Certified Emergency Nurse

Medical emergency
expert checked

A certified emergency nurse must have specialized training to deal with critical medical situations. These professionals can work in various settings not limited to emergency rooms in hospitals.

What Is Emergency Nursing?

The field of nursing is eclectic, with specialities ranging from pediatrics to nurse practitioner. While each splinter of nursing careers does require training for emergencies, emergency nurses are experts in critical care as their specialities, which encompasses all speciality nursing groups:

Typically, nurses specialize in one of four areas:

  1. Age groups
  2. Populations
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Body systems

Emergency nursing spans all of these instead of focusing on just one or two of the areas. Among the most important elements is the necessity to apply medical processes to patients of all ages. In addition, the ability to address the needs of different populations no matter what the source of the emergency.Demands of the job include:

  • Working as a team with other health professionals
  • Diagnosing medical problems quickly
  • Making decisions rapidly
  • Learning skills that cover a broad range

The emergency nurse is in close contact with the community and must be able to help people deal with difficult situations. The position requires knowledge of psychological issues that patients may experience in addition to clinical expertise.

Trauma Nurse

A trauma nurse specializes in acute injuries caused by trauma. Emergency nursing requires training with traumatic injuries as well as critical care for patients with life-threatening illnesses or medical complications. This type of medical professional is just able to treat a toddler with a broken arm just as well as she can treat an elderly woman with cancer.

Certified Emergency Nurse Requirements

Nurses from various specialities and environments have become certified emergency nurses. The group is diverse, which is a great benefit as one professional can guide and support colleagues. It helps to have experience in critical, cardiac and surgical care but many new graduates earn certification with:

  • Nursing degrees and RN certifications
  • Wide range of clinical knowledge
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Good communication and teaching skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Able to adapt to various situations

Student nurses may study emergency nursing as they earn their degrees or they may focus on trauma and sustaining life in critical situations in their studies.

Education Requirements

Emergency nursing requires considerable knowledge and skills. Practitioners must be able to effectively help treat patients during the initial phase of a medical crisis.

Nursing Degree

At a minimum, it is necessary to have a degree in nursing to prepare for this type of work, whether a two-year associate's degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In rare instances, nurses may earn a nursing diploma in a hospital setting, which takes about three years to complete.

After earning a degree, nurses have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLET-RN). After passing the exam, the student has officially become a registered nurse (RN), and may practice in hospitals, doctor offices or many other settings. Nurses interested in specializing in emergency care will need to take additional courses and pass a certification exam to earn the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) credential.

Emergency Certification Training

Training for emergency nursing certification is intense and nurses specializing in surgical or cardiac care have a distinct advantage over nurses specializing in other areas. Training covers the skills necessary to treat patients in the initial stage of critical medical situations, which requires knowledge of:

  • Respiratory
  • Cardiovascular
  • Obstetrics
  • Orthopedics
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Neurology

Many nurses train on the job and some take courses to learn about dealing with emergency situations. Skills must be demonstrated in order to earn certification.

Certification Exams

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing outlines topics that are covered in the exam. Nurses have to demonstrate proficiency in:

  • Primary diseases in body systems
  • Wound care
  • Psychosocial tasks
  • Patient care management
  • Toxins and substance abuse
  • Shock and its effect on body systems
  • Professional issues

Taking the CEN exam begins with an application. Once the paperwork is received, the nurse has 90 days to complete the test. Examinations are given at designated areas on specific dates. At the site, those taking the test have to bring two forms of identification and the authorization letter. Details are available in the CEN Review Manual.

Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse

Nurses may apply to take the CPEN exam to become certified in pediatric emergency nursing by applying online or by requesting a printed application by phone. It is important to wait until you are ready to take the exam because there is a 90 day window to take the test that begins once the paperwork is processed.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Certified Emergency Nurse