18 Best Nursing Career Choices in 2022 [Infographic]
Skyrocket your Earnings with these Nursing Careers
Nursing careers will continue to flourish due to the growth of the healthcare sector. It will grow annually at 5.4% from 2018 to 2022 according to Deloitte. This is higher than the growth rate of just 2.9% from 2013 to 2017.
This article will tackle the nursing career paths that have the highest earning and growth potential.
If you are looking into being a nurse in the future, it is valuable to know as early as now what type of nurse you aspire to be.
Career progression (and the salary, too) highly depends on the education that you acquired to become a nurse.
The median salary of licensed practical or vocational nurses, whose training took only about a year or two, is lower by about $25,000 compared to that of a registered nurse.
To become a registered nurse (RN), there are several pathways:
- 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
- 3-year hospital diploma program
- 2-year associate’s degree in nursing
More than passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), many of the higher-paying jobs will require further studies. Commonly it is a master’s degree and further examinations specific for the chosen field.
Going further into details, read on to learn more about the top nursing careers.
Emergency Room / Trauma Nurse
- Median Salary: $75,109
- Projected Growth: 16% by 2024
- Requirements: Emergency care requires high levels of education and experience. After becoming an RN, obtain a master’s degree in Nursing, undergo specialized training and get certified by the Board of Certification in Emergency Nursing.
- Who It Is For: If you want a lot of action, become an emergency room nurse. You should be able to work well under pressure. This is because most of the time, you will be handling injuries or trauma, some of which are life-threatening. Quick-witted and fast, you should be able to work well with the emergency physician and must understand triage. This job requires good documentation skills, too.
Not all emergency room nurses work in the emergency room of hospitals all the time. Some of them are transport nurses who care for patients while on transit to a medical facility.
Some ER nurses also work in crisis intervention centres, sports events, or transport facilities like airports.
- Median Salary: $65,470
- Projected Growth: 19% by 2022
- Requirements: This nursing career requires being a Registered Nurse with at least two years of experience and 2,000 hours in cardiac care nursing before applying for certification under the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine.
- Who It Is For: Cardiac nursing is for those who can work under pressure and can work well in a team.
Cardiac care nurses are the ones who provide care for patients with heart problems. They work on a myriad of diseases including coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
Under the supervision of a cardiologist, they look after the patient and help with the procedures conducted to assess the patients such as an electrocardiogram test.
- Median Salary: $66,000 (RN)
- Projected Growth: 16% by 2024
- Requirements: As the title suggests, this job requires you to travel, be assigned in understaffed healthcare units and support for a while, or be sent overseas. Usually, travel nurses work under an agency and are contractual employees.
- Who It Is For: If you do not want to be confined to work in a fixed hospital setting, then, this nursing career may just be right for you.
Their tasks include recording the patient’s medical history, checking up on the patient and measuring their vital signs.
Sometimes, they go to patients’ homes and educate the family members about the patient’s condition and home care.
- Median Salary: $67,808
- Projected Growth: 26% by 2022
- Requirements: This nursing career will require an RN license, 2000 hours of experience in nephrology and two years in dialysis area and passing a certification exam. In addition, you would need fifteen hours of continuing education in nephrology.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is for the compassionate ones who would need to deal with the same ill patients on a regular basis for their treatment.
Dialysis nurses are RNs who are responsible and accountable for patients undergoing dialysis. This is a procedure wherein the blood of patients with kidney diseases is cleaned through a machine. They prepare the patient and assess their condition prior to the procedure.
Dialysis nurses are also tasked to maintain the machine, prepare it for use, and recover once done using.
- Median Salary: $67,000
- Projected Growth: 16% by 2024
- Requirements: Being a surgical nurse will require a surgical nursing certification and license as an RN.
- Who It Is For?: Surgical nurses must have good observation and communication skills as they must work with a team during surgeries.
Surgical nurses work inside the operating room with three possible roles: as a scrub nurse, as a circulator nurse, or a Registered Nurse First Assistant.
Scrub nurses work directly with the surgeon, preparing and handing over the tools and instruments.
On the other hand, circulator nurses help monitor the patient during the surgery, they bring in the patients, and create a relaxing environment for them.
The Registered Nurse First Assistant is the most trained among the three types as nurses of this type helps the doctor directly in cutting tissues, suturing wounds, and controlling bleeding.
With advanced education, this nursing career can be progressed into becoming a nurse anaesthetist or patient educator.
- Median Salary: $68,000
- Projected Growth: 19% by 2022
- Requirements: An RN wanting to take this nursing career path will need to have at least a year of related experience. Then, he or he must take the Oncology Nurse Certification by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is for compassionate and optimistic nurses who would have to uplift weak cancer patients.
Oncology nurses are nurses who provide nursing care to cancer patients. To treat cancer patients, oncology nurses assist in chemotherapy and radiation procedures.
Not only that, their job is to look after the cancer patients, monitor their symptoms and health condition.
They also help in educating the public, especially those high-risk, on how cancer can possibly be prevented.
Since patients of oncology nurses are potentially weakened by their illness, the job is quite emotionally and physically draining but can also be rewarding when the patients are treated.
- Median Salary: $69,000
- Projected Growth: 26% by 2022
- Requirements: You must be able to work with a team of other healthcare providers. Be on tip-top shape as some researches could require tough, physical conditions.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is for those with excellent technical writing skills and analytical thinking.
