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Surgical Nurse Salary Information

Career News August 15, 2013

The average emergency room (ER) Nurse salary is $103,722 annually. This number is nearly $35,000 higher than the average Registered Nurse salary in the United States because of the additional training, education and advanced degrees required to become a nurse practitioner.

This salary information for ER nurses comes from the National Salary Report 2011 by ADVANCE for NPs & PAs. The survey was conducted via an online questionnaire in the summer and fall of 2011. In total, 3,116 nurse practitioners from a variety of backgrounds responded to the survey.

The survey also noted that the average Surgical Nurse Practitioners salary is $91,023.

What is an Emergency Room and Surgical Nurse Practitioner?

In general, nurse practitioners are relatively new to the nursing profession, only originating in the 1960s. But since that time, their role has grown greatly, particularly in emergency and surgical settings.

“Emergency departments are in a national crisis as a result of patient overuse, overcrowding, boarding of patients, scarcity of inpatient beds, a shortage of (Emergency Department) physicians and RNs, and hospital closings,” notes ADVANCE.

The article also notes that emergency department visits over a five-year span have increased from 84 million to 100 million

“Emergency NPs are educated to develop and apply theory, conduct research, educate health care providers and develop standards of care that enhance patient outcomes,” the site continues.

What Type of Education is required to become a Surgical Nurse Practitioner?

Like all nurse practitioners, those working in emergency or surgical departments must be a Registered Nurse (RN) and hold a post-graduate degree. Additionally, nurse practitioners must be certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. The official ANCC website states the additional requirements that must be met before a nurse can take the certification exam:

  • “Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country.
  • Hold a master’s, post-graduate, or doctorate degree from an adult nurse practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours must be included in your adult nurse practitioner program. The ANP graduate program must include three separate courses in:
    • Advanced physical/health assessment
    • Advanced pharmacology
    • Advanced pathophysiology
  • And content in
  • Health promotion and disease prevention, and
  • Differential diagnosis and disease management

After meeting these requirements, the nurse is required to take and pass the Adult Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam, which results in an ANP-BC credential.

Importance of ER Nurses

A Loyola University Medical Center study recently tested “whether adding a nurse practitioner (NP) to a busy inpatient surgery service would improve patient care after discharge,” and the results were decidedly in favor of having nurse practitioners serve in the ER.

“Conclusion:” wrote the researchers, “Adding a NP to our inpatient surgery service led to an overall improvement in the use of resources and a fifty percent reduction in unnecessary ER visits. This study shows that the addition of a NP not only improves continuity of care on discharge, but also has the potential to yield financial benefits for the hospital.”

Where are ER Nurse Jobs?

Though the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS) doesn’t list the average ER Nurse salary, it does list the states with the most Registered Nurses. The top five are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The BLS also lists the states that have the most RNs per 1,000 jobs. These are, in order, South Dakota, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

As for the future, U.S. News and World Report have named Registered Nurse to its U.S. News Best Jobs list.

“Thanks in part to an aging population, job growth is expected to be much faster than the national average,” states the magazine. “The greatest job growth will be in physicians’ offices. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects registered nurse employment growth of twenty-six percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 711,900 more positions.”

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