ER Nurse

Students Pre-Nursing


I have heard that once you get a job nursing that you had better have picked which area you want to work (like pediatrics, maternity, icu, ER) b/c it's really hard to move around. Well I won't know until clinicals which area I really want to work in, but the ER seems like it'd be an interesting place... my question is, do they have any special certifications/degrees that you need in order to work in the ER?

Specializes in PACU.

A few months ago I asked my mother, an ER nurse for 20+ years. She said the short answer was BLS and ACLS certification (and I believe a few others I can't remember off the top of my head) as well as telemetry experience. Possibly some other people might be able to chime in with a better answer.

Specializes in CRNA.

BLS, ACLS, PALS, ENPC, TNCC are a few that our ER nurses have. Another is CEN which is Certified Emergency Nurse.


27 Posts

Thank you guys! :) Looks like if I want to be an ER nurse I have a lot more education than just my nursing program.


3 Articles; 10,428 Posts

You will not have difficulty going to the ED if you qualify for the job, and there's an opening. You cannot "go into it" without having the necessary whoever told you "it's difficult to move around" is wrong. That said, every facility has their own requirements for what is needed, what is considered enough of the right experience. Some do have new grad programs, most do not; they expect you to gain the knowledge on the acute care floors (ie: Med-Surg).

You asked about certifications and degrees. Well, there is absolutely NO certification you can get without experience. When people say they are "certified" in ACLS, PALS, BLS, these are not specialty certifications (which matter when an employer asks about certifications). A "certificate" that one has taken and passed those programs are naturally the base minimum for applying; they do not set you apart. Llike CowboyMedic mentioned, TNCC and CEN are certifications, but you don't get them until you HAVE BEEN working in the setting already. It is to show your proficiency in the specialty area. You cannot get them fresh out of school.

ICU and ED typically require measurable experience in an acute care unit (med-surg, respiratory, cardiac, etc). Once you are able to demonstrate knowledge and ability in those areas, THEN you will be able to be considered for a higher level of care....and you collect the letters later ;)



3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

Most nurses move around plenty over the course of their careers. If you were to start out in one area to gain experience then move to ER, you'd be fine. You never know what may spark your interest once you get into clinicals. I didn't think psych nursing would interest me so much! I still want to pursue midwifery, but I am considering positions now that I wouldn't have thought interested me before. Others I am grateful I experienced in clinicals, because they either bored me to tears or just sparked ZERO interest after a day or two.

I think these guys have explained way better than I could what else you'll need!

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