Nurse Researchers are those whose work is involved in clinical trials aimed to advance healthcare.
Usually, their work is to provide patient care for those who are undergoing a new treatment or taking a new medication. They work for projects commissioned by pharmaceutical companies or other health-related firms, medical laboratories or universities.
Occupational Health Nurse
- Median Salary: $70,000
- Projected Growth: 16% by 2024
- Requirements: You must be an RN with certification from the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is for those who would be willing to be assigned away from the hospital to attend to sick employees (or as preparation for any untoward incident in the workplace).
Occupational health and safety is a top priority of many industries as a loss in manpower due to illnesses and accidents may ultimately lead to a loss in income.
Laws and regulations are also in place to protect employees against risks and hazards that come with their job. This is where occupational health nurses help companies.
An occupational health nurse’s main objective is to keep employees healthy. In case of an accident, they are also the ones who administer first aid. They monitor the health condition of employees and educate them on how to prevent illnesses and job-related injuries.
- Median Salary: $71,000
- Projected Growth: 16% by 2024
- Requirements: If you want to advance in geriatrics, be prepared to be an RN, render 2,000 hours in this specialty and then, pass a certification exam.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is good for those who are patient, empathetic, and physically strong.
As the baby boomers grow old, demand for healthcare workers in nursing homes has increased over the years. The World Health Organization reports that people are living longer lives which could be beneficial to societies globally.
However, this does not mean that our elders are spared from health deterioration due to aging. Old people tend to get into more injuries that hurt themselves and even when they are careful, their bones get weaker over time. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are common in old patients, too.
- Median Salary: $73,000
- Projected Growth: 26% by 2020
- Requirements: Due to the high risk that nurses in this field face, training and certifications are stricter. After being an RN, an aspiring obstetrics nurse shall render 2,000 hours of experience in this field. Immediately after, he or she can apply for certification by passing the Obstetric Nursing exam from the National Certification Corporation.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is good for those who are committed to working with pregnant women. He or she must be patient.
Obstetrics nurses, or OB-GYN nurses, assist in the labor of expectant mothers and in the delivery of the babies. They also help in treating gynecological diseases.
The routine work involves common tasks of an RN but the goal of an OB-GYN nurse is more specialized. It is their duty to keep both mother and baby healthy before, during, and even after the pregnancy.
They also educate women about reproductive health.
- Median Salary: $73,000
- Projected Growth: Up to 26% by 2022
- Requirements: Registered nurses who wish to take this nursing career path must complete a master’s degree in Health Informatics, Health Care Management or Quality Management.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is good for those comfortable with computers.
An informatics nurse’s line of work is not limited to nursing per se, but it extends to the high level of information management. This is required in order to maintain patient records and ensure quality management.
With the use of software, computer programming, data science, and other related technologies, and informatics nurse sees to it that data are effectively communicated to end-users in a fast, comprehensible way.
At the same time, technology advancements like the ones that informatics nurses develop help in boosting productivity and cost.
He or she also makes sure that information is available for those who need access.
A reliable information database that informatics nurses maintain can ease decision-making which is significant in life-threatening situations.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Median Salary: $87,000
- Projected Growth: 19% by 2022
- Requirements: To become one, an RN must be able to render sufficient hours prior to getting the certification from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
- Who It Is For: If you like young children, then, this nursing career can be a good fit for you.
As the population continues to grow, health care for children becomes in demand, too.
Pediatric nurse practitioners work hand in hand with pediatricians in ensuring good health of young patients.
Working in pediatrics, it is the nurse who administers shots, prepares young patients in medical procedures, and conducts check-ups.
Additionally, their role includes educating the child and his family on proper nutrition and disease prevention.
Family Nurse Practitioner
- Median Salary: $92,000
- Projected Growth: 35% by 2024
- Requirements: To become one, an RN should study family nursing practice in a master’s degree specializing in this field.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is for those that are flexible and can relate well to patients of all ages.
A family nurse practitioner is also an RN who, guided by a doctor’s diagnosis, can treat illnesses and prescribe medications.
They accommodate a wide range of cases from pediatrics to geriatrics. They observe patients, order laboratory tests, and assists in minor surgeries.
This position also has common functions with a physician, and so, they can work independently.
Some put up their own clinics and see patients, more like a family doctor.
With this, family nurse practitioners also advise patients and families of a holistic approach in curing and preventing diseases. This includes such advice as to diet adjustments and habit changes.
Certified Nurse Midwife
- Median Salary: $93,000
- Projected Growth: 25% by 2024
- Requirements: To become one, an RN must continue with a master’s degree and render at least two years of experience in a midwife setting. Following this, work on the certification from the American College of Nurse-Midwives Council.
- Who It Is For: This is for nurses who welcome challenges and adrenaline rush that come with every labor and delivery.
A certified nurse midwife’s role starts from the moment that a pregnant mother comes for regular prenatal visits, up until the time that the mother has delivered the baby.
He or she must be on call to assist when the patient goes into labor.
Sometimes, a certified nurse-midwife establishes her own clinic, but oftentimes, she works with gynecologists and obstetrics physicians in a hospital setting.
She provides counseling, assists in the delivery, and provides postpartum care. She must be well-versed in mother and child health care.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Median Salary: $98,000
- Projected Growth: 31% by 2022
- Requirements: This nursing career is a type of advanced nursing. Two years of experience being an RN will be required to be accepted into a master’s degree. After completing the graduate program, nurses will then complete a thesis related to neonatal care. Check out the laws in your state, additional licenses may be required.
