How To Hire An Emergency Room Registered Nurse

As Seen In

logo of wsj
logo of wsj
logo of business-insider
logo of business-insider
logo of cnn
logo of cnn
logo of fatherly
logo of fatherly
logo of nbc
logo of nbc

Table Of Contents

Do you need to hire an ER nurse? Learn everything you need to know about emergency room nurse job descriptions, where to find ER nurses, and the skills you should look for. 

Are you looking to hire an ER nurse but not sure where to start? Well, you've come to the right place! Hiring the right nurse for your emergency department is crucial to ensuring the best patient care and a smooth operation. 

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of hiring an ER nurse and provide you with tips and tricks to help you find the perfect candidate. From determining your staffing needs to conducting interviews, we'll cover everything you need to know to make the hiring process as easy and stress-free as possible. So, let's get started!

Quickstart Guide To Hiring An Emergency Room Nurse

  1. Go to ZipRecruiter and sign up for their free trial. Check out existing ER nurse job postings to get an idea of what other employers are posting. Post your first job for free. ZipRecruiter is our favorite job posting site
  2. Write a job description. We made it easy for you! Simply grab our ER nurse job description, customize for your needs, and post it on Ziprecruiter.

If you’re a nurse looking to get hired, check out our recommendations for the best professional resume writing services to get ahead of the crowd. 

Post Your First Job Free With ZipRecruiter

Start with ZipRecruiter today to find the best candidates out there.

Get Started With ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter logo

How to Hire An Emergency Room Nurse In 3 Steps

1. Write A Compelling Job Description

To find the best candidate for an emergency room nurse position, it's important to start with a compelling job description that accurately reflects the skills and experience required for the job. Here are some key elements to include:

  • Job title and duties: Clearly outline the responsibilities of the position, including tasks such as triaging patients, administering medications, and communicating with healthcare professionals.
  • Required qualifications: Specify the necessary certifications, experience, and skills required for the position, such as a nursing degree, ACLS certification, and strong communication skills.
  • Schedule and hours: Clearly state the expected schedule and hours of the position, including any required overtime or on-call shifts.
  • Pay rate: Indicate the salary or hourly rate for the position, along with any benefits that may be offered.
  • Benefits: If applicable, highlight any benefits that are available to the employee, such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off.

To attract the best candidates, it's important to write a clear, concise, and engaging job description that is posted on job boards and social media platforms where potential candidates are likely to see it.

According to a survey by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers say that a clear job description is the most important factor when deciding whether to apply for a job.

Writing a good job description is also crucial for reducing turnover rates. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 43% of employees who quit their jobs within the first six months cited a lack of clear job expectations as the reason for leaving. By writing a well-written job description that sets clear expectations for the role, you can reduce confusion and dissatisfaction among employees.

2. Create A Referral Program

Creating a referral program can be an effective way to find qualified candidates for a position, such as an emergency room nurse. This program encourages current employees to refer qualified candidates for the job and can include incentives such as bonuses or time off. Referrals from current employees can be a valuable source of candidates, as they are likely to know people who have the necessary skills and experience.

To create a referral program for hiring an emergency room nurse, follow these five steps:

  1. Determine the program's goals: Before creating a referral program, consider what you hope to achieve with it. Do you want to attract more qualified candidates, reduce hiring costs, or improve employee engagement? Identifying your goals will help you create a program that's tailored to your needs.
  2. Decide on the incentives: Incentives are an essential part of any referral program. Consider what incentives you can offer to employees who refer a qualified emergency room nurse. This could include a cash bonus, extra time off, or other perks.
  3. Create a clear job description: A clear and concise job description is essential for any referral program. Make sure the job description outlines the qualifications, responsibilities, and expectations of the position.
  4. Promote the referral program: Once you've created the referral program, promote it to your employees. Use email, social media, and other communication channels to let employees know about the program and the incentives.
  5. Track referrals and evaluate the program: Keep track of all referrals and follow up with the candidates. Make sure to keep employees informed of the progress of their referrals. After the program has been in place for a while, evaluate its effectiveness. Consider factors such as the number of referrals received, the quality of the candidates referred, and the cost savings achieved.

By following these steps, you can create a referral program for hiring an emergency room nurse that's tailored to your needs and helps you attract qualified candidates while reducing hiring costs.

