What Are the Education Requirements for an Emergency Room Nurse?

If you are you a critical thinker and are able to respond quickly and effectively in chaotic situations, you might enjoy the fast pace of emergency and trauma nursing. Continue reading about general and advanced education requirements for emergency room nurses, as well as certification options. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

General Education Requirements for Emergency Room Nurses

In order to work as an emergency room nurse, you must already be a licensed registered nurse (RN). Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require candidates to have completed approved nursing programs. You can choose from several educational options to meet this requirement, including the following types of programs:

  • Licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) to RN
  • Paramedic to RN
  • Two-year associate degree in nursing
  • Four-year bachelor's degree in nursing

Important Facts About Emergency Room Nursing Education

Common Courses Kinesiology, biochemistry, microbiology
Prerequisites Chemistry, anatomy, biology
Continuing Education Recertification for emergency room nursing credential requires 100 hours of continuing education credits
Online Availability Online options are available for undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and for licensing/certifications. However, online coursework must be accompanied by hands-on learning.
Median Salary (2019) $65,595*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 15% (for all registered nurses)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certification Information

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) offers voluntary certification for emergency room nurses. In addition to the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) designation, BCEN offers credentials in three sub-specialties: Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN) and Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN).

You only need RN licensure to qualify for the CEN, CFRN or CTRN examination; however, the BCEN recommends at least two years' experience in an appropriate setting. Requirements for the CPEN include RN licensure, as well as a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice in a pediatric emergency setting in the two years prior to application. Each of these certifications must be renewed every four years.

Graduate Education

If you would like to broaden your knowledge and skills as an emergency room nurse, you might choose to enroll in a master's-degree program for emergency nurse practitioners. You will likely need 1-2 years of experience as an RN to qualify for one of these programs. Some nursing schools require that at least part of this experience be in an emergency setting.

As a master's-level student with an emergency nursing focus, you could take courses in environmental emergencies, clinical decision making, advanced pharmacology and trauma emergencies. You might also complete multiple practical requirements. In addition to full-time, on-campus options, these programs might be found in part-time and hybrid formats, the latter of which offer some classes online.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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  • The George Washington University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • Fortis College

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    • Florida: Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie
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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • University of the Southwest

    University of the Southwest responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

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  • Keiser University

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    Popular programs at Keiser University:

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