- Who It Is For: This is for nurses who have a lot of patience and affection in taking care of babies.
The neonatal nurse practitioner works in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This is where pre-term babies, or babies born with problematic health conditions stay after birth and assessment.
In the NICU, they take care of the baby by administering medications, doing kangaroo care, soothing the baby, and even changing the diapers.
Aside from looking after the baby, they also provide support to the family by updating them of the treatments and educating them about how they can better take care of the baby once discharged from the hospital.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Median Salary: $99,000
- Projected Growth: 19% by 2022
- Requirements: An RN must also study further to have a master of science in nursing or, preferably a doctorate in nursing practice. These centres provide certifications: American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC); the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN); and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
- Who It Is For: This is for those who want an adrenaline rush.
This nursing career mostly deals with addressing severe injuries and trauma for a short period of time.
Apart from routine nursing activities like checking on the patient’s condition and symptoms, acute care nurses administer medications, insert intravenous fluids, and prepare the patients for operations.
An acute care nurse practitioner must be well-versed in emergency care and life support since many acute care patients are in severe health conditions.
Most acute care nurse practitioners specialize in one field, may it be geriatrics or cardiac care.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
- Median Salary: $102,000
- Projected Growth: 5% by 2024
- Requirements: This requires a master’s degree or higher, with specialization in psychiatric nursing.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is perfect for those with great communication and observation skills, extreme focus, and a lot of patience.
There is a rising need for psychiatric nurse practitioners as more patients are now seeking mental health care.
In the US alone, about a quarter of adults have mental health problems according to estimations.
With more people seeking professional help, the healthcare sector will also need more nurses working in this sector.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners work alongside psychiatrists in evaluating patients and administering treatments.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Median Salary: $144,000
- Projected Growth: 25% by 2022
- Requirements: Ideally, he or she must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing who will go on to complete a master’s degree, specializing in anesthesia. A master’s degree would require a full year of clinical experience. Additionally, being an RN in Critical Care would be an advantage.
- Who It Is For: This nursing career is fit for those with attention to detail and good communication skills.
A certified registered nurse anesthetist is a type of advanced practice registered nurse.
Working hand in hand with anesthesiologists, CRNAs are usually in charge of pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative care of patients.
They check the physical state and review the medical history of the patient. They are also the ones who prepare and administer the anesthesia.
INFOGRAPHIC: BEST NURSING CAREERS 2019
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There you have it!
Nursing careers are greatly varied as you can see in the list enumerated. But, as in any profession, each specialization has different demand and supply levels which affect the salary.
Additionally, there are factors affecting the salary of nurses such as location, shifting, and experience.
Taking up a nursing career should not be just about the money you will make. More than the salary, remember why you chose the profession.
Was it because you want to serve people? Was it because of personal advocacy?
Because at the end of the day, only the passionate ones who find satisfaction in their chosen nursing career stay and persevere.
The 20 Nursing Career Specialties : Demands, and Salaries
The nursing field has seen explosive growth in recent years, and this should continue for the foreseeable future. If you are intrigued by a career in nursing, you will likely find a specialty in this list.
20 Nursing Career Specialties
This specialty works with premature babies, most often in an intensive care setting. They provide extensive care for premature infants who usually have a variety of health problems.
Career Path: BSN, Master’s Degree, Specialized training/experience with neonates
Job Demand: will increase by 17% by 2022.
Average salary: $65,000
This specialty is a type of advanced practice registered nurse who provides and coordinates patient care for mothers and expecting mothers.
Career Path: Many experiences as a nurse, Master of Science degree in nurse-midwifery.
Job Demand: will increase by 31% by 2022.
Average Salary: $79,000.
This specialty treats patients who have more serious health problems in most cases. They usually work in the hospital in a clinical setting.
Career Path: BSN, MSN, Specialized, Clinical Nurse Training
Job Demand: will grow by 20% by 2022
Average Salary: $67,000.
Critical Care Nurse
This specialty works most often in the intensive care unit or ICU.
Career Path: BSN, Worked at least 2 years in ICU.
Job Demand: will grow by 16% by 2022
Average Salary: $61,000
This specialty works with patients who have kidney problems and who must receive dialysis on a regular basis so that they can survive.
Career Path: BSN, Take classes in dialysis specifically nephrology and pharmacology.
Job Demand: at least 19% by 2022
Average salary: $64,000
These professionals work under the eye of a doctor, and they do patient exams, diagnose various illnesses and prescribe drugs.
Career Path: BSN, MSN and several years experience in the field
Job Demand: at least 25% by 2022
Average Salary: $94,000
Health Policy Nurse
This specialty works at an administrative level in various public and private organizations to come up with policies that will make people in society healthier.
Career Path: BSN, MSN, Worked in the field for years, Specialized field by participating in a health policy residency
Job Demand: at least 17% by 2022
Average Salary: $66,000
This specialty provides anaesthesia to patients who are going into surgery. They also help manage patient care in the OR, and they provide follow up care for many procedures that are done on an outpatient basis.
Career Path: BSN to RN (at least 2 yrs experience), MSN in Nurse Anesthesia, Work in acute care, such as an ICU or ER
Job Demand: will grow by 22% by 2022
Average Salary: $154,300.
