Triage Nurse

Evaluate and prioritize patients' needs in emergency rooms.

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Triage Nurses do?

If you’ve ever been to the emergency room or seen an old episode of M.A.S.H., then you know how crazy a medical facility can be. Sometimes, several patients come in at once, such as when there’s an accident. Other times, it’s just your regular, crazy Saturday night.

A woman in labor, a boy with a burned hand, a man holding his chest in pain, a child with a bleeding head, a woman screaming about aliens…these fill the vacant seats in the ER faster than the office staff and Doctors can process the paperwork and find an empty room.

Thank goodness the Triage Nurse is there to sort it all out. Your job as a Triage Nurse is to evaluate the needs of each patient, and direct them to the right location. The woman about to give birth is chaperoned upstairs while you assess the other patients. Because you’re good at your job, you make quick decisions and easily determine who needs immediate attention and who can wait for the next round.

As the patients file in, you take their vital signs, ask questions, start a file, and input information into the computer. You might also draw blood or order x-rays. Then you show them to a room or ask them to wait while you process another patient.

As a Triage Nurse, it’s important that you stay calm when the patient is anything but. This way, you can gather the needed information, and get them the help they need in the most efficient way.

Should I be a Triage Nurse?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Telephone Triage Nurse, Triage Register Nurse

    How to become a Triage Nurse

    Most Triage Nurses have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:bd9caa&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2864%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2829%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,64
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