What experience is needed?

  1. I am a recent graduate from nursing school and have my RN. I am currently continuing on with my bachelor's degree and working as a float nurse in the local hospital. My experience is limited at this time as I have only been working a few months. I want to know what experience is needed if any to be qualified for a position in the emergency room. I know that because of the nurse shortage some of the local hospitals will hire someone with little trauma experience into the ER. I was just wondering.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   TXERRN
    I got into the ER by applying for an internship program. It really helped prepare me for the day to day torture of the ER. With the nursing shortage as it is, for example, our ER will hire RN's who have at least 6-12mo. ICU experience.
    I wouldn't recommend coming into the ER without some critical care experience or at least an internship. The ER is no place for a new nurse, trust me, I know. They will eat you alive, there is NO time to learn. You must have top assessment skills and excellant time management and organizational skills. You must be able to manage several unstable patients at one time. You get no report on your patients because they just 'walk in' off the street. Established ER nurses are usually too busy to help teach you (my experience).
    These days we are understaffed and have too many patients that are high acuity. Please be sure your nursing skills are steady and strong before even thinking of going to an ER. Good luck.



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    TX ER RN
  4. by   thomsonr
    Thanks for your response. I am very interested in ER nursing though I would not consider going into that area without experience. Do you know of any websites or magazines about this? I am also wanting to do a research project about the ER and nursing do you have any ideas of research questions? Thanks again.
  5. by   Adriana
    Hi!!
    Here in Brazil is the same, when we finish graduation we dont can work in emergency room because we dont have experience. Frequentily we need do 2 years work in hospital and take experience and after we can work in emergency room
    Would i know what de diference until nurse and RN for USA?
    By
    Adri
  6. by   Nittlebug
    Cardiac, telemetry, ICU, peds, med/surg, those are the big ones. I found it extremely helpful to volunteer part time on the local ambulance service and they sent me to school for the EMT basic. I have about one year in each of those areas and I have noticed I had an easier time adjusting to ER than those without my experience.
  7. by   sherryleetns
    r
    Originally posted by thomsonr:
    I am a recent graduate from nursing school and have my RN. I am currently continuing on with my bachelor's degree and working as a float nurse in the local hospital. My experience is limited at this time as I have only been working a few months. I want to know what experience is needed if any to be qualified for a position in the emergency room. I know that because of the nurse shortage some of the local hospitals will hire someone with little trauma experience into the ER. I was just wondering.
    I admire your eager attitude but, would highly recommend you get med/surg and icu/ccu experience first. While doing that there are also so many ways of getting the skills you will need, such as a Trauma Nurse Certification and the advise about EMS time is excellent. The Trauma Nurse Cert. I took years ago offered clinical time on ambulance services and air ambulances also a burn unit rotation and a fantastic pediatric rotation , along with alot of the skills used in ems that we as nurses are not exposed to anywhere but in the ER. On the positive if er/trauma nursing is your bag you will find all of this effort to be FUN. I have been in ER for 8 years and can't imagine being any other kind of nurse. (Except flight nursing, my next goal) I may be just a little prejudiced but I think ER NURSES ARE THE BEST !!!!!!!


    [This message has been edited by sherryleetns (edited February 21, 2001).]
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Amen - ER nurses are tops. I work level I, trauma center - five years now and boy does the time fly. Get peds and ICU experience first. Try out a community hospital ER first if you can. Look for mentors and a solid preceptorship. Good luck.
  9. by   scalper437
    because of the shortage, i went right in to a level 2 trauma center after graduating. 4 months later with acls, pals, tncc behind me i was off orientation and i have never looked back. i have now been working for 9 months and love it. i still have many things to learn but the staff is great and will always pass on good information. I guess i like the challenge and for me it was great way to jumpstart my carrer.
  10. by   CelesteOH
    I have been an ER nurse for just under one year now. Before that I work in Corrections and as a School Nurse for MR/DD. You need to sign up for A.C.L.S. (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), P.A.L.S. (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), and any other emergency type classes you can take. I was in "first-degree" shock for about my first 3 months. I felt like I did not know anything about this type of nursing. I am still learning, everyday something new arises. I guess that is why I LOVE Emergency Nursing. I started out in a very small rural hospital ER and now went to a little bigger one. Things are much busier, but still great. Good Luck to you. And remember, just go for it!!
  11. by   lablover
    I have been a nurse now for 6 years. I have been working in a level 2 trauma center for 10 months. before that I had experience in long term care, home health, 4 years of pediatrics, and 1 year in an ENT office. We have hired some new grads in our department and they have struggled somewhat. I would recommend at least 2 years ICU experience even though several ERs are hiring new graduates. Some people may do very well but there is a lot to learn and unfortunatly sometimes you dont have the opportunity to take your time or go find someone for help like you may in other units. I have enjoyed the ER extremely and do not wish to do anything else. I wish I would have spent time in either PICU or ICU before taking on this role.
  12. by   nursebetty
    Hi I too am a new grad. I could not picture myself doing anything but ER nursing. My goal is to become a flight nurse. I found a preceptorship program at a local hospital. This is a 12 week intensive program that includes classes and clinical days. I went in with ACLS and PALS. Which I think is a good suggestion. I also took a trauma semminar the summer before my 4th semester in nursing school. Anything is possible and because of the nursing shortage many opportunities are available. Go after what you want.

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    Boopeedoop
  13. by   Elena L. Webb
    I agree with the reply" It has a lot to do with your personaliity"! Only the strong will survive. I always wanted to work in ER but at our hospital it was closed to LPN's. While working towards my RN and my "Life's Dream" I got certified as an EMT first. Then I went to Paramedic School. I did a lot of volunteer time in ER much like the techs we have today but on my own time while covering call as a Paramedic. I worked on Oncology as an LPN and floated to ER. I had a lot of experience by the time I finally got my RN liscense. I don't recommend anyone going to the ED unless they have a strong personality and can think fast on their feet. I have my ACLS, TNCC, ENPC, PALS and BTLS. I don't have my CEN or NOWS but I don't have time.We are so short staffed. We have new grads working in ED. The one's with the want to make it but you have to do a lot on your own time. Things change so fast from minute to minute and patient to patient. I think that nothing is more full filling than work at something you love!
  14. by   Cathy RN
    Well it use to be a minimun of two years Nursing experience and you could be concidered. Now with the shortage you can go right into ER even the major trauma centers. They are in dire straights so many have put together clinical courses that they will put you in. Here it is a six week course followed by a clinical orientation. After that you can and should get your ACLS and Your PALS, TNCC is not always available, it is a very good basic course. I think if you do your senior practium in ER then you may just get to go right into this field. Smaller hospitals probably have lower acuity but often do not have the best education resourses. Staffing levels are lower as well and this may affect your orientation experience. If you apply ask about these things up front, if the education is there and the orientation is there go for it.

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