This specialty collects, interprets and analyzes important medical data that comes into a health facility every day. They also train other nurses in the hospital on any new technology that is being introduced.
Career Path: BSN to RN (years of experience), Take classes in Informatics Nursing
Job Demand: Growth in this field is probably not as high as nursing overall
Average Salary: $83,000
This speciality teaches other professionals to become nurses.
Career Path: BSN to RN, MSN, May need a doctorate in Nursing.
Job Demand: will grow by 19% by 2022
Average Salary: $65,000.
This specialty represents the interests of the family and the patient in a clinical care setting.
Career Path: BSN to RN (years of experience), Continuing education classes in social and financial matters related to health care. Then you need to be employed as a nurse advocate and possibly become a consultant.
Job Demand: will grow by 19% by 2022
Average Salary: $57,000.
This speciality works closely with various medical organizations and research organizations to do clinical studies related to health.
Career Path: BSN and MSN, Doctorate in nursing (Often required). Experience or training in clinical studies
Job Demand: will increase by 26% by 2022
Average Salary: $90,000.
Pain Management Nurse
This speciality is a type of advanced nursing and helps the patient to not become addicted to narcotics. They work with the patient to determine what is causing the pain and then works with other medical professionals to determine the best course of treatment.
Career Path: BSN to RN (years of experience at least 2000 hours related to nursing pain management)
Job Demand: at least 19% for all nurses by 2022
Average Salary: $67,000.
This speciality has a high degree of expertise in mental health, crisis intervention and therapy that they use to help patients deal more effectively with mental illness.
Career Path: BSN to RN, Education in mental health and experience in the field.
Job Demand: Over 20% by 2022 in this profession
Average salary: $65,000.
This speciality usually works in ERs, trauma facilities, and urgent care centers. This is a high demand, high-stress profession, and it is not for every personality.
Career Path: RN to BSN, Years working in a trauma center or ER, Obtain emergency nursing certification.
Job Demand: at least 20% growth in this field by 2022
Average Salary: $65,000.
This speciality usually works for a nursing or health care agency that covers a certain area of the US, or possibly the entire country. They provide nursing services to hospitals and medical facilities to fill a short-term need.
Career Path: BSN to RN, at least 2 years experience working in one or two facilities.
Job Demand: at least 20% growth by 2022
Average Salary: $70,000, and the employer will pay benefits usually as well as a housing allowance.
This speciality works with young children, most often in a clinical or intensive care setting. They provide children with specialized care.
Career Path: BSN and some master’s degree. You need specialized training or experience working with children.
Job Demand: at least 19% by 2022
Average salary: $65,000.
This speciality is trained to work specifically with the elderly and to handle the challenges that these types of patients have.
Career Path: BSN to RN, Special training in working with elderly patients.
Job Demand: at least 20% by 2022
Average Salary: $65,000.
Public Health Nurse
This speciality generally focuses on preventative medicine. They primarily educate people about health issues and try to improve community health before people get sick.
Career Path: BSN to RN. Experience or training in PHN. Possibly earn a master’s degree.
Job Demand: At least 20% by 2022
Average Salary: $66,000.
This speciality works one on one with cancer patients in a hospital, clinical care center or even at home.
Career Path: BSN and be a practising nurse for several years. Eventually, earn a certification in oncology nursing, and MSN.
Job Demand: At least 20% by 2022
Average Salary: $68,000.
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Mental Health Nurse
Mental health is one of the fastest growing fields in health care today. With an increase in mental health nursing degrees being obtained, the need for these specialized health care workers in the field is being met. The needs of mental health patients are being given more specialized care today to help address the prevalent mental health problems.
Mental Health Nurse Education Requirements
Becoming a mental health nurse requires a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing in addition to a bachelor’s in nursing and being licensed as a registered nurse. Because mental health patients’ needs are very different from those in other fields of physical only ailments, it requires a master’s degree to work in these mental health clinics. Having this additional education helps nurses to deeper understand the factors involved in their care.
Once a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing has been obtained, the next step is to get a license after passing an examination. Psychiatric mental health nurses with a master’s degree command a higher salary than nurses in other fields. Additionally, depending on the state’s requirements, mental health nurses are required to continually take periodic exams and also participate in postgraduate classes as part of their continuing education requirements.
