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What is an ENP nurse (Emergency Nurse Practitioner)?

An Emergency Nurse Practitioner, or ENP, is a specialist nurse who has had additional training to diagnose and treat minor injuries or illnesses in an emergency care setting.

The role was first introduced in the UK at the A&E Department of Leighton Hospital, Cheshire, in 1992. Since then, ENPs have proved to be an invaluable part of many other emergency teams. They help reduce waiting times for treating minor injuries, improving the quality of care and levels of patient satisfaction. For example, it’s meant that, with specialist training, experienced nurses can diagnose and treat patients, often without needing to involve a doctor. This takes the pressure off other members of the team and helps provide a better service for patients.

Where does an ENP work?

ENPs at The Scottish Nursing Guild (SNG) work in many settings across the UK, but not currently in the Republic of Ireland. For example, you might be in the emergency department of a hospital, a minor injury unit, walk-in centre, primary care centre, GP out-of-hours or even in the ambulance service.

What does an ENP do?

ENPs assess, diagnose, treat and discharge patients, often in the ‘Minors’ area of the department. They work within guidelines agreed with the clinical lead of an emergency department. The role might involve:

  • Patient assessment, including pain assessment and management
  • Diagnosing problems such as sprains, strains, cuts and bites, giving medication (orally or via injection), and treating minor injuries including burns and wounds
  • Reading and assessing X-rays
  • Administering some medications, including antibiotics
  • Recording ECG examinations
  • Discharging patients when appropriate

What are the entry requirements, and what training do I need?

To work as an ENP for The Scottish Nursing Guild, you’ll need to be a registered nurse. You’ll also need to have had a minimum of two years of experience practising as an ENP in an urgent care setting during the last 2.5 years.

You’ll also need:

  • Evidence of a university accredited course at Level 3 (diploma) or above in clinical reasoning and clinical examination
  • To be able to carry out comprehensive consultations for emergency and urgent undiagnosed conditions
  • To feel confident being the first point of contact to treat, refer and formulate a discharge plan
  • Evidence of completion of V300 prescribing course is also desirable

What makes an excellent ENP?

  • Proven experience, including clinical skills
  • Staying calm in a crisis
  • Being good at solving problems quickly and efficiently
  • Natural leadership skills
  • Good decision-making
  • Additional specialist skills such as life support

Career development?

In some cases, ENPs can go on to become Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ANP). ANPs work across the emergency department, including in the resuscitation room and ‘Majors’ area.

Find out more about what’s involved in becoming an ENP or ANP.

Roles with SNG

We’re always looking for qualified ENPs to join our team to work in temporary, last-minute placements in NHS and private hospitals. You’ll need to work to our high standards and, in return, you’ll receive full professional support from us.

Check out the requirements to work with the Scottish Nursing Guild (SNG) team.

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