Working as an A&E Nurse

Oct 05, 2023

Where would society be without A&E nurses? In a lot of trouble! Over the course of a year, there are typically around 16 million attendances at major hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) units – and 9 million at minor units.

This means that great A&E Nurses are in high demand – so if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding nursing career, look no further!

A&E Nurses are the backbone of their units, providing immediate care to patients during critical and often life-threatening situations. We’ll share our experience of working in the healthcare sector covering the qualifications and skills you’ll need to become an A&E Nurse, the qualities of the best A&E Nurses, as well as some of the key benefits of Nursing.

How to Become an A&E Nurse

Prospective A&E Nurses in the UK typically need to complete a nursing degree and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Your degree will encompass a range of classroom and placement training. Nursing degree apprenticeships are also on the rise, which can help you acquire those essential skills quickly!

On top of the training required for A&E nursing in the UK, gaining more practical experience on the ward will go the extra mile in making you a great candidate for any A&E Nurse position.

However, it’s important to note that there are many different paths into A&E Nursing in the UK. For example, international nurses may consider relocating to the UK for nursing, meaning the eligibility requirements to become an A&E Nurse may be a little different. In this instance, the NMC requires you to:

  1. Be a qualified nurse.
  2. Have completed a programme of education that meets their requirements – meaning your nursing qualification should be equivalent to at least a foundation level degree.
  3. Provide evidence of your English proficiency.

For more info on moving to the UK as an international nurse, read the guide we’ve created here.


The Qualities and Skills of a Great A&E Nurse

The Acute Nursing skill set for A&E encompasses a strong foundation in clinical nursing skills, including advanced life support, trauma care and critical care. However, great A&E Nurses also possess a broad range of other qualities and skills, including the following:

  • Communication: Great communication skills are key for A&E Nurses, as their day-to-day job involves conveying information clearly and effectively to patients, families and other healthcare professionals. As an A&E nurse, you will provide care and comfort to babies, elderly patients and everyone in between, making a positive bedside manner essential
  • Decision-making: Given the high-stress and quick-moving environment, A&E Nurses must be adept at staying calm and focused, which is essential for making sound decisions
  • Empathy: Patients in A&E are often at their most vulnerable. The ability of an A&E Nurse to respond with empathy and sensitivity to their needs, even in stressful or challenging circumstances, is an invaluable asset in providing holistic care
  • Flexibility: A&E’s fast-paced world demands adaptability & flexibility. Nurses need to be prepared for the unpredictable and able to transition seamlessly between new patients and situations
  • Endurance: The A&E shift can be an endurance test, pushing a nurse’s energy levels to the brink. Great endurance and an emphasis on self-care and balance is pivotal for any A&E Nurse!

Why Become an A&E Nurse?

Let’s face it, working in A&E tends to make you a superhero in the eyes of many! The A&E unit is often the first encounter most people have with a hospital, making it one of the most visible and respected nursing positions in healthcare.

Aside from being a rewarding and in-demand position, there are many key benefits of A&E nursing – here are just a few:

  • Dynamic work environment: Each day brings new challenges for A&E Nurses, meaning this is a perfect position for someone who thrives in a constantly changing, fast-paced work environment. You’ll encounter a wide range of injuries and illnesses to address, keeping the job engaging and stimulating –as well as teaching you more about nursing along the way
  • Make a meaningful impact: A&E Nursing provides you with the opportunity to make a direct and significant impact on patients’ lives during critical moments, witnessing firsthand the difference you make for patients and their families every day
  • Opportunities for growth: Given the broad range of patients and situations you’ll encounter as an A&E Nurse, this experience can also open doors to other specialisations within the healthcare sector including critical care nursing, trauma nursing and pre-hospital care


A&E Nursing in the UK is a fulfilling career with plenty of opportunities for career growth and specialisation, making it an attractive choice for those passionate about emergency care and saving lives.

Whether you’re an international nurse looking to relocate to the UK to start your A&E journey or a recent UK grad looking for your first A&E position, WESolutions have got you covered. As Nursing and Healthcare Recruitment Specialists, we’d love to connect you with the best A&E Nursing opportunities available – contact us to get started!