Mental Health Nurse Responsibilities & Job Description
Individuals with mental health nursing degrees are qualified to handle a variety of responsibilities within their field. In addition to mental illness, mental health nurses can also treat substance abuse issues. Below is a list of responsibilities that are typically handled by these nurses:
– Performing physical health examinations
– Understanding medical history (including mental especially)
– Ordering and giving diagnostic tests for specific concerns
– Assist patients with daily activities such as bathing, recreational activities, eating and spiritual care
– Prescribing treatment and therapy options specifically designed for each patient
– Work with a team of doctors, therapists, social workers, and mental health nurses to deliver specially designed treatment
– Helping special needs patients manage their acute care and chronic illness
– Providing patient education in class settings or one on one, as well as with family members
Mental Health Nurse Areas of Specialty & Scope of Practice
Within all the different responsibilities, mental health nurses can also perform their duties in different areas. Among those areas are the following:
– Clinical Research
– Acute Care
– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
– Emergency Care
– Critical Care
– Psychiatric Medication
– Mental Health Education
– Family Therapy Services
– Psychiatric/Mental Health
Mental Health Nurse Practice Settings
The most common place people think mental health nurses are needed is hospitals. Besides hospitals, they are needed and used in a variety of settings. Mental health nurses also practice in the following settings:
– Community Facilities
– VA Hospitals
– Sleep Disorder Clinics
– Recovery Programs
– Substance Abuse Centers
– Short-Term Care Facilities
– Long-Term Care Facilities
– Private Practice
Mental Health Illnesses Covered by Psychiatric Nurses
Mental health nurses cover treatment of a variety of people in all age groups with a number of mental illnesses. Some of those mental illnesses include the following:
– Bipolar Disorder
– Anxiety Disorder
– Major Depression
Characteristics of Mental Health Nurses
Mental health nurses have a different skill set that is needed for their specialty field. This field requires very dedicated and persistent nurses to follow through with patient care as they learn to overcome and manage their illness. Because of the difficult and long-lived nature of mental illness, it requires mental health care workers to be extremely compassion, empathetic, and very understanding. This field can be very rewarding for a nurse as they are able to be one of the first ones to witness a positive change in a patient’s behavior.
Mental health is a growing field in health care as treatment is becoming more specialized for individuals. Mental health care nurses are needed in a variety of settings, work with individuals of all ages and mental health illnesses, as well work with a team of health care workers to provide the proper care for mental health patients. Nurses who have their mental health nursing degrees play an important part in the treatment and care of mental health patients in all clinical settings.
Addiction Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
Addiction nurses monitor and administer medications during the withdrawal period. It is up to the nurse to ensure that patients withdraw safely and as comfortably as possible. Not only do addiction nurses take care of the patient’s physical needs, but emotional needs are also addressed as well. Counseling that includes topics such as coping skills, boundary setting, lifestyle changes, and family interactions is vital for a full recovery. The nurse takes care of these needs and may even work as an advocate for the patient or the patient’s family. In other words, an addiction nurse treats the whole patient rather than treating the disease only. For this reason, substance-abuse nurses are different from many other kinds of nurses.
They seek to treat the whole family rather than merely working with the patient. Strengthening support networks for the patient and securing follow-up resources for the patient and family is also required.
Substance-abuse nurses may also specialize in pain management as pain is often a trigger for drug use and withdrawal causes pain that must be managed. Nurses must also recognize that every patient will have different needs, and they should be able to customize their approach and methods to best suit the personality and needs of each patient. Compassion, sympathy, and an understanding of how the drug-addicted brain works is also a must as are good communication skills.
Addiction Nurse Education Requirements, Schooling & Training
To become an addiction nurse, candidates must first complete training and licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). The track for obtaining licensure in these fields includes completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX, the national licensing exam. RNs often have more opportunities to advance over LPNs as many facilities seek to hire more qualified individuals. Many addiction nurses are trained while working at treatment centers, psychiatric institutions that treat substance abuse, or in a hospital that detoxifies patients. While on the job, nurses may be assessed according to their listening and assessment skills, communication skills, intervention skills, and education skills. They may also have to attend lectures as part of the institution’s training curriculum.
Addiction Nurse Certification
The International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) offers a certification program for addiction nurses through their certification board, the Addiction Nursing Certification Board (ANCB). Certification formally recognizes and documents special skills pertaining to substance abuse treatment. To become certified as a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) or Certified Addictions Registered Nurse-Advanced Practice (CARN-AP) candidates must possess an RN license and have a minimum of 2,000 hours working as a nurse in an addiction setting or a Master’s degree with 500 hours of direct patient contact respectively. The certification exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions pertaining to stimulants, depressant substances, and hallucinogenic substances plus process addiction, biological needs, psychosocial needs, and cognitive needs all arising from addiction.
Addiction Nurse Associations
While the IntNSA is the main association for addiction nurses, other similar associations support addiction nurses as well. The IntNSA supports nurses working in all addiction fields including alcohol, drugs, nicotine, eating disorders, dual and multiple diagnoses, and gambling. The Nursing Council on Alcohol (NCA) develops knowledge and awareness of alcohol-related problems. The Association of Nurses in Substance Abuse (ANSA) specifically deals with drug and alcohol addictions. Numerous educational boards exist as well including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),
Addiction Nurse Salary
Currently, the average salary for addiction nurses is $45,000. Salary depends on experience, geographical location, and the hiring institution. Salaries can vary greatly from one location to another. For example, The average addictions nurse salary in New York is $52,000 whereas the average salary for the same position in Boise, Idaho fetches only $40,000. Mental-health nurses and counselors fall slightly below this amount at $38,000 and $37,000 respectively.
Addiction Nursing Career Prospects
Career prospects for addiction nursing are promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the nursing field are expected to increase by 22 percent over the next decade, more than any other sector. Obtaining specialized training and certification in substance abuse nursing increases the chances of securing and maintaining employment as the need for these types of nurses is expected to increase as well.
The nurse executive usually begins their career as a licensed nurse and as such, they understand many of the issues that go with clinical nursing situations. However, most executive nurses also have advanced degrees that give them an insight into administrative, budgetary and program planning issues necessary for a health care situation. The nurse executive might be the administrator of the retirement community, the program director at a nursing school, or the head of a community health program.
Nurse Executive Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse executive will normally have at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing and many years nursing experience or more commonly a Master or Doctorate level degree.
