Adult Emergency Department

Emily McBride
Welcome to the Emergency Department!

Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital boasts a Level 1 Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Designated Level 1 Burn Center and Chest Pain Center, and the majority of these patients begin their care in our unit. In the Emergency Department, we see a variety of medical, surgical, neurological, psychological, traumatic and cardiac-related emergencies. Nurses in our unit must be kind, professional and have the ability to adapt to sudden acuity changes. Being an Emergency Department nurse means you think critically, communicate efficiently and effectively and bring calmness to stressful situations. We have one of the largest departments with more than 250 staff members, and there is definitely strength in numbers. Our nurses and care partners and providers work very closely together to provide team-based, patient-centered care. In fact, we are so proactive in our team approach that nurses don’t have to ask for help because someone has already volunteered to pitch in. Our management team is very engaged. We support our nurses in several ways — celebrating personal wins, supporting career advancement and helping our team members to grow personally and professionally. As the manager of such a large unit, I make it a priority to be available to staff and make sure my nurses have multiple avenues to reach me. I also support our team by making sure our unit is well represented at organization-wide meetings and that their voices are heard. We have a very active unit board, and our nurses have led the charge in instituting dress code reform, holiday scheduling, designated drink stations and on-call tracking. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and want to hone your nursing skills, apply now and join us!

Emily McBride, MSN, RN
Manager, Adult Emergency Department


Location Location
First floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
Number of Beds
45; can expand to 92
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult patients with varying conditions and acuities.    
Unit Team Staff Mix
•    Registered Nurses
•    Care Partners
•    Paramedics
•    Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians
Certifications Required Certifications
•    RN Licensure
•    BLS 
•    ACLS 
•    PALS
•    TNCC
•    CEN 
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    New nurses begin on night shift
•    Modified self-scheduling
•    Some mid-shifts available
awards Award

Recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality for team triage innovations


Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
www Visit Adult Emergency Department for more information.
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


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“During the course of a 12-hour shift it's not only possible, but probable, that we will witness and be an active participant in the entire spectrum of life and death. We regularly resuscitate the dead and the dying, occasionally deliver a child, stand on a common ground with the marginalized, instill our love for life into the lives of the suicidal, reorient the chemically confused and provide hope and security when patients feel it is nowhere to be found. I have watched my colleagues do all these things with grace and unshakable integrity. My peers are an inspiration to me, and it is for them that I get up and go to work every morning. Each day I get to employ and refine the training and skills I have acquired, and, hopefully, be the ‘best part of someone's worst day.’”

Clifford O., RN, BSN, CEN, CCRN, NREMT  
Adult Emergency Department 

“The thing I love most about working on this unit is getting to work with my coworkers. Working with them, I’ve learned how to handle high levels of pressure that I didn’t think I could handle before. I’ve learned how to work in the middle of a Level 1 trauma and focus only on that patient — no matter how intense the situation.”

Frankie G., BSN, RN
Adult Emergency Department

“The Emergency Department is like no other place in the hospital.  Our staff and work environment provides for both challenging and engaging opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Many of our staff members hold multiple certifications — TNCC, CCRN, CEN, AEMT, NRP, ENPC, PHTLS, just to name a few. This is the place where the sickest of the sick come, and they entrust us with their lives or with the lives of their family, friends and coworkers. There is no greater privilege than that.”

Aurea C., BSN, RN-C, CEN
Adult Emergency Department