Emergency Nurse Practitioner – What To Expect

Emergency nurse practitioners are another little known but invaluable element of the NHS workforce. There are a wide variety of positions and responsibilities open to a qualified nurse, including development into the role of an Emergency Nurse Practitioner. This role provide those who are already qualified as nurses with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop further skills and knowledge so that they are equipped with the skills to treat minor injuries without having to refer to a doctor.


Duties and Responsibilities

As an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, you would act as a specialist nurse working independently in your area of practice. Specifically, an ENP is a senior practitioner working in the Emergency Department who has been specially trained to treat minor injuries without necessarily having to refer to a doctor.

An ENP is able to assess, diagnose, treat and discharge patients. They are able to carry out a wide variety of tasks, from reading and assessing x-rays to giving injections and administering some medications, including antibiotics.

An ENP could be called on to record and interpret ECG examinations, carry out wound, burn or scald treatments, or apply Plaster of Paris to fractures. Typically, ENPs treat all types of patients aged 12 and over, and so must be adaptable and able to make rapid decisions under pressure.

The role of Emergency Nurse Practitioner is in many ways all-encompassing, and has been introduced with the continuous improvement of NHS emergency services in mind. Besides working in A+E, ENPs could also be placed in trauma centres, Urgent Care Centres, or on ambulances.


Why Emergency Nurse Practitioners Are Invaluable

Before the role of Emergency Nurse Practitioner was introduced, patients would need to be referred to a doctor for diagnosis, discharge, and some treatments and prescriptions. This put added pressure on the limited number of doctors available, and could add to the ever-increasing waiting times in emergency departments and urgent care units.

The ENP role has been developed to form part of a wider solution to this problem and serves to take pressure off doctors, to increase productivity in the NHS, and to help the health service provide the best possible service to its patients. By introducing roles like that of the ENP, it is hoped that waiting times and costs will be reduced, and a quality service is maintained or improved upon.


Who Can Become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner?

In order to become an emergency nurse practitioner, you must already be a registered nurse. Registered nurses looking to become an emergency practitioner need to complete a master’s degree (MSN) or doctoral degree (DNP). These programs often require registered nurses to have gathered some years of experience before progressing in order to develop clinical and problem-solving experience, although this is not always essential. However, the majority of ENP training usually takes place on the job.

The ENP role is best suited to a nurse who feels they have natural leadership skills, and are able to work well in a challenging and often chaotic environment. Their application is also aided if they have one or more of the following: Basic Life Support (BLS); Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS); Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); and Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS).


Becoming an Emergency Nurse Practitioner with EBPC

If you would like to become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at St Mark’s is currently recruiting. This nurse-led service is looking for candidates with a broad skill-base, able to take on a challenge and work effectively under pressure. Although you would be working autonomously in most situations, the ideal ENP would be able to work both as an effective leader and as a team member depending on the circumstances.

To find out more about becoming an ENP, speak to your on-duty ENP or the triage nurse at your current place of employment as a starting point. They should be able to answer any questions you may have about the role.If you are interested in becoming an ENP, EBPC offers an attractive sponsorship programme, which can involve EBPC paying for the vast majority of your training. More details about this are available on request.

If you are interested in applying for an Emergency Nurse Practitioner role at St Mark’s Urgent Care Centre in Maidenhead, please apply here. New roles for experienced nurses are regularly being introduced, allowing you the opportunity to constantly grow and develop your future career. If you are a nurse working in the East Berkshire area, please bookmark our jobs page for updates on new and exciting vacancies.