This nurse’s duties are generally all devoted to the administrative side of the health care field rather than bedside nursing and direct patient care.
Depending upon the situation a nurse executive might design new programs for the delivery of patient care or might balance a hospitals’ nursing staff requirements with the budgetary limitations that most health care settings struggle with on an ongoing basis.
The nurse executive’s duties may require proposal writing, funding acquisition, allocation of available human resources, policy designs and more. Depending upon the situation the nurse executive may be required to be the spokesperson for the facility. The level of business, and administrative knowledge required of the nurse executive is why most employers prefer a candidate with a Master level degree at least. A passion for nursing is what it takes to be an exceptional floor nurse, but the nurse executive must also possess a grasp of budgets and leadership.
How to Become a Nurse Executive
The nurse executive should have excellent communication skills both verbal and written. The floor or charge nurse must have 10 or more years experience in clinical nursing before becoming eligible in most hospitals. The nurse who plans to become an executive might want to take undergraduate courses in leadership and communication. Nurses who elect to continue past the 4-year degree and obtain a Master degree will usually have more choices in job opportunities. Master degree programs which contain a strong element of leadership and business, are popular choices for nurses who plan to become executives in hospital administration.
Nurse Executive Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
● The nurse executive should earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
● Pass the NCLEX-RN examination and obtain an RN license.
● A Master level or Doctorate level Nursing or Business Administration, Hospital Administration or Leadership degree can help the nurse executive advance more quickly in the areas they prefer.
● The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certifies eligible executive nurses after they pass a certification exam. In order to sit for the exam, nurses must have held a position in administration, management, consultation or education for two of the five years prior to the exam. Applicants must also be up to date in regards to continuing education. Thirty hours are required for the three years before the exam. However, those with a master’s degree in nursing administration are exempt from the continuing education requirement. The exam takes four hours to complete and is administered through various testing centers throughout the country. Upon successful completion, examinees are rewarded with the Nurse Executive Board Certified (NE-BC) distinction. Nurse executives are backed by the American Association of Nurse Executives (AANE).
Nurse Executive Salary and Career Outlook
The job growth for a nurse executive is likely to be slower than that of job growth for registered nurses in general. However, retirement, new facilities, and persons who leave the field for other reasons mean the nurse executive career will experience steady growth.
The average salary of a nurse executive is around $108,000 per year.
The nurse entrepreneur is not a new career but it has gained attention as more nurses begin their own businesses and change the face of healthcare. The nurse entrepreneur is a trained nurse who takes those healthcare skills and turns their knowledge into a business. Nurses might be inventors of healthcare products, they might start home care services, serve as independent consultants and trainers and every one of them could be called a nurse entrepreneur.
Nurse Entrepreneur Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse entrepreneur is often the nurse who feels they need more than the hospital floor or administrative job. These individuals begin their own businesses using their nursing knowledge and their own inventiveness to deliver healthcare services, medical devices, or they are independent consultants.
What that means is that there is no single job description for a nurse entrepreneur. These people have decided to strike out on their own and take their training and the vocation they love and turn it into a business. The nurse who starts a travelling nurse service or home health care attendant service is an entrepreneur. The nurse who becomes a nurse legal consultant is another entrepreneur. The holistic nurse who offers her services under her own business is yet another nurse entrepreneur.
These healthcare professionals may have vastly different duties on the days they work and yet each is an independent businessperson. Nurse entrepreneurs who have become very successful may not be responsible for the day-to-day operation of their business; they may have others to do that for them. The one-person holistic nurse office or legal consultant may instead to all their books, take care of all their appointments, do their own billing and even file their own taxes.
How to Become a Nurse Entrepreneur
Most nurse entrepreneurs have the education and usually experience to help guide them in a choice of businesses. A nurse who has an interest in legal matters may choose to become a part-time nurse legal consultant, and if the business is successful may become a full time legal consultant. Alternatively, some may choose to become independent nurse advocates or case managers.
A nurse who has provided home care for many years may choose to start a home health care business or to begin a travel nurse registry.
Some nurses may choose to enter the field of medical supplies and begin a medical supply delivery service.
Nurse Entrepreneur Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
There are no requirements for education for the nurse entrepreneur since they are by definition self employed, however, most nurse entrepreneurs have practiced nursing for at least a few years before going into business.
● The nurse entrepreneur will normally have completed an accredited nursing school resulting in either a degree or a diploma in nursing.
● Many nursing entrepreneurs have had several years experience in clinical nursing.
● There are advanced degree programs available for entrepreneurial nurses resulting in a Master Degree. Advanced programs usually focus upon leadership, business, as well as new approaches to nursing issues.
● Currently, nurse entrepreneurs cannot get certified with an entrepreneur/business designation. However, the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) provides resources and connections for self-employed nurses who contract with various hospitals and agencies. Entrepreneur nurses can become certified in other areas as well such as medical-surgical, hospice, infection control and neonatal care. Certifications help business nurses compete for contracts as certifications are held in high regard by hospitals and others in need of their services.
Nurse Entrepreneur Salary and Career Outlook
The nurse entrepreneur’s salary depends entirely upon which type of business the nurse decides to begin and how much the entrepreneur decides to work. Many entrepreneurs are parents with small children at home. More small businesses are being started in the United States than ever before in history. The nurse entrepreneur in a consulting business may make the average national RN salary of $59,000 per year or more.
