Emergency room (ER) travel nurse jobs

Emergency room travel nurse jobs are one of the most sought-after travel jobs on Nomad Health. The demand for emergency room travel nurses has soared due to nursing shortages, seasonal illnesses, acute injuries, and additional support needed during COVID-19. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for nurses and travel nurses is expected to grow 6% by 2032. This healthy demand, along with healthcare facilities prioritizing the hiring of ER travel nurses, bodes well for ER nurses looking to jump into traveling in the future.

Emergency room travel nurse job requirements

To qualify for an emergency room travel nurse job, you must meet certain requirements that are specific to the job. It’s important to know that each ER travel nurse job may have slightly different requirements based on the location and needs of the facility. However, the following requirements serve as a general checklist for most ER travel nurse jobs.

Educational requirements

At a minimum, emergency room travel nurse jobs require a college education from an accredited nursing program. You will need either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Keep in mind that some facilities may prefer a four-year bachelor's degree.

Licensure requirements

All emergency room travel nurse jobs require an active RN license in the state where you plan on working. If the state is part of the nursing compact, a multistate nursing license may be accepted by facilities. If you are applying for an ER travel nurse job in a state you haven’t worked in before, be prepared to obtain a license in that state.

Experience requirements

Many ER travel nurse jobs on Nomad require you to have at least 12-36 months of experience in the field, although this can vary depending on the facility and its needs. Some facilities may also require you to possess specialized skills in addition to the above requirements.

Certification requirements for ER travel RN jobs

ER travel nurse hiring managers are often looking for candidates who possess specific certifications. If you are offered a travel nurse job in the ER, you may be asked to obtain certain certifications before you can begin working. The most common required certifications for ER travel nurse jobs are:

  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric advanced life support (PALS)
  • Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC)

Competency requirements for ER travel RN jobs

Emergency room travel nurse jobs require nurses to be proficient in using technology and medical equipment found in the ER. Examples of equipment and tools you may be required to have experience with include:

Monitoring equipment

In the emergency department, you’ll need a solid understanding of how to operate monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors, and electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) machines.

Respiratory equipment

Many ER travel nurses help patients facing respiratory problems. Ventilators, CPAP, nebulizers, and suction devices are all considered common tools in the ER.

Diagnostic equipment

ER travel nurses may be tasked with assisting in diagnostic procedures, so a basic understanding of x-ray machines, ultrasound machines, CT scanners, and MRI machines is required.

Point-of-care testing devices

ER travel nurses use handheld devices to perform rapid tests in the emergency room, including pregnancy tests, urine analysis tests, and blood glucose monitoring.

Intravenous (IV) equipment

Administering fluids and medications, and placing and managing IV lines are common responsibilities for ER travel nurses.

Wound care tools

ER travel nurses may handle sterile instruments, assess wounds, and place dressings to care for patients with wounds.

Procedural equipment

ER travel nurses should know how to assist other medical professionals with common procedures such as suturing, intubations, and chest tube insertions.

Supply and equipment readiness

ER travel nurse jobs require RNs to keep crash carts updated, including checking and replacing outdated or expired items. ER travel nurses should also know where to find emergency equipment such as defibrillators and emergency airway kits.

Emergency protocols

Anyone working an ER travel nurse job should know how to call for a code and understand how to efficiently get support.

Soft skills required for ER travel RN jobs

Emergency room travel nurse jobs require nurses to demonstrate specific soft skills, including:

Stress management

The emergency room can be a stressful environment to work in. Successful ER travel nurses find ways to manage the demands of the ER without sacrificing the quality of patient care and self-care.


As a travel ER nurse, you must be able to easily adapt to new emergency department settings, workflows, patient populations, coworkers, and equipment.


Emergency room travel nurse jobs require travel nurses to be able to make decisions independently, especially during emergency scenarios.

Communication and collaboration

While autonomy is important, it’s equally important for those working ER travel nurse jobs to collaborate with other team members such as physicians, x-ray techs, and respiratory therapists while dealing with conflict professionally. Having excellent communication skills with patient families who may be experiencing difficult emotions is vital as well.

Miscellaneous ER travel nurse job requirements

Immunization requirements

To secure an ER travel nurse job, you will need to be up to date on your immunizations according to facility policy. This may include recent flu vaccines, TB tests, hepatitis B titers, and more.

Background check and drug screen

Pre-employment background checks and drug screenings are an important part of obtaining an ER travel nurse job. Verifying employment history and reference are also common procedures for each new assignment. Many travel agencies will pay for expenses related to background checks and drug screening.

Emergency room travel nurse job duties and responsibilities

Emergency room travel nurse job duties may range from advanced life support to medical equipment management. Emergency room travel nurses usually perform the same duties and responsibilities as staff ER nurses; one difference is that travel ER nurses are expected to adapt quickly to new work environments with a minimal orientation period. It’s important to note that every ER travel nurse job comes with its own set of unique duties and responsibilities based on the facility’s needs.