3. Post The ER Nurse Job Online

Posting the emergency room nurse job online is an effective way to reach a large audience of potential candidates. Employers can post the job on their company website, job boards, and social media platforms to increase visibility. They can also use targeted advertising to reach candidates who have the necessary skills and experience. There are several job posting sites and websites that cater specifically to the healthcare industry. Here are a few to consider:

By posting your emergency room nurse job opening on these sites, you can reach a large pool of qualified candidates and increase your chances of finding the right person for the job.

Why Hire An ER Nurse?

Specialized Skills and Knowledge

ER nurses are highly trained and specialized in emergency medicine. They possess a unique set of skills and knowledge that allow them to handle high-stress and fast-paced situations. ER nurses are trained to assess and triage patients quickly, identify life-threatening conditions, and provide immediate care. 

They are also skilled in administering medications, performing procedures, and monitoring patients' vital signs.

Improved Patient Outcomes

Hiring an experienced and qualified ER nurse can significantly improve patient outcomes. ER nurses are trained to work in high-pressure situations and are equipped to handle a wide range of medical emergencies. 

Their expertise and quick thinking can make a significant difference in a patient's outcome. Having an experienced ER nurse on staff can also help to reduce wait times and improve patient satisfaction.

Cost-Effective Solution

While hiring an ER nurse may seem like an additional expense, it can be a cost-effective solution in the long run. By having an experienced and qualified nurse on staff, you can reduce the need for expensive agency staff and overtime costs. 

Additionally, having an experienced nurse on staff can help to reduce medical errors and malpractice claims, which can result in significant cost savings for your facility.

What Does It Cost To Hire An Emergency Room Nurse?

Hiring an emergency room nurse can come with a variety of costs. These costs may include salary, tuition reimbursement, recruitment spend, and other expenses. 


The median annual wage for registered nurses, including emergency room nurses, was $81,220 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, this figure can vary depending on several factors, such as location, experience, and education level.

Apart from salary, employers may offer additional benefits to attract and retain emergency room nurses. One such benefit is tuition reimbursement, which helps cover the cost of continuing education for nurses. This benefit not only helps the nurse keep their skills up-to-date but also improves patient care.

Employers may also offer recruitment incentives, such as signing bonuses or relocation assistance, to attract top talent to their organization. These benefits can help employers stand out from competitors and create a positive work environment for their employees.

Recruitment Spend

A recent industry study found that the average cost of staff RN turnover is $52,350 per position, which includes recruitment and onboarding expenses. This represents a 13.5% increase from the previous year. The study also revealed that filling a vacant RN position, regardless of specialty, now takes an average of 95 days, which is 8 days slower than the previous year.

The slow hiring process is often attributed to traditional recruiting and staffing firms that rely on outdated databases and lengthy pay negotiations. These outdated methods can cause delays in credentialing and the hiring process, resulting in a significant loss of time and money for employers.

To address this issue, many healthcare organizations are turning to innovative recruitment strategies that leverage technology to streamline the hiring process. For example, some employers are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze candidate data and identify the most qualified candidates quickly. Others are using social media and online job boards to reach a wider pool of candidates.

In addition to these recruitment strategies, employers are also offering attractive recruitment incentives to attract and retain top talent. These incentives may include signing bonuses, relocation assistance, and tuition reimbursement, among others. By offering these benefits, employers can create a positive work environment that attracts and retains highly skilled RNs, reducing the cost of turnover and improving patient care.

Other Costs

Hiring an emergency room nurse can come with additional costs beyond just salary and recruitment spend. These expenses may include costs related to training, orientation, and onboarding. Employers may need to invest in specialized training programs to ensure that their nurses are prepared to handle the unique challenges of working in an emergency room setting. This training can include courses on emergency procedures, patient triage, and trauma care.

In addition to training costs, employers may also need to purchase specialized equipment and supplies for the emergency room. This can include surgical instruments, sterile linens, and other medical supplies that are necessary for providing quality care to patients. These costs can add up quickly, especially for smaller healthcare organizations with limited budgets.