Teaching Health Care
The nurse educator is normally an advanced practice-nursing specialty. This highly trained nurse is the one who may be in charge of shaping the nurses of tomorrow, or in teaching specialized procedures to patients or to practicing nurses. Nurse educators can be found in clinics, nursing programs or in hospitals where their advanced degrees and extensive practical knowledge of nursing make them invaluable members of the faculty or the health care setting.
Nurse Educator Job Description & Scope of Practice
A qualified nurse educator will have the practical experience combined with their education to become qualified instructors of nursing students as well as patient instructors.
A nurse educator might instruct a class of nursing students. The educator might design curriculum for students. The nursing instructor will advise students on errors in techniques and assist them in identifying their weaknesses and help them excel. The instructor may also be responsible for documenting class and clinical performance of individual students. In addition, the nurse educator role may involve evaluating learning through traditional tests and as well as observation.
Nurse educators may also perform their roles in hospital settings conducting in-services for nurses and introducing new techniques and protocols into a hospital or clinic. The nurse educator might work exclusively with patients such as a diabetes educator who would consult with patients before their release and help them to learn how to live and adapt to their diabetes. Other nurse instructors might be employed in a teaching capacity for patients or families of seriously ill patients requiring at home medical procedures. An example of that would be teaching the family how to care for a gastrostomy tube on a pediatric or geriatric patient about to be released from the hospital. The job description of the nurse educator is not limited to clinical or classroom instructors of new nurses but encompasses the large group of advanced practice nurses who have the ability and desire to teach others.
How to Become a Nurse Educator
The nurse educator is usually an individual with and advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing or even a Doctorate. All nurses who apply for post-graduate programs must also have completed 1000 or more hours of clinical practice in their nursing speciality.
The nurse educator must be an excellent communicator, who combines a love of health care with a desire to teach others what they have learned in study and practice.
Nurse Educator Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
● A Bachelor Degree in Nursing is required for almost all nurse educator positions.
● The Nurse must pass the NCLEX-RN examination to earn their RN license.
● Any nurse planning on becoming an instructor at a college or nursing school will be required to have a Master of Science in Nursing. This requires a valid RN license and 1000 or more hours in the specialty the nurse has chosen.
● Nurse educators receive certification through the National League for Nursing (NLN). In order to become a NLN, applicants must possess a degree in nursing education and prove two years full-time employment within the past five years as academic faculty. Those who do not meet the education requirements may also apply if they have worked full time for four of the past five years as a faculty member. Eligible applicants may take an SAE, Self Assessment Examination, before taking the CNE examination. The SAE is a practice test consisting of 65 multiple-choice questions. The CNE exam is similar in format to the SAE. Certification is not mandatory, but it is considered a mark of professionalism. Certifications are backed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Nurse Educator Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for the nurse educator is strong. The need for more nurses will continue through the year 2018 according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the need for instructors to teach these new nurses will be just as great. Additionally, home care of patients is being encouraged, and nurse educators will be required to instruct the patient and family on proper care of their medical conditions. The average salary of a nurse educator ranges from $63,000 to $86,000 depending upon the educator’s location and education.
It is unlikely that a student entering nursing school has it in mind to become a nurse and then become an attorney but this dual degree is becoming increasingly more common. The reason is because increasingly our health care system and our legal system intersect in matters of patient rights, malpractice suits, and corporate liability issues, just to name a few.
Nurse Attorney Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse attorney, as the name implies is a licensed nurse who is also licensed to practice law and as such usually works on cases that involve medical or healthcare issues. Some nurse attorneys have their own practices and choose the cases they take while others may be partners in a large practice, work directly for a corporation or be employed or on retainer to a hospital. Some of these dual degree professionals may be employed by malpractice firms. Other nurse attorneys work to educate nurses on their legal obligations as nurses, as well as how to avoid malpractice suits.
This dual degree professional may write briefs, represent their clients in court, or start their own practices. The job description of the nurse attorney will vary with their employer, or the type of cases they take as an independent lawyer. However, many nurse attorneys that utilize their broad knowledge of medicine and medical procedures with their legal knowledge. Some prefer not to represent clients in court and may prepare the legal brief, interpret medical terminology and point out where errors may have occurred in medical procedures. Other nurses represent their clients in court cases adding their expertise in medicine to their legal credentials.
How to Become a Nurse Attorney
The nurse attorney will have acquired a nursing license and then been accepted to and entered into law school. Since law schools require an undergraduate degree, most nurses are RNs with bachelor degrees. Once the nurse has graduated from law school they will then be required to pass the state bar examination.
The nurse attorney will be required to invest 2 – 4 years in nursing school, and then a minimum of 2 – 4 years in law school.
Nurse Attorney Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
● Successful completion of nursing school is required and passing the NCLEX-RN examination to become a Registered nurse.
● Graduation from law school that requires 2 – 4 years.
● Passing the State Bar Examination
● The association representing nurse attorneys is The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA). Currently, the association does not offer certification, but they conduct numerous conferences and help nurse attorneys connect with clients. Legal nurses who wish to become certified may do so through other organizations, but not with a Nurse Attorney designation. For example, nurses may obtain certifications through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for specialties such as psychiatric and mental health. Certification is not required, but holding a certificate lends credibility to nurse attorneys’ testimonies.
