Welcome to another exciting article that will enable you to kickstart your career as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP).
Today, we will answer the questions about the Emergency Nurse Practitoner field.
By the end of this article, you will know everything about an ER Nurse’s career, including skills, duties, and the ways to become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner.
Here is what we will discuss in this informative guide:
Let’s get on with it!
What is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner
People passionate about serving their community and helping others often seek careers in healthcare or Nursing care.
An Emergency Nurse Practitioner or ENP is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or APRN.
Who is Board-certified and has pursued an advanced or master’s degree.
They are well-trained professionals that practice their expertise and provide patient care in the emergency department, trauma center, or urgent care center.
They are well-versed in providing urgent care to sick or injured patients.
They are Primary Healthcare Providers who can also cater to acute and chronic conditions alongside sudden onsets or exacerbations of injuries and other diseases.
The ENPs are trained to assess, examine, diagnose, and treat patients of all backgrounds, races, and ages.
From infants to children, adults, and the elderly, they provide critical care to patients.
Required Skills of an Emergency Nurse Practitioner
To ace any career, it is important to acquire and practice the skills required by the relevant field.
The career as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner is demanding and can be overwhelming- nevertheless rewarding.
The emergency department sees a high influx of patients every day in every healthcare setting.
It is not easy to practice emergency medicine in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, from accidents to sick patients.
As an ENP, you will have to work long hours- whether full-time or part-time, including night shifts and often compromise your weekends and holidays.
The question here is, do you have what it will take to become a successful ENP- the competencies and the skills?
The only way to know that you are “Emergency Room” ready is to assess yourself on the following criteria:
The ability to work quickly and multitask
There is usually no sitting around in an emergency room.
Due to the high volume of patients, who often require critical care, the ER Nurses need to think and work quickly, and that too on multiple tasks together.
For example, examining and treating the patients while writing down their conditions and filling out the formalities – the Doctors and Nurses in an emergency care facility should be confident, assertive, and not hesitant in implementing the right decisions quickly.
Delaying the procedure by even a minute can put the patient’s life at stake.
The ability to stay calm and polite
As an ER Nurse, you often encounter patients in serious conditions or those who do not cooperate and give you a hard time.
However, it is crucial to stay calm in such situations and not lose your cool.
If the patient or their families panic, the ER Nurse must stay composed, no matter how worse the condition gets.
The ability to communicate effectively
ER Doctors and patients prefer Nurses who can communicate effectively, directly, confidently, and honestly.
Moreover, the Nurses need to be efficient enough to communicate with the patient’s family and friends.
Effective communication skills are key to enhancing patient satisfaction and reducing patient complaints.
To cope with extreme situations
In the ER, the environment is depressing and sad.
ER patients, babies, or young adults do not survive their sickness or injuries.
ER Nurses often deliver the news to the families and cater to the last formalities.
An Emergency Nurse Practitioner must be able to handle such losses.
The ability to manage time
Once you start as an ER Nurse, you will feel exhausted and overwhelmed often.
But you cannot overlook your responsibilities even if you are tired or sleepy.
Time management is one of the key skills that makes you a capable ER Nurse.
These skills directly impact your duties and your career as an ER Nurse.
Roles and Responsibilities of an Emergency Nurse Practitioner
ER Nurses play the primary role in delivering professional patient care.
Therefore, they have to be vigilant in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities:
- Assess, examine, diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic injuries and illnesses
- They also need to manage the new onset of diseases or worsening symptoms
- No discrimination- ER Nurses need to treat patients from all backgrounds and statuses, requiring less urgent care
- Treat patients with no other source or who cannot afford medical care with the same professionalism
- Treat patients of all ages
- Perform emergency triage and prioritize patients according to the level of emergency attention they need
- Perform resuscitation (CPR) on patients
- Be assertive and make the right medical decisions quickly
- Evaluate and monitor the condition of patients
- Perform bedside and other clinical procedures such as IVs, intubations, cannula insertion, central line access, blood investigations, and checking blood sugar and blood pressure levels
- Coordinate and manage the transfer of patient care
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests and studies
- Prescribe relevant therapies and medications
- Provide patient education and consultation
- Show team effort and work in collaboration with other healthcare personnel
- Advocate for patients
If you believe that you can be a good fit in the emergency care department and positively impact, read on to know how to become an ER Nurse.