To manage these costs, some employers are turning to innovative solutions such as group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and vendor management systems (VMSs). These solutions can help employers negotiate better prices for equipment and supplies, reducing overall costs. Additionally, some employers are partnering with local educational institutions to provide training programs and internships for nursing students. This can help reduce training costs while also providing a pipeline of qualified candidates for future hiring needs.

By carefully managing these other costs associated with hiring an emergency room nurse, employers can create a sustainable and cost-effective staffing model that provides high-quality care to patients.

Skills To Look For In An Emergency Room Nurse

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

Emergency room nurses must be able to think critically and solve problems quickly and efficiently. They must be able to assess a patient's condition, identify potential complications, and take appropriate action. ER nurses must also be able to prioritize care, especially during high-stress situations.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential for emergency room nurses. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. ER nurses must also be able to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Technical Skills

Emergency room nurses must possess a wide range of technical skills. They must be able to perform a variety of procedures, such as starting IVs, administering medications, and performing diagnostic tests. ER nurses must also be familiar with a variety of medical equipment and be able to troubleshoot technical issues as they arise.

Emotional Resilience and Adaptability

Working in an emergency room can be emotionally and physically demanding. ER nurses must be able to remain calm and focused during high-stress situations. They must also be able to adapt to changing situations and work effectively under pressure.

Cultural Competency and Diversity Awareness

Emergency room nurses must be culturally competent and aware of the diverse needs of their patients. They must be able to provide care that is sensitive to patients' cultural, religious, and linguistic needs. ER nurses must also be able to work effectively with patients from diverse backgrounds and be able to provide care that is respectful and non-judgmental.

In addition to these skills, make sure the ER nurse you hire has: 

  • Associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution 
  • Current nursing license in good standing
  • CPR certification
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) certification
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification (may be acquired within a certain time period after hire)
  • Additional certifications, e.g. Certified Emergency Nursing (CEN) or Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC)
  • Able to pass background checks and drug screening (in accordance with state laws)
  • Meets physical requirements, e.g., can lift 30 pounds, sit and stand for X period of time (again, consult state laws regarding limitations on these requirements) 

Best Places To Find ER Nurses

Finding qualified emergency room nurses can be a challenge, but there are several effective ways to connect with potential candidates. Here are some of the best places to find ER nurses:

Job Posting Sites and Job Boards

Job posting sites like ZipRecruiter is a great place to find emergency room nurses. They offer a large pool of potential candidates from all over the country, allow you to target your job listing to specific audiences, and are cost-effective.

Many job posting sites also offer resume databases that allow you to search for qualified candidates who may not have seen your job listing. By using job posting sites, you can increase your chances of finding the right emergency room nurse for your job opening while minimizing recruitment costs and time.

Post Your First Job Free With ZipRecruiter

Start with ZipRecruiter today to find the best candidates out there.

Get Started With ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter logo

Professional Organizations

Professional nursing organizations, such as the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN), offer job boards and career centers where you can post job openings and search for RN candidates. These organizations also offer networking opportunities, continuing education programs, and other resources that can help you connect with potential candidates.

Work with a Medical Recruiter

 Medical recruiters can help you connect with potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job. These recruiters have access to a wide network of healthcare professionals and can help with the entire hiring process, from sourcing and screening candidates to negotiating offers and onboarding new hires. To find medical recruiters, you can search online for medical recruiting firms or agencies that specialize in healthcare staffing. You can also ask for referrals from colleagues in the healthcare industry or attend job fairs and industry events to connect with recruiters.

Employee Referral Programs

Encouraging your current employees to refer qualified candidates can be a great way to find candidates. Offer incentives for successful referrals, such as bonuses or extra time off. This can help create a positive work environment and improve employee engagement.

Staffing Agencies

 Staffing agencies that specialize in healthcare staffing can help you find candidates quickly and efficiently. These agencies have access to a large pool of ER nuse candidates and can help with the entire hiring process, from sourcing and screening candidates to negotiating offers and onboarding new hires. When choosing a staffing agency, look for one that specializes in emergency room nursing and has a proven track record of success.

Bottom Line

Hiring the right emergency room nurse is crucial to providing high-quality care to patients. The hiring process for an ER nurse should be approached with diligence and attention to detail to secure the most qualified and compassionate professionals for this demanding and vital role in the healthcare system.

Hire an emergency room nurse for your team today on ZipRecruiter!