Transition to ER from med surg

by Mqshell Mqshell (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Med surg long term care.

I am considering moving to the ER, the manager told me I would go through a program of education and classes through the ena and 8 weeks of preceptorship. Kinda a shorten version of residency.  My question is how difficult are the classes for certifications and how difficult is ACLS and PALS to get? I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of certifications I’m gonna need in the next 8 weeks but I really do wanna try the ER but I’m afraid if I’m in over my head. It’s going to be stressful enough with a pandemic and then add classes. I’m curious if anyone is doing this or going through it how difficult it has been. I know it’s a completely different version of nursing and I need the classes. 

MD married to RN

MD married to RN

Specializes in EM. Has 29 years experience. 32 Posts

Last year we hired a surgical floor nurse to work in our ED. She is doing very well. She is academically curious, works hard, and was feeling stagnant after 5+ years on a surgical floor. 

The certs are not too hard. If you are willing to work, enjoy craziness, are a little nuts, you will be fine!

Edited by MD married to RN

DayDreamin ER CRNP

DayDreamin ER CRNP

Specializes in ED. Has 12 years experience. 640 Posts

I have seen two types that come from med surg to the ER. One makes it, one does not. The difference is attitude.  If an RN thinks she is going to come down here and “show everyone how it’s done,” or if she is lazy and not a team player, she will not make it.  If she utters the phrases, “I didn’t get my break,” or “That’s not my patient,” or “I can’t find the tech to take my patient to the bathroom,” after looking for ten minutes she is not suited for the ER.  
If she comes down with an attitude and desire to learn and be challenged, is proactive and can critically think, goes in other rooms to help without being asked and has thick skin with a decent bullshitometer, she will soar.

The cert classes are not hard but not easy-peasy either.  With MS you’ve already gotten a decent foundation so any classes should be a challenge but not difficult.    It is not like any other floor or unit and that’s how we like it.  It changes minute by minute and you have to be able to adapt and overcome quickly.