Do I need a BSN to be an Emergency Room Nurse?

ER_NursesIf your goal is to become an ER nurse, it is time to learn about the educational path that you must take to work in an emergency setting as a clinical nurse. All practicing nurses that work with patients are required to get a formal education before they can take a national test to gain licensure. While the educational requirements vary from state to state, most requirements are similar in nature whether you want to become an RN or if you want to specialize in a specific practice area. If you are wondering whether or not you need to enroll in a Bachelor of Science program majoring in Nursing, read on and learn what you need to know to plan for your future.

Minimum Educational Requirements to Become a Certified ER Nurse

Emergency room nurses, who are are also called critical care nurses or urgent care nurses, work closely with patients who have sustained injuries or who are suffering from critical illnesses. Because ER nurses have a huge responsibility, they need to be formally trained to tend to wounds, monitor vitals, assess patients, diagnose symptoms, and respond to emergencies. While you are not required by law to become a certified nurse, most hospitals prefer to hire professionals who have proven their competency through certification.

To become certified, you will need a registered nursing credential. The requirement to get your RN credential can vary from state to state, but most states will require you to complete a BSN or a special nursing degree program from an approved nursing school. There are still some states that allow you to become an RN with an associate’s degree if you complete clinical hours and other special required courses. Be sure to check with your state’s licensing board to find out the exact requirements.

Steps to Take to Get Certified After Your Degree

Once you have earned your degree, you will need to then sit for the national NCLEX examination where you will be tested on your knowledge of practices in the field. After applying for and passing the exam, you will then need to gain experience in a clinical setting where you will care for acute patients who are in need of emergency treatment under the supervision of a physician or a certified nurse.

After you have gained the hands-on experience needed to learn about the Emergency specialty, you can move on to pursuing an Acute/Critical Care Nursing Certification through the AACN. Once certified, you will be able to show that you are trained to contribute in emergency departments by working bedside with critically ill or acute care patients. You will need to take an exam and may need to take multiple exams if you want to specialize in caring for pediatric or adult patients.

There will always be a need for emergency room treatments. Out of the dozens and dozens of different specialties that you can choose from in the field of nursing, the Emergency Room specialty is actually one of the top 7 in demand today. If you feel like you have what it takes to succeed in a field where demand has been driven by healthcare reform, enroll in school and start pursuing a career as an ER Nurse.