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Suggested Reading for New Grad entering the ER


Specializes in Emergency Nursing, Clinic Nursing.

Hello All!

I am nursing student and I will be graduating in May. I have been offered a position in a Emergency Room (6 month orientation-- thank goodness) and I am very excited. I was wondering what reading/reference books do you suggest to prepare for the transition?

Thank you for your help,



Specializes in ER / RENAL / ICU. Has 2 years experience.

Congratulations! There are a lot of books regarding emergency nursing. It would help that you are familiar with common drugs and their dosages. The key is anticipating and managing each case you encounter. Brush up on your triaging too. I can't recommend anything specific as each hospital have varied policies on the intervention (especially on IV fluids).

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Sheehy's Emergency Nursing: Principles and Practice is my #1 recommendation. :) Congrats again on the job!

Medic09, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Flight. Has 10 years experience.

IF you have time, I recommend picking up a paramedic textbook and perusing it. It still amazes me how much some nurses DON'T know about what the EMS crews are doing out there. Or maybe just look at the local protocols. Not necessary, but possibly an eye opener.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Agree with knowing local protocols. Also good to know which drugs EMS does and doesn't carry. If I have to answer "Do they have Zofran out there?" one more time, I might go nuts. :D


Specializes in Emergency Department.

Hi and congrats on the job offer in ER even before graduation! I'm a new grad RN and got hired into a busy ER shortly after obtaining my licence. So far it's an exciting, chaotic, overwhelming whirlwind and I hope you love it as much as I do. The strongly second the Sheehy's Emergency Nursing manual, it is direct and comprehensive. I also bought a small spiralbound reference to carry in my pocket that I have found to be very helpful. it is Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide ACLS Version by Informed.

Good luck! Christine

As a previous poster mentioned, get some pre-hospital paramedic books... They get right to the point in those and offer step-by-step for trauma's and emergencies like acute asthmatic attacks, heart attack, etc... So you feel prepared for the major things - tho the majority of emerg nursing (as per my experience) has been much more medical clinic type presentations as compared to true emergent or critical situations. Also, get an older but recent copy of advanced medical life support and ACLS and trauma nurse core course from somewhere like abebooks.com. I am orientating to emerg and am a new grad and what I've done that helps me also is to make case studies out of patients I've had, and go back and review everything that was done, why they were done, if things could have been done differently and why, and review related lab work and body systems. I've found that it helps me to consolidate my theoretical knowledge with applied practice and to identify gaps in my learning. Ask lots of questions on the floor and you'll do fine! Good luck!

I am a recent grad now orienting in ER. I love it. It's very challenging, and the pace is great. Don't get me started on the oddball cases -- they're the icing on the cake.

I am getting ready to take ACLS next month, so right now I'm glued to the American Heart Association's preparation materials. I mentioned to my charge nurse this morning that I wish I'd started looking at it before I took the job.

I bought several books from the "Incredibly Easy" series and hid them in my bag -- I was too embarassed the veterans would spot the title. I accidentally left one on ECG interpretation at the nurses' station one day and, when I returned, was pleasantly surprised when several nurses asked to borrow it! They are good books and painless reads. (Warning: the ACLS book is overwhelming. Stick with the AHA materials initially.)

I also bought the Sheehy's text book based on recommendations from allnurses readers, and it is good. I think I would benefit more, though, from Sheehy's handbook on treatments for specific ailments. Your ER will likely have a copy.

I also have a copy of Lippincott's CEN review book that I keep at my bedside for a little late-night reading. Just a page or two of questions a night helps me build knowledge and reflect on the cases I've seen that day.

Good luck and congratulations!


Specializes in Emergency Nursing, Clinic Nursing.

Wow! Thank you for all of your help. I am a HUGE nerd so the thought of more reading to do makes me happy :p


First of all congratulations and I'm jealous. In Miami and can't find a job post graduation let alone pre-graduation.

During my job search I have been studying for ER as well.

I am new grad, though worked as EMT and ER Tech so u can take my suggestions after those of the experienced nurses, but I found

ACLS course book

PALS course book

TNCC course book

Rapid Interpretation of EKGs

CEN Review course by Jeff Solheim (not a book but online course)

all great at filling the gaps left by nursing school. Anyway best of luck, and please send some my way ;-)