The emergency room of a hospital is one of the most high-stress environments a registered nurse can work in. While most people praise the doctors working in this ward for the care they provide in emergency situations, the nurses in the ER room also play a vital role in administering proper patient care. ER nurses are responsible for ensuring that high priority ER patients get the treatment they need as soon as they need it. If you want to work in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment, check out the ER nurse job description below. It should provide you with insight into the career so you can determine if it is a good fit for you.
ER Nurse Job Duties
The job duties of an ER nurse will vary considerably with every passing day. There are some responsibilities that ER nurses have as a whole, but different patients bring on new challenges every hour in this field. Here is a look at some of the ER nursing job duties that lie at the core of this career:
- Prioritizing patient care based on severity
- Assessing the primary complaints a patient has
- Monitoring patient flow in the emergency care system
- Taking initial vital signs for patients before examination
- Assisting ER doctors in their day to day activities
There are many other responsibilities that may go into this field, so you will need to be flexible to work as an ER nurse. If you feel that you can adapt to new obstacles on a regular basis, you may do quite well in emergency room nursing.
ER Nurse Salary Levels
Even though ER nurses work in one of the most stressful environments in the medical field, they are not paid as well as many other nurses. That is because ER nurses do not have any specialized education. They are trained to work with generic problems because they never know what kinds of people they may come across in their jobs. With that in mind, you can still make a decent salary in this career, especially if you have been around it for several years. The charts below showcase some of the average ER nurse salary ranges in the country at this time. You can use them to approximate what you may earn in ER nursing in the future.
Salary by Years of Experience
- Less than 1 year: $28,877 – $67,129 per year
- 1-4 years: $33,411 – $73,746 per year
- 5-9 years: $40,288 – $81,345 per year
- 10-19 years: $44,485 – $94,152 per year
- 20 years or more: $48,540 – $101,495 per year
Salary by Certification
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support: $39,975 – $88,084 per year
- Basic Life Support: $40,268 – $119,195 per year
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: $38,493 – $86,827 per year
- Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse: $40,400 – $79,040 per year
- Certified Emergency Nurse: $48,334 – $96,958 per year
- Critical Care: $38,391 – $88,138 per year
- Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course: $42,687 – $85,000 per year
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support: $42,411 – $89,396 per year
- Registered Nurse: $43,487 – $76,555 per year
- Trauma Nursing Course Certified: $47,907 – $93,433 per year
Salary by Degree
- Associate Degree Nursing: $43,787 – $87,665 per year
- Associate of Applied Science in Nursing: $30,201 – $85,801 per year
- Associate of Science in Nursing: $41,015 – $80,811 per year
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: $39,202 – $88,542 per year
- Diploma of Nursing: $49,114 – $67,907 per year
- Master of Science in Nursing: $35,745 – $117,446 per year
With better certifications, higher education, and more years of experience, you should see an increase in your salary as an emergency room nurse. The nursing salary in your area may be slightly different than the ranges above, just because of the fluctuations in the economy. No matter where you live though, you still should come out with a decent salary if you decide to work as an ER nurse.
How to Become an ER Nurse
If you would like to become an ER nurse, you will need to get an associate’s degree in nursing or higher. This will give you the base level education you need to work with patients and assess medical problems. As long as you pass the test for your nursing license, you should be able to find work in an emergency room near you.