ER Employment

Specialties Emergency


I have been in the medical career field now for seventeen years and have performed many jobs. Nursing Assistant, Military Medic, EMT, Paramedic, LPN, and now RN. My goal throught the many years has been to work in an emergency department. When I go for a job interview, the only point that I can see is how long have you been a RN. They fail to see all the knowledge, experience, and abilities you can obtain if you apply yourself. I have been interviewed by the ER Director and even made it to the Shift superviisors, but they never call to offer me a position. My question is what must I posses (Education, knowledge, etc.) in order to gain employment. I love nursing and have made many personal and financial sacrificies to make it this far. Any ideas or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

If everything you say is true, I can't see any reason why they wouldn't have offered you the job right then and there. I know GN's who have been hired to work ER (albeit they had a lengthy orientation period. I think you need to go to the people who interviewed you and ask them why you weren't hired and if they have any advice that may avert a second interview failure. Your next step might be to get a job in an ICU- if you do that, then after 6months apply for a transfer to the ER and are still turned down...well, I believe there may be more to your story and if it were me , I'm not sure THATS the ER where I'd want to work.

good luck

Doci, If you also wanted to gain additional knowledge and skills. For example; EKG's phlebotomy, IV's, ACLS, PALS, TNCC. Then they still turn you down, Look for another hospital, there not for you.......

Some hospitals offer a course in ER nursing for any RN wishing to work in the ER. You might want to check other hospitals for such a course and also ACLS, TNCC etc. Good Luck!

As a RN with 23 years of experience and a manager I would tell you to get some med surg experience as a RN. The expectations of the RN is an ED is vastly different than any of the jobs you have held in the past. Be patient. If you have proved yourself as a compitent nurse in a less demanding area, after six months, there should be no reason that you should not be hired in ER when a position becomes available. I firmly believe that no new grad regardless of past experience should be hired into a speciality area without first proving themselves in basic nursing first.

[This message has been edited by nebula97 (edited 09-13-98).]

doci, I also worked as a medic prior to becoming an RN. I did the mandatory 6 months on a med/surg unit and am glad that I did. I proved myself as a competent nurse and showed that I could work with other nurses. I also was given charge duties quite often, my medic experience prepared me for the responsibilities of leadership and decision making that go with being incharge of a unit and to shift gears quickly when the unit got busy or a patient went bad, but I still had to show those skills somewhere besides on a resume. I transferred to an ICU/CCU with 18 beds that admitted just about anything including fresh open hearts, (no trauma), this still took the usual 2 years to be comfortable with ICU nursing but now I am working in another ICU and neuro unit and am also on a critical care transport team. This is a specialty team, one of only about 3 in the country that will transport patients on cardiac bypass or with ventricular assist devices. My pre-hospital training has helped me with the job of continuing education for this team, it was quite a challenge to prepare the rest of the team for the paramedic test when we were required to become PHRNs. Be patient and flexible and you will achieve your goals.

I thought I wanted ER nursing too when I got out of school, the ERs wouldnt hire me and the hospital I was hired by said I needed 6 months on a med/surg unit. After that 6 months on the med/surg unit the ER still wouldnt transfer me so I transferred to their ICU(also a critical care area) and am glad that I did. When my current transport team and ICU position presented itself I was prepared for it and had all the qualifications.

feel free to e-mail me [email protected] for further chats


To doci:

Please call me at 877-277-3502 or e-mail me at [email protected] to dicuss opportun-

ities in nursing.

Eddy Fitzhugh

Sr. Search Consultant

Allied Consulting Inc.

Perhaps you are looking for a job at a level 1 trama center instead of a level 2 or 3...I am a fairly recent grad, with 1 year high risk perinatal (hospital setting) and 4 years of EMT...I applied at a level 2 trama center, and was hired the next day. I know that I will need many years experience before I will be able to run with the big dogs, but I am soaking up every bit of knowledge I can in the mean time. Sometimes, we have to walk before we can run. I am getting my bearings, and love the challenge the ER presents me, but I also reallize that I have much to learn before I can stand in the shoes of my peers in the larger trama centers. One day, I'll be there, but not before my dues have been paid.

Specializes in Emergency.

my advice is to get a med-surg position and do that for 6 months to a year and then transfer within the hospital to the ed. keep your eye out for internal postings for ed positions and jump on them. the managers and directors will like that you know the hospitals' policies and the paperwork. keep trying, you'll get there! if they won't let you in the front door, go in the back. good luck!!! :nurse:

Specializes in Emergency.
I firmly believe that no new grad regardless of past experience should be hired into a speciality area without first proving themselves in basic nursing first.

THANK YOU!!! This opinion now seems to be considered "old school," but it is so true!!! I always wanted to be an emergency nurse. It's why I became a nurse. My aunt was an RN for 44 years. 38 of them in the ED. I was offered 2 different ED fellowship programs, but she told me to forget it, do med-surg for a year or two and then go to the ED. I took her advice, did about a year and a half, and now I have been in the ED for 2 years. It was the best decision I've ever made. My time on med-surg (while I hated it while I was doing it and I felt like a drone) taught me SOOOOO much. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. I had a LOT to learn when I went to the ED, and I still do, but the med-surg taught me basic nursing skills and I truly believe that every nurse should start out doing med-surg.

Specializes in Emergency, Critical Care Transport.


I sent you a PM.

Good luck to you.


So....this thread was started a good 12+ years ago. Hopefully the OP has found an ER position by now if that remained her/his goal.

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