENA (they have student memberships) and go to local chapter meetings and network. Talk to your clinical instructors and your lecture instructors when you start applying to jobs and ask them for recommendations and also if they know anyone in the department you're looking at. If you can get an ER tech job while in school, or any CNA job, do it.

    ERs are busy- I think you run the risk of being a major pain in the butt if you show up hoping to hand your resume to the manager. Our unit is also locked except the emergency entrance part, so you can't just waltz back and see the manager.

    I started in the ER as a new grad. Several of my classmates have also started in various ERs in the region- the ones that hire new grads are scarce but they are out there. It's challenging but I love it and feel well-supported by my coworkers and management.
    happyinillinois, Altra, and Crux1024 like this.
  6. 3
    Yes, I would have to highly advise against just showing up and plopping a resume into the hands of the ED Manager.

    For one thing, hospitals are investing so much these days in training nurses that managers don't necessarily have the ability to hire anyone they want. They often have to be vetted thru HR first, and it may even be against policy to hire without that HR stamp of approval first before the manager can even interview you.

    Look around for any hospitals that are offering a Versant residency, or similar type of new grad specialty residency.

    Have you done a practicum or clinical in ER yet thru school?

    Is that an option?

    How do you know you want to work in ER?

    It's an incredibly steep learning curve, even for nurses with experience, so be prepared to hate it at times, and know that you will be willing to commit to at least 2 years before you really feel comfortable in ER, as well as continuing to study and take specialty training while working.
    kids, FancypantsRN, and Crux1024 like this.
  7. 1
    Agree with above. I would definitely not just show up with resume in hand. I know you are really driven to get the job, but I believe now everything goes through HR.

    I am one of those that believe in getting some floor experience prior to the ER. Some new grads do great in the ER, only you can judge that for yourself.

    Good luck to you whatever you chose
    hoopschick likes this.
  8. 1
    The hospitals where I have worked will not hire new grads for ER. You really need to be quick and proficient at basic nursing care, like starting IV's on difficult patients, etc. You need good, fast assessment skills, because you never know what will come thru the door at any minute. Lots of new grads want to work the ER; they see it as more exciting than basic floor nursing; but really the best way to gain experience is on the floor.
    hoopschick likes this.
  9. 1
    I spent 3+ years as an ER tech. My job offer was something like "We're not letting you leave" when I finished nursing school. I recommend trying to find work in an ER before you finish school.
    hiddencatRN likes this.
  10. 3
    HR thought I was a good fit for the ER, I had a dozen years pre-hospital experience and the hospital I was applying to was the primary destination for my squad. I knew the NM, the assistant NM and quite a few nurses by name if not just by sight. They offered me a job the day of the interview.

    As for just handing your resume to the NM, mmmm, don't know about that. As stated above, there are a lot of constraints on hiring these days. I would suggest following the protocol, but maybe stopping by the ER and talking to the NM. Go in the later AM, say around 11 or so. Do not go on Monday and do not go after 3pm. They're gonna be hopping.

    And as for the 1 year of med/surg before the ER. Nope, don't think it's necessary. Follow your heart. Head for the dark side......
    Pneumothorax, Skeletor, and hiddencatRN like this.
  11. 1
    I refused to accept anything but an er job when I graduated. I stood my ground, networked like crazy and got an er job when I drove an hour away to a facility that was having an open house for new grads on the off chance the director might actually show up and I could convince her to hire me. She showed up, said something snarky while I talked real fast.

    Came home and told my future husband "that was a waste of time". they offered to interview me a few days later and I got hired. Lol I also turned down firmly any " maybe you are willing to try med surge first" offers that came my way un the meantime.

    Be real with yourself and ask yourself how important is it to you? Look for a gig as a tech and network like crazy!
    emmanewgrad likes this.

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