Given the current shortage of available nurses, many emergency departments are hiring new nurses and training them in the skills needed for successful careers in the emergency department.
If you have the opportunity to work in an emergency setting right out of school, look for a hospital or medical facility that has a formal orientation or internship program in place, geared toward non-emergency nurses. Ideally, the program should include:
Talk with human resources personnel or the emergency department manager to discuss an orientation program. If your prospective employer cannot offer this support to you as a new graduate, you should seriously consider whether you can make a successful transition into the emergency department.
Some emergency departments do not hire new graduates because the time-critical nature of emergency situations requires someone with a firm foundation of basic nursing skills. Working in another area of nursing for a year or two prior to specializing in emergency nursing can give you invaluable experience to help pave your path to emergency nursing including:
Attend the following classes to gain the knowledge, skills and credentials that will make you a strong candidate for an ED position:
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (contact your local hospital for course availability)
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (Check with your local colleges or universities that might have courses relating to emergency nursing skills.)
Focus on developing the following skills:
Assessment - rapid and focused
Respiratory assessment, including ABGs and cardiac enzymes
ECG and EKG interpretation
IV access skills
Once you get an emergency nursing position you should be proactive to grow in your new role. Some tips to help you succeed include: