01935315031 | office@nursesgroup.co.uk

What is an emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) and what do they do?

A young lady's sprain is being treated by an emergency nurse practitioner.

Emergency nurse practitioners and their roles and responsibilities

Nurse practitioners are an important part of the healthcare system in general, even though what they can do varies from state to state. Their impact on patients is long-lasting and significant. There are a wide variety of job positions and responsibilities open to a qualified nurse, including the post of emergency nurse practitioner. With the increasing ageing population in the UK and the number of people who need assistance, the demand for nurse practitioners is never-ending. 

A family nurse practitioner who wants to work in an emergency room setting can take the ENP certification exam to work as an emergency nurse practitioner. There are several skills and knowledge that an emergency nurse practitioner should have before working in an emergency setting. 

In this article, we will be discussing who is an emergency nurse practitioner, their roles, and how to become one in the UK. 

Who are emergency nurse practitioners?

An emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) is a senior practitioner who works in an emergency room and has been trained to treat minor injuries without the need for a doctor's intervention. They are trained to look at injuries, make a diagnosis, treat them, and discharge them without sending patients to a doctor. They are another little-known but invaluable element of the NHS workforce. 

Previously, if you visited an emergency department with a minor injury, you would have had to wait for the doctor to come and attend to your wound. However, since ENPs work in the emergency rooms and intensive care units of hospitals all over the UK, this wait time can be cut down by a lot. As an emergency nurse practitioner, nurses who are already qualified can show and learn more skills and knowledge so they can treat minor injuries without consulting with a doctor. 

They work with specific guidelines, drawn up with the agreement of the clinical leader of the emergency department. Nurse practitioners who work in emergency rooms are trained to help people with things like cuts, burns, bites, sprains, and strains. 

The position was first introduced in the UK in 1992 at the A&E Department of Leighton Hospital in Cheshire. Since then, emergency nurse practitioners have become an invaluable part of many other emergency teams. ENP has not only cut down on the time it takes to treat minor injuries, but it has also helped improve the quality of care and give patients better service. 

What are the roles of an ENP? 

An emergency nurse practitioner would function as a specialist nurse working independently in your area of practice. As was already said, an ENP is a senior practitioner who works in the emergency room and has been trained to treat minor injuries without having to call a doctor. Aside from diagnosing and treating patients with minor injuries, they can do many other things, such as giving injections and giving medications, such as antibiotics, to patients. 

An ENP may be called upon to record and interpret ECG examinations, perform wound, burn, or scald treatments, or apply plaster of paris to fractures. Typically, an ENP has the right to treat all kinds of patients aged 12 and over, and so they must be adaptable and able to make rapid decisions under pressure. An ENP's role also encompasses patient assessment, including pain assessment and management, and discharging patients when appropriate. 

The emergency nurse practitioner's job is very broad in many ways, and it was created with the goal of making NHS emergency services better all the time. ENPs may be assigned to the trauma center, urgent care centres, or ambulances in addition to working in A+E. 

What are the qualities required for an excellent ENP?

1. Proven experience, including clinical skills 
2. Staying calm in a crisis 
3. Being good at solving problems quickly and efficiently 
4. Leadership skills 
5. Good and spontaneous decision-making 
6. Additional specialist skills such as life support 

Why are emergency nurse practitioners so invaluable?

After ENPs were put in place in the UK, it took less time to treat people with minor injuries, even if they didn't need to be sent to the doctor. So, the ever-growing waiting time for treatment in the emergency room and urgent care units was reduced, which made patients happier. This also takes some of the pressure off the UK's small number of doctors. 

The role of the ENPs has also helped to increase productivity in the NHS and help the health service provide the best possible service to its patients in the UK. It is hoped that by adding jobs like the ENP, waiting times and costs will go down and service quality will stay the same or get better. 

Who is eligible to become an ENP?

The first and foremost step in order to be an ENP is that you must already be a registered nurse. If you are a registered nurse and are looking forward to becoming an emergency nurse practitioner, you will need to complete a master's degree (MSN) or doctoral degree (DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practise degree). These programmes typically 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, most ENP training is done on the job. 

If you think you have natural leadership skills and can work well in a difficult and often chaotic environment, and if you have one or more of the following, it will help your application: Basic Life Support (BLS); Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS); Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); and Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS). 

What is the average salary for an ENP in the UK?

As per talent.com, the average emergency nurse practitioner salary in the UK is £44,646 per year, or £22.90 per hour. For entry-level positions as an ENP, their starting salary is £10,671 per year, while most experienced workers make up to £78,293 per year in the UK. 

Career development

In certain situations, ENPs can become Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ANPs). An ANP, or advanced practice registered nurse in the UK, is a primary care professional who specialises in providing public medical care. Nurse midwives and clinical nursing experts are among those who make critical decisions about a patient's health. This is one of the most advanced nursing positions. 

Nurses Group is the leading nursing agency in the UK, with branches in Yeovil, Bournemouth, Taunton, and Salisbury. We work to make sure that hospitals and clinics have the nurses they need for short-term and emergency needs. Nurses and other healthcare professionals can learn about available positions on our career page. 

Like our service? Subscribe us