How Much Do ER Nurses Make? Emergency Room Nurse Salaries
If you're interested in a career in nursing, there are many specializations you can choose from based on your interests and goals. Nurses often have financial considerations when choosing a practice area, as some offer higher salaries than others. Learning about the salary you may earn as an emergency room (ER) nurse can help you decide if this career path is the right fit for you.
In this article, we provide average national and state salaries and the highest-paying cities for ER nurses, share steps for increasing your salary in this role and answer frequently asked questions about working as an ER nurse.
How much do ER nurses make?
The salary you may earn as an ER nurse depends on many factors, including your level of education, your experience in health care and your employer. The national average salary for an emergency room nurse is $152,898 per year. Here are the highest-paying cities for ER nurses and average salaries by state:
Highest-paying cities for ER nurses
The geographic location where you work can affect the salary you may earn as an ER nurse. Here are the highest-paying cities for professionals in this role:
Brooklyn, New York: $199,646 per year
Bronx, New York: $183,259 per year
Chicago, Illinois: $170,242 per year
Miami, Florida: $154,570 per year
Houston, Texas: $146,367 per year
Phoenix, Arizona: $144,178 per year
Dallas, Texas: $142,944 per year
New Orleans, Louisiana: $140,460 per year
Denver, Colorado: $139,677 per year
ER nurse salaries by state
States have different salaries for ER nurses based on factors like demand, demographics and cost of living. Here are the average salaries for an ER nurse in each state and Washington, D.C.:
Alabama: $133,615 per year
Alaska: $159,431 per year
Arizona: $153,390 per year
Arkansas: $145,210 per year
California: $170,666 per year
Colorado: $152,190 per year
Connecticut: $159,764 per year
Delaware: $182,883 per year
District of Columbia: $169,765 per year
Florida: $130,992 per year
Georgia: $144,969 per year
Hawaii: $124,693 per year
Idaho: $153,257 per year
Illinois: $168,807 per year
Indiana: $154,871 per year
Iowa: $158,937 per year
Kansas: $132,543 per year
Kentucky: $145,648 per year
Louisiana: $142,288 per year
Maine: $170,744 per year
Maryland: $169,969 per year
Massachusetts: $160,548 per year
Michigan: $154,063 per year
Minnesota: $179,596 per year
Mississippi: $137,777 per year
Missouri: $145,752 per year
Montana: $135,498 per year
Nebraska: $153,177 per year
Nevada: $170,468 per year
New Hampshire: $151,026 per year
New Jersey: $176,186 per year
New Mexico: $161,590 per year
New York: $172,071 per year
North Carolina: $149,731 per year
North Dakota: $151,055 per year
Ohio: $142,369 per year
Oklahoma: $166,015 per year
Oregon: $168,805 per year
Pennsylvania: $153,579 per year
Rhode Island: $165,547 per year
South Carolina: $130,576 per year
South Dakota: $145,683 per year
Tennessee: $136,887 per year
Texas: $138,744 per year
Utah: $142,269 per year
Vermont: $165,939 per year
Virginia: $139,533 per year
Washington: $163,593 per year
West Virginia: $149,294 per year
Wisconsin: $166,434 per year
Wyoming: $166,290 per year
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the links provided.
Related: Learn About Being an ER Nurse
How to increase your salary as an ER nurse
Here are some steps you can take to earn a higher salary as an ER nurse:
1. Gain experience in the field
The first step for many nurses who want to increase their salaries is gaining experience in the field. Entry-level roles in ER nursing may pay less than the average for your city or state, but you can earn more by pursuing mid-level roles that may become available to you after a few years. Those with extensive experience often earn above-average salaries in advanced practice nursing roles or nurse management positions.
2. Pursue a certification
You may also increase your salary by participating in continuing education programs that award you with a credential specific to your industry and experience level. Professional nursing certifications show employers you have specialized knowledge or skills in a certain area of the field. For example, the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing offers the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) designation for candidates who pass an exam on ER nursing topics.
3. Earn a degree
Some states allow ER nurses to practice after receiving an associate degree in a nursing program, but earning a higher degree may improve your chances of earning a higher salary. You might consider completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, which allows you to take on more responsibilities and potentially move into a higher-paying role. If you currently hold a BSN, consider entering a master's degree in nursing program so you can pursue a senior clinical or administrative position in the field.
FAQs about working as an ER nurse
Here are some additional questions that you might have about ER nurses or their salary expectations:
Is ER nursing in demand?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment opportunities for all registered nurses to grow by 9% between now and 2030. This is slightly faster than the average rate for all occupations, which is 8%. The agency estimates about 194,500 new openings to become available during this time frame.
What are the skills required to become an ER nurse?
ER nurses use a wide variety of skills to provide their patients with comfort and immediate care. These include soft skills like communication and patience, which can help you succeed in any position, and technical skills that relate specifically to the job, like using medical equipment or adhering to standards of care. Here are some common skills for an ER nurse:
Diagnostic skills: As ER nurses work in emergency care, they encounter patients of all ages with all kinds of illnesses and injuries. They use their diagnostic skills to evaluate their patients' conditions and determine the next step in treating and easing their symptoms.
Prioritization: Emergency rooms sometimes become busy with patients who require medical care. ER nurses prioritize care by determining the patients who require more immediate assistance.
Compassion: This is an important soft skill for an ER nurse to have, as patients in the emergency room may experience challenging medical circumstances. Demonstrating comfort and kindness can reassure patients and increase their trust in the medical professionals who help them.
IV Therapy: IV therapy is a technical skill that's essential to caring for patients with a range of medical needs. ER nurses place IVs to administer medications that may relieve pain or replenish bodily functions.
Are there any risks associated with being an ER nurse?
As ER nurses often treat patients with significant medical conditions that may expose them to illness or contact with potentially hazardous material, they may encounter risks in the workplace. They prevent or minimize their risk of developing or spreading illnesses by using medical safety equipment like gowns, gloves, and face masks. They also dispose of materials properly to avoid preventable contamination. Following regulations and protocols allows ER nurses to keep themselves and their patients safe.
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