Patient care

The most critical duty of ER travel nurse jobs is safe patient care. These nurses work with patients who are experiencing distress for various reasons; travel ER nurses must use their clinical judgment and recognize when a situation requires immediate intervention rather than be prioritized for later. They may also see a range of medical conditions and acute injuries. Routine patient care tasks include triage based on vital signs, clinical presentation, history, and expected resources required along with administering medications and monitoring reactions. Other tasks include placing IVs, performing reassessments, responding to emergencies, and giving discharge instructions and education.

Assist with emergency medical procedures and provide emergency care

One of the most common duties of an ER travel nurse job is to participate and/or assist medical teams with procedures for patients with acute injuries and illnesses. Some of the most common procedures emergency room travel nurse jobs may require experience for are:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Venipuncture and IV insertion
  • Medication administration
  • Wound care
  • Intubation
  • Central line placement
  • Emergency ultrasounds
  • Fracture reduction
  • Emergency childbirth
  • Nasogastric (NG) and orogastric (OG) tube insertion
  • Chest tube insertion
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Overdose and poisoning management
  • Therapeutic hypothermia
  • Rapid sequence intubation (RSI)
  • Defibrillation
  • Psychiatric crisis management
  • Patient transport

Patient monitoring

ER travel nurses continuously monitor patient status including vital signs, consciousness level, and level of pain. Through monitoring, these nurses can adjust care plans as needed based on patient feedback and data from monitoring equipment such as ECGs, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximetry, and more.

Patient and family education

Part of ER travel nursing jobs is to educate family members about the patient’s condition, prognosis, and care needs. Emergency room travel nurses explain and break down complex medical terminology and explain procedures in a way that is easier to understand for families and guardians of the patient who may need to make critical decisions about care.


Documentation is an important responsibility of emergency room travel nurse jobs because it helps safeguard patients for future care decisions while allowing for a timely, accurate record of observations and interventions performed. ER travel nurses are responsible for documenting and securing information before, during, and after emergency procedures and routine care, including:

  • Procedure notes
  • Patient conditions
  • Treatment notes
  • Patient responses
  • Time out
  • Consent
  • Vital signs

Discharge planning

ER travel nurse jobs require nurses to prepare and present discharge instructions to patients who have been treated in the emergency room. These plans include a summary of the patient's visit and treatments administered, post-care instructions, and prescription information if needed. ER travel nurses may also coordinate with social services if post-discharge care is needed.

Miscellaneous ER travel nurse job responsibilities

Remember, no travel job is the same. Every emergency room travel nurse job comes with its own set of duties and responsibilities based on the current needs of the healthcare facility hiring for the role. While the above duties and responsibilities are common across many ER travel nurse jobs, individual travel jobs listed on Nomad Health may come with duties outside of this scope. If you have questions about a certain ER travel nurse job on Nomad, reach out to a Nomad Navigator.

Why consider an ER travel nurse job?

There are plenty of good reasons why considering an emergency room travel nurse job is a smart move. From financial incentives to personal growth, a travel job might be just what you need to take the next step in your nursing career.

High demand for ER travel nurses

With an increase in acute care cases and emergency room nurse shortages, emergency room travel nurse jobs remain in demand. Because the demand is high, you can sleep easy knowing that your job is secure and less susceptible to economic downturns.

Competitive pay

Emergency room travel nurse jobs may pay more than staff emergency room jobs. Many things can impact travel pay including your experience, education, location, credentials, and facility needs. When you browse ER travel nurse jobs on Nomad, you’ll see a pay breakdown (including the travel stipend) of every job so you know exactly how you can earn before you apply.


Emergency room travel nurse jobs provide an opportunity to work with new technologies. Common technology that ER travel nurses get exposure to include:

  • Electronic health records (EHR) systems
  • Cardiac monitors
  • Capnography
  • Manual and automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
  • i-STAT systems
  • Triage software
  • Medical alarms
  • Syringe drivers
  • Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems
  • Barcode medication administration (BCMA) systems
  • Central monitoring systems
  • Radiology equipment

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Emergency room travel nurse jobs allow you to collaborate cross-functionally with interdisciplinary healthcare staff ranging from physicians to staff nurses and even radiologists. When you work closely with these teams, you’ll get a broader perspective on patient care which you can add to your skill set.

Continuous learning

Emergency room travel nurse jobs can put you on the fast track to learn about the latest education, techniques, treatments, and equipment used in the field. If you’re interested in getting ahead of the curve, applying for an ER travel nurse job might be right for you.

Visit new locations

One of the biggest perks of emergency room travel nurse jobs is deciding where you want to work. From the city to the facility, it’s up to you. Accepting ER travel jobs in new locations also exposes you to new facilities and patient populations you may not experience in a regular staff position.

Tips for finding the best ER travel nurse jobs

Most nurses agree that the best ER travel nurse jobs offer a combination of high compensation and opportunities to expand your clinical experience. However, what makes an ER travel nurse job the best usually depends on personal preferences, career goals, and financial goals.