Follow these steps to become a successful career as an ENP:
Emergency Nurse Practitioner – Career Guide
Emergency Nurse Practitioners or ENPs are dedicated and valuable professionals responsible for saving many lives every day.
Therefore, they need to undergo certain qualifications and commit time to their work.
Here is what it takes to become a qualified ER Nurse:
- 2-5 years of education- a bachelor’s degree program such as ADN or BSN
- Acquire the licensure by passing the NCLEX-RN exam
- Two years of experience working in an Acute Care setting
- Further 2-4 years of education- MSN or DNP to become an Advanced Practice Nurse or Emergency Nurse Practitioner
Follow these steps to become a successful career as an ENP:
Become a Licensed RN – Registered Nurse
You cannot become an ENP if you do not qualify as an RN or a Registered Nurse Practitioner.
The first step to your career in ER is to earn a BSN- Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an ADN- Associate Degree in Nursing.
Once you get your degree, you will have to appear for and pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) exam to acquire the licensure and become legal to practice.
NCLEX is a nationwide licensing examination service provider in Canada and the US.
BSN is a bachelor’s degree, while ADN is a diploma.
Therefore, after your ADN, you will have to supplement your diploma by either earning a BSN degree or undergoing an accelerated program from RN to NP.
After Your License, Gain Adequate Experience
To ace your career in any healthcare field, it is important to gain hands-on experience and improve your clinical skills.
As an ENP, you need to work in an Acute Care setting, such as an urgent care center, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or Emergency Department.
Your experience defines your expertise and professionalism.
It allows you invaluable exposure to the most common yet critical aspects of patient care that you encounter in an emergency setting.
Earn a Master’s or Advanced Degree
To transition into a Nurse Practitioner – an emergency NP from a Registered Nurse- RN, you need to earn an Advanced Nurse Practitioner Program.
For example, you can go for DNP- Doctor of Nursing Practice or MSN- Master of Science in Nursing.
If you wish to specialize in the clinical side of Nursing, go for MSN.
But for Nurse Practitioners interested in leadership and management roles, DNP is the way out.
Both offer part-time or full-time programs online or on-site.
The coursework for these Nursing programs includes:
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Clinical Diagnosis and Practice across the Lifespan
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Differential Diagnosis and Primary Care
- Leadership and Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse
- Primary Care of Childbearing and Practicum (OB-GYN)
- Population Health
These Advanced Nursing Programs approved by the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) include didactic classroom learning and hands-on clinical training.
Add on Certifications
To enhance the Emergency Nurse Practitioner’s competence and skills, they can work in the following departments and attain certifications:
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Advanced Life Support (NALS)
Often the advanced programs offer these certifications because they need the candidate to get credentialed as an ENP-BC (ENP-C) or Emergency Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified by the ANCC- American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Also, suppose you are a Family Nurse Practitioner-FNP.
In that case, you can get your ENP Certification by appearing for and passing the exam held by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certifying Board or the AANPCB.
As an ENP, you will have to get recertified every five years.
After that, you can choose one of the two options, such:
- By performing at least 1000 clinical practice hours in an emergency care setting and fulfilling 100 emergency-related requirements in continuing education within the past five years
- Sit the ENP certification exam and pass it before the current, active certification expires
Pathway to becoming an ER Nurse
To sum it all up, you can become an ENP by earning:
- MSN degree
- Post Grad certificate
- BSN to DNP
Before you choose any career, it is important to learn what the future looks like- the job positions, salary life, and progressive growth.
As per the reports published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US- BLS- the demand for Nurse Practitioners in healthcare settings is expected to grow up to 45% from 2019-to 2029.
With the ever-increasing employment opportunities, the salary outlook is also good.
Although the pay scale depends on the individual’s expertise, experience, skills, and certifications, the average annual salary for an ENP ranges from $102,441 to $122,640.
As per many studies by the AAPN or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, currently, only 495 Emergency Nurse Practitioners in the U.S. are Board-certified.
Even though the number of Family Nurse Practitioners is higher than the ENPs, the opportunities remain a driver, and the Nursing career in healthcare anticipates progressive growth.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have a knack for serving and taking care of people, enroll in a Nursing program and build a rewarding career.