What else can you do with ER experience?


I start my new grad internship in the ER on June 1st and I'm over the moon excited :D

Two of my clinical instructors have made comments about the limitations that going to the ER out of school brings with it, and although at this point I'm perfectly fine with staying in the ER, I'm curious if this is true. What say ye?


190 Posts

Anything. The floors love ER nurses because you become more confident in crisis by experiencing crisis. You're instructors are WAY off from my experience.

Specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care. Has 26 years experience.

ED experience is a big help if you would like to transfer to any of the critical care areas in the future. You will already have the ACLS, PALS, rhythm interpretation classes completed; as well as being familiar with several different kinds of drips. You would still need a lot of training if you did decide to move into a critical care area because the floors just don't operate at all like the ED does, but at least you would have a solid background and feel comfortable with the stuff I mentioned above, making the transition a little smoother. It often seems that if ED nurses do transfer, it's to one of those areas - just like how critical care nurses seem to transfer to the ED.

ED nurses are also highly valued by urgent care clinics, and also do well in the occupational health arena. It is also a great place to get experience should you decide to go on to become a NP.


6 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 2 years experience.

Congratulations on starting as a new grad in the ER. I personally think that you have an advantage starting in the ER as opposed to starting on a medical or surgical floor. In the ER you will get to see and care for people of all ages from newborn to very elderly. On the floors you will see only adults, unless you work in peds. In the ER you will get the chance to do focused assessments on all body systems. If you worked on a surgical floor you would typically only focus on the system which has just been operated on.

Emergency is fast paced, so it forces you to be organized and prioritize your patients. Both excellent skills any specialty would consider an asset.

As said previously from the ER, nurses typically transition to critical care areas, or the recovery room. With ER experience you can also choose to work in smaller isolated rural areas of the north, your experience will better train you for this than working on a med/surg floor would.

Don't let anyone get you down about starting in the ER. It's a wonderful place to work, and can lead to many opportunities for various employment in the future. Good luck :)


161 Posts

Specializes in CAPA RN, ED RN. Has 45 years experience.

I see ED RNs transitioning to almost anything they want - administration, case management, QA, home care, any critical care area, clinic management, consulting, traveling nursing, you name it. Perhaps your instructors see ED nurses that love the field and stay in it. This does not mean they don't have other opportunities. Many positions even state they would like to see someone with ED experience apply.

On the other hand, any other experience you bring to ED will enhance what you do in the ED. If you have an opportunity to develop a philosophy practicing as an RN in another less stressful setting it is also a bonus. But there's nothing wrong with starting in the ED. You will have many opportunities as you go along including becoming a great ED RN.

The advice to start in MedSurg is a fallacy, IMHO. It's not wrong or bad to do that, but it is also not a necessity. Start wherever you like.

Congratulations on graduating, on starting your Nursing career, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment as a nurse. God bless you. Let us know how it goes and allow us to be supportive to you.

ER nurses make good correctional facility and summer camp nurses, among lots of other specialties, I'd think, as you will have the experience of meeting lots of varied situations head on.


194 Posts

Thank you all so much, I appreciate your responses :redpinkhe

You made me feel better about my future!


1,361 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,. Has 17 years experience.

Don';t forget call center nursing!