Find Your Road Map: Destination ER Nursing

Sometimes changing nursing specialties can be difficult because where you want to is so different from your current experience. However, it doesn’t always require a long route with a lot of stops along the way. Some specialties are closely related, and transitioning between them is as easy as deciding to get off at the next exit. Regardless of the distance, it takes commitment, courage, and patience. And who knows, maybe your current destination will send you on another road trip and allow you to experience nursing in a way you never thought possible.

Emergency Room

Emergency room nurses have to think quickly on their feet and adapt to anything that comes their way. Every shift is different. This role is best for those who like a challenge and enjoy working at a fast pace.

Patient Type:

  •  Patients present to the ER with everything from chest pain to trauma to broken bones.
  •  Some ER patients are admitted to the hospital for further care while others are stable enough to go home after their immediate needs are taken care of.

Unit Pace:

  •  The ER is a fast-paced nursing environment.
  •  In moments where the ER is calm, it can turn on a dime with a trauma coming in or seemingly stable patients deteriorating.

Experience Required:

  •  A lot of hospitals hire new nurses for the emergency room and have extensive training and mentor programs to transition them to the fast-paced environment.
  •  Experienced nurses have an edge, though, and the transition from their old specialty to the ER is typically much shorter.


  •  A Certified Emergency Nurse credential is preferred, but two years of ER experience are required to take the certification exam.
  •  Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification is also required.

Final Destination vs. Pit Stop

  •  Working in an emergency room exposes nurses to a wide range of patients in a stressful environment which makes it easier to get a job in other high-paced units or switch to a unit with a slower pace.

How to Make ER Your Next Destination?

To reach the next step in your nursing career, you need a map to get you from where you are now to the specialty you aim to be. Knowing what the specialty is and the experience you need for a new specialty is only 2 of 6 steps to make that transition a reality.

For the other 4 steps needed to change nursing specialties:

Find Your Road Map: 6 Essential Steps to Change Nursing Specialty

Let’s make your new nursing specialty a reality!