Research ER travel nurse job agencies

To find the best ER travel nurse job for you, research is the name of the game. First, you need to determine which travel agencies offer ER travel nurse jobs. Unfortunately, not all agencies work with ER travel nurses.

Read reviews

Next, you should consider the reputation of the agency you’re considering working with. Use a search engine to read testimonials and reviews other ER travel nurses have left about the agency. These reviews should give you a general idea of whether the agency meets your standards, and if other ER travel nurses recommend them.

Compare job benefits

While pay may often be the most important benefit of emergency room travel nurse jobs, remember that additional perks such as stipends for scrubs, licenses, and travel, along with health insurance and the option to invest in a 401(k) should be factored into the equation. Unlike Nomad, not all agencies offer these types of benefits, so it's important to compare the additional perks before you accept an ER travel nurse job.

Top locations for emergency room travel RN jobs

The demand for emergency room travel nurse jobs varies across different states based on factors such as the overall demand for ER support, the number of healthcare facilities, and the demographics of the regional population. Additionally, states with larger populations and advanced healthcare infrastructure may need more ER travel nurses than others.


As one of the biggest states, California has multiple medical facilities in densely populated areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco that often hire for ER travel nurse jobs. California also has strict nurse-to-patient ratio laws, which bodes well for patient safety and nurse satisfaction. Additionally, California has a high cost of living, which may result in attractive pay rates.


Like California, certain high-growth metropolitan areas in Texas have ER travel nurse jobs available including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Because Texas regularly experiences public health emergencies like tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, the need for ER travel nurses may be high.


Because Florida has an older-than-average population and an expansive medical system, the demand for ER nurse travelers is high, especially in cities like Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, and Orlando. Like Texas, Florida also experiences several natural disasters, including hurricanes, which often result in spikes in demand for ER travel nurses.

New York

The dense population and high number of healthcare facilities in New York make it a hot spot for emergency room travel RN jobs, especially in New York City. Additionally, due to extremely cold winters, there may be an increase in cold-weather emergencies seen in the ER such as hypothermia.


Because Arizona experiences a yearly influx of winter visitors, there is a seasonal strain on healthcare systems there, including a demand for ER nurses.

How to prepare for your first ER travel nurse job

If it’s your first time accepting an ER travel nurse job, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind that will help you feel prepared and ready to go on your first day. Every emergency room travel nurse job is different, but excelling in one or more of these areas may ensure you are set up for success.

Ask about orientation

One of the most important questions you can ask your hiring manager is about the orientation and onboarding process for your ER travel job. Knowing how much support you will have at the beginning and during the assignment will help you set realistic expectations for your first week on the job.

Be adaptable

Being adaptable is the key to starting any ER travel RN job. You will need to be prepared for ambiguity and performing tasks that you may not have much experience with.

Build relationships

Along the way, remember to network and build relationships with your new colleagues. Connect with other ER travel nurses and learn about their experiences with the facility and traveling in general.

Pack wisely

Remember to pack all the essentials you will need for the duration of your travel assignment. Depending on where your ER travel nurse job is, it may be difficult to find a drug store or other convenience stores for items at the last minute, especially if you’re working in a rural area. We recommend packing extra pairs of scrubs, toiletries, and anything else to make you comfortable during your stay.

Frequently asked questions about ER travel nurse jobs

Are ER travel nurse jobs in high demand?

Yes, emergency room travel nurse jobs remain in high demand. Because the number of patients that require emergency room care continues to increase, facilities may need extra clinical support from ER travel nurses.

How long do emergency room travel nurse jobs last?

ER travel RN job contract length varies depending on the needs of the facility. In general, most emergency room travel nurse job contracts are 13 weeks long, although it’s not uncommon to find contracts that last eight to 12 weeks.

What qualifications do I need to get an ER travel nurse job?

To qualify for an ER travel nurse job, you will need a two or four-year college degree, an RN license for the state where you want to work, at least two years of experience working in the field, and basic certifications like BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC. However, each facility has different requirements for ER travel nurse jobs, so make sure you review the individual qualifications before you apply.

Can I choose the location for my ER travel nurse job?

Yes, you can choose the location for your ER travel nurse job. Nomad Health features emergency room travel RN jobs across the United States. Some are in desirable locations like Hawaii, California, and Florida.

How quickly can I start an ER travel nurse job?

How soon you can start your ER travel nurse job will depend on the needs of the facility. Sometimes facilities need you to start ASAP, while others may allow you to negotiate a start date based on your convenience.

What kind of support will I have during my ER travel nurse job with Nomad?

From the time you apply to the last day of your shift, you’ll get ongoing support from the Nomad Navigators. Once you’re on assignment, you will also have access to Clinical Navigators who are clinicians who have been in your shoes and are equipped to help you navigate any facility or clinical-related issues that may arise.

Do ER travel nurse jobs provide opportunities for professional growth?

Yes! Emergency room travel nurse jobs are an excellent way to fast-track professional growth. When you accept an ER travel nurse job, you can get exposure to new environments, patient populations, and technology that may help level up your skillset and compensation.

ER travel RN healthcare sources