Specializing: An Initial Glance into Emergency Nursing

According to www.nursesource.org, in 2000, the majority of emergency registered nurses held associate degrees. And interestingly, though it is 16 years later, I could only wonder on the current implications. With the changes today in health care reform, clients going in and out of health insurance, juggling through the right primary outpatient provider, I could only imagine the need for nurses in the ER to accommodate the immediate demand. And as I see it, alongside with med-surg, I think this would be a great start for new grads.

After having worked a tech shift in the ER, my most memorable memory was having to man handle this 6 ft plus, meat-head, who was belligerently drunk. Of course, I had help. I’m no Robert Oberst or Ronnie Coleman. But, I have been taking stimulants lately to improve my “pump” in the gym. Haha. Oh Lord Baby Jesus.

Hell, I’m a 28-year-old miniature Filipino guy, still searching for my internal locus of identity. And even more current, from secondhand stories, I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to be the ER nurse for my father; who recently survived a major heart attack.

So, where do I begin? There are really only two sources that I’ve glanced over for my research: (1) www.bcencertifications.org and (2) www.ena.org, with the latter being a community that I could join. According to the Emergency Nurses Association, there are many places to practice. Of the many, but not limited to, are schools, research institutes, sporting events, hospitals, emergent care centers, aviation centers, and federal and state agencies.

The licensing board that would certify its members to practice would be the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses (BCEN). Interestingly, in order to obtain the CEN license, it is recommended to have 2 years of experience in the ER. However, it is not required. And in order to qualify for the CEN exam, you only have to be an unrestricted registered nurse. Furthermore, a BSN is not required to sit for the exam. Yet, I could only imagine that a BSN would be preferred in the actual job market. And yet, even still, I could only imagine the great starting point this holds in my future career.

There are different subtypes of the CEN license, all of which have their own tailored certification exam. These subtypes include flight nurse (CFRN), pediatric nurse (CPEN), transport nurse (CTRN), and the trauma nurse (CTRN). The qualifications to obtain certification among the subtypes may be different.

According to the ENA, “if you like variety and complexity, emergency nursing has it. And having some of these personal attributes may help you succeed: the ability to shift gears and accelerate your pace as needed, good observation, assessment, and prioritization skills, multi-tasking ability, good interpersonal and customer service skills, stamina, good personal coping skills, assertive patient advocate, ability to maintain calm amidst chaos, good sense of humor, and the ability to think fast and on your feet.”

So, is this right for me? I’m not so sure. Sadly, looking to become and ER nurse, that may not even be the best response for that question. Nevertheless, I know that I do possess some of those attributes. And to be honest, I also know there are some I could work on.

What specialities are you looking into? Leave me know what you think! Leave a comment below!



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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