ER Nursing Skills (With Definition And Common Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Emergency room (ER) nursing can be a rewarding and satisfying career option for individuals who love to take care of others and treat patients. Working as an ER nurse may require certain skills to provide effective patient care. Learning about these skills can help ER nurses effectively manage and help patients in emergency situations. In this article, we define ER nursing skills, provide some examples, discuss how to improve your skills and use them in the workplace and outline some ways you can highlight these skills during the job search process.

What Are ER Nursing Skills?

ER nursing skills are abilities that allow emergency nurses to work efficiently and perform all their responsibilities in a medical emergency room. Emergency rooms typically require experienced and skilled nurses who can work in high-stress and fast-paced environments. Professionals with these skills can collaborate well with doctors, other nurses and patients in emergency situations. ER nurses use their skills to meet the demands of patients and the healthcare team quickly and efficiently.

Read more: How Much Does A Nurse Make? (With Job Roles And Career Scope)

Examples Of ER Nurse Skills

Here are some important skills that help ER nurses can develop and become proficient at their jobs:

Clinical skills

Clinical skills allow ER nurses to help their patients by understanding their medical conditions and treating their illnesses. ER nurses can improve their clinical skills by learning through the years of study and mastering them during the job experience. Clinical skills can allow ER nurses to perform clinical investigations, physical examinations, diagnostic reasoning and follow the right procedures. Following healthcare blogs, listening to medical podcasts and reading the latest medical studies can be helpful in improving clinical skills.


Keeping patience can help ER nurses in dealing with stressful situations. Patience gives them the ability to control their emotions during critical conditions in emergency rooms. ER nurses with patience can understand how to analyse different problems and find effective solutions. Many ER nurses learn to avoid distractions and maintain their composure even in tough situations. Using patience can be very helpful for ER nurses, as it also gives them the ability to listen to what patients want to say.

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The job of ER nurses may require them to be ready for any unexpected tasks in an emergency room. Multitasking ability can help them handle multiple patients in a day. They may face situations that require handling the transfer of a patient and communicating to the doctors about another patient's medical condition at the same time. ER nurses with excellent multitasking skills know how to handle several tasks by focusing on completing a task while keeping track of others.

Time management

Most of the duties and responsibilities in the healthcare industry are time-sensitive and require a quick response from ER nurses. Experienced ER nurses use their time management skills and understand how to make necessary decisions quickly. They may sort the tasks depending on their priorities and follow the plan to save time. Time management skills can also allow ER nurses to remove distractions and organise their time.

Read more: How To Become A Doctor (With 6 Steps You Can Follow)

How To Improve ER Nursing Skills

ER nurses can take help from the following steps to improve their skills:

1. Gain training

ER nurses can gain new skills and improve the skills they already have through training. Nurses who are still in the practitioner phase can join additional training courses and become certified ER nurses. Joining additional training can provide nurses with experience that can help improve their clinical skills and medical knowledge.

2. Learn from seniors

Reviewing the work of senior ER nurses in the emergency room can help you improve your nursing skills. Senior nurses are usually more knowledgeable about surgical and emergency medical procedures. Working closely with seniors can help you grow both at personal and professional levels. You can learn new techniques and become efficient in handling emergency medical procedures like first aid, CPR and blood transfusions.

3. Improve your communication skills

Working as an ER nurse may require good communication skills to collaborate with doctors, patients and other nurses in the hospital. Allow patients to speak and listen carefully, take notes to understand their medical situation and present yourself in a more polite way. With the help of good communication, ER nurses can provide clear instructions to patients.

Read more: How To Answer The Salary Expectation Question In Job Interviews

Emergency Room Nursing Skills In The Workplace

ER nurses can use essential nursing skills to perform their duties and responsibilities and grow in their careers. Here are some tips on how ER nurses can use their skills in the workplace:

  • Organising tasks depending on priorities: ER nurses can use their skills to set priorities and decide which tasks require the most attention. Discussing task priorities with your supervisors and doctors can help streamline the workflow and save time.

  • Speaking confidently and clearly: Becoming confident about asking and answering questions about emergency rooms and medical procedures is important for ER nurses. Prepare yourself to speak clearly with supervisors about task requirements.

  • Performing clinical tasks: Clinical skills can help ER nurses to perform their clinical tasks effectively. Clinical tasks may involve collecting and tracking patient care plans and assisting specialised doctors during a treatment process.

Highlighting Emergency Room Nursing Skills

If you are applying for an ER nurse position, you can use the following ways to highlight your skills during the job application process:

Emergency room nursing skills for a resume

Highlight your nursing skills in the previous work experience section of your resume. Focus on covering the qualities employers are looking for in candidates. Mention some of your experiences that reflect you as someone who can handle stressful situations at hospitals without getting panicked. Using keywords in your resume can be very helpful. Take your time to review the job description and include relevant keywords from there. Many recruiters prefer hiring candidates with quick thinking abilities, leadership qualities and a passion for treating patients. Highlighting these skills in your resume can benefit you in the job search process.

Read more: How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure? (With Tips To Answer)

Emergency room nursing skills for a job interview

Discussing your abilities while answering interview questions can be a great way to highlight your skills in an effective way. Mention the abilities that represent you as a skilled professional in clinical practices. You can include examples of a few situations that involve patient interactions and show your way of approaching them. Answer questions to display the qualities of an ideal ER nurse, such as implementing communication and interpersonal skills in the workplace. Discuss your clinical skills and how you use them in emergency situations.

During an interview, the interviewer may ask you technical questions to check your knowledge of performing clinical tests. This may include questions related to medical tests, such as measuring blood pressure or preparing the ER room for an IV insertion. Demonstrate your clinical skills by staying calm and elaborating on your experiences. Here is a good example of how you can answer skill-based questions during an ER nurse job interview:

Example: "I have experience working as an ER nurse in a government hospital. In my previous job, I managed multiple patients and took on other responsibilities throughout the day. I was always ready to respond to critical situations in the hospital and assist doctors in the emergency room to stabilise patients.

My other responsibilities were analysing diagnosis results of patients, documenting patient information and monitoring the vitals of patients after the treatment. I used my clinical skills to assist doctors with surgical procedures and provide situational reports to them. Along with the job, I also developed good stamina that helped me in rushing through the hospital and responding to any critical cases at the right time."

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