Nursing Job Opportunities: Becoming an ER Nurse or CNA

nursing job opportunitiesWorking in the nursing field is something you’ve always dreamed about, but you have very specific details for that dream. You don’t want to spend every shift waiting and watching the clock. You want to see as much as possible, experience as much as possible, and get your hands just a little bit dirty.

You want to be an ER nurse or CNA.

In the emergency room, time stands still for no-one. While there may be the occasional slow hour, you’ll most likely find yourself rushing from one area to another, trying to keep five patients alive at the same time. The rush, the sense of purpose- there’s nothing quite like it.

Nursing Job Opportunities: Who can Work in the ER?

RNs, LPNs, and CNAs can all work in the ER, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every hospital is going to be willing to employ you if you earn your certification or licensure. In fact, you may find that earning your LPN credentials doesn’t help your resume at all. Many hospitals won’t hire LPNs, especially for the emergency room. Why?

  • LPNs don’t have the advanced training that RNs do.
  • LPNs are not eligible to become certified emergency room nurses. This title is only available to RNs.
  • A registered nurse can perform the same tasks as a LPN, and more.

If you’re trying to figure out how to become a nurse in the ER, start by understanding that the RN credentials will put you one step ahead. In order to get to that point, though, you need to begin with some training. You’ll first need to get an associate of science in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing and pass your NCLEX-RN test. After this, you can begin working as an RN. Becoming an emergency room nurse isn’t that easy, though. You’ll need to work for two years in emergency nursing and then apply to take a certification exam. You’ll have the option of becoming certified in emergency, or CEN, pediatric emergency, or CPEN, flight, or CFRN, and critical care ground transport, or CTRN. These areas of nursing will not only allow you to experience more and help more individuals, but you’ll also earn a better paycheck.

Nursing Job Opportunities: CNAs in the ER

While RNs rule the ER, they don’t do it alone. As a CNA, you can work in the emergency room after CNA training, taking care of the basic needs of the patients who arrive. You’ll follow each patient’s care plan and work as a certified health care assistant under the watchful eye of an RN or LPN. Some of your duties may include:

  • Accumulating information upon intake
  • Taking vital signs
  • Restocking supplies
  • Sterilizing rooms
  • Feeding, grooming, and assisting patients with activities of daily living

Working in a hospital as a health care assistant provides many opportunities for CNAs. You may be able to work flexible hours, earn higher pay, and work overtime, which is generally not something you can expect when working in a long term care facility.

The emergency room is a fast pace work environment available to many individuals who are interested in nursing. If you’re looking to make a difference, the nursing job opportunities are abundant in the ER.


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