A Day in the Life of an ER Nurse

If you think there is a typical day as an ER nurse, you are wrong. Although ER nurses may follow the same work schedule, each day is a different story that brings about different scenarios. Emergency nurses specialize in rapid assessment and treatment when every second counts, particularly during the initial phase of acute illness or trauma. As they begin their assignments, the ER nurses  constantly monitor their patients and address the concerns of worried family members. While all types of conditions come through the doors of the ER, the top reasons that Americans visit the emergency room are abdominal pain, chest pain, and contusion with intact skin surface. Many life and death decisions fall into the hands of ER nurses, who must balance the workload of patients while staying focused.

There are TV shows out there that depict some of what it’s like to be an ER nurse, but that’s TV. Though nurses aren’t the focus of Grey’s Anatomy, you get to see just how hectic and chaotic an Emergency Room can be. About 30% of US nurses are Emergency Nurses. Here are a few stats based on the “A day in the life of an ER nurse” infographic by Olivet Nazarene University

  • 10.7 ER visits are made per every 25 Americans
  • Hospital ERs with more RNs per admission had lower mortality rates
  • Only 13.3% of visits to the ER actually result in hospital admission
  • 85% of emergency nurses experience at least one symptom of “compassion fatigue” during the week
  • 50% of nurses’ shifts exceed 10 hours and 40% exceed 12 hours

day in life of ER nurse

Source: graduate.olivet.edu