Nurse Attorney Salary and Career Outlook
The Nurse Attorney career outlook is predicted to be better than average, combining as it does two growing fields, law and healthcare. Job growth for attorneys over the next 8 years is predicted to be around 13%, while the predicated growth in jobs for nurses is around 21 – 23% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nurse attorney employed by a corporation or hospital can expect to earn over $81,000.
A Patient’s Voice in the Health Care System
The nurse advocate is a relatively new career choice although almost all nurses involved in patient care, have been advocates for their patients in some manner. The nurse advocate however devotes their time to representing the patient’s wishes to doctors or family, explaining the often-complex terminology that goes with a doctor visit. While nurses have always been a source of support for families dealing with serious illnesses, the nurse advocate’s career revolves around this support role and helping seriously ill patients and families.
Nurse Advocate Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse advocate will often spend time helping a family and patient understand what may have been said in a doctor’s visit. Sometimes the circumstances are so unfamiliar or the patient is trying to come to terms with a life threatening diagnosis. In such situations, an advocate fills the role of liasing between the patient and the healthcare providers; at a time when the patient can emotionally accept the important information about their medical condition..
The advocate nurse may also present the wishes of the patient to doctors or even family members. A nurse filling the role of a nurse advocate may be able to assist the patient by explaining treatment options spending the time the patient needs to understand their choices and make informed decisions about their course of treatment.
A nurse advocate may be able to help the patient with insurance paperwork. The job description of a nurse advocate is vague because they are the patient’s voice at times when a patient or family may feel powerless or lost. Their role is what the family and patient requires and may change over the course of the patient’s illness. The most important part of the advocacy job for a nurse is to learn the patient’s wishes and then identify the needs of the patient and family.
How to Become a Nurse Advocate
A nurse advocate relies upon their education as well as their empathy to provide advocacy services to patients. Working as an advocate as well as a nursing professional the nurse does not make personal judgments, but instead identifies patient needs and attempts to advocate for the patient as well as the family. This can be particularly difficult when the patient is making decisions such as when to discontinue treatments and enter hospice treatment. The nurse who wants to become a nurse advocate should be an RN. There RN who plans on a career in patient advocacy may also complete a RN patient advocacy program by Healthcare Liaison Inc or become a Registered Nurse Patient Advocate through a course of study by iRNPA.
Nurse Advocate Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
● A 2 or 4 Year Degree from an accredited nursing program is required to become an RN nurse advocate.
● Pass the NCLEX-RN (the national licensing exam) and earn an RN license.
● Although certification is not required to become a nurse advocate, certification programs offer skills the nurse may need to become an efficient independent patient advocate. Some of the areas touched upon include, patient rights in decision making, cross cultural issues, ethics and business practices for the patient advocate. Nurse advocates cannot currently obtain certification through any nursing association. However, nurse advocates may hold certifications for other fields such as pediatric care, critical care or long-term care. If their work as a nurse advocate involves patients in these types of settings, certification may help nurse advocates stand out among other job applicants. Nurse advocates do not have a particular association, but they can belong to other associations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA).
Nurse Advocate Salary and Career Outlook
The nursing field is predicted to experience a very good rate of job growth over the next 8 years with an increase in jobs predicted at the rate of 21 – 23%. The nurse advocate who is employed by a hospital, clinic or community health center makes around $62,000 per year on average.
The neuroscience nurse deals with patients with many diagnoses but with one cause, a disruption or dysfunction of the nervous system. The neurological dysfunction could manifest as the inability to speak, motor problems, changes in perception, or cognitive dysfunctions. The neuroscience nurse may work in a clinic, a hospital, brain trauma units or a neuroscience ICU setting. Neuroscience nurses may work with patients who are fully comatose or with patients who are disoriented or combative.
Neuroscience Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The neuroscience nurse will assess patients, administer treatments and medication following physician’s orders. This type of nursing will require not only the normal health assessments a nurse may perform but also assessing the patient’s level of consciousness.
The neuroscience nurse may see patients with a wide variety of patients in a single day, the diagnosis and prognosis for each can vary radically with the single consistent factor being they suffer from a neurological problem. They may help the patient dealing with persistent neurological dysfunctions, including head trauma, seizures and spinal cord injuries; to adapt to changes.
Depending upon the type of unit the neuroscience nurse is employed in, they may also care and support patients recovering from neurosurgery.
How to Become a Neuroscience Nurse
Nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master level nurses are preferred by many Neuroscience nursing units. However, the neuroscience nurse will also require specialized training with patients with head traumas, and altered conscious states. Many nurses choose to do internship or volunteer work in neurology units in order to gain experience and help their resume.
Taking continuing education courses or an advanced degree in Nursing with a neuroscience specialization is an excellent way for a new nurse to enter the field. Special care units such as a neurological intensive care unit or head trauma units require the nurse be dedicated and well educated. The neuroscience nurse is a specialist but nurses may choose to specialize further and work with long-term care neuro patients or with neurological ICU units.
Neuroscience Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Nurses with Bachelor or Master level nursing degrees are usually preferred in the neuroscience unit.The nurse must graduate from an accredited nursing school.
- The nurse must hold a current and unencumbered RN license.
- The CNRN examination is administered 3 times a year and the candidate for the test must have 4,000 plus hours of clinical experience in working as a neuroscience nurse.
- Certification is available but not required for the new neuroscience nurse but is an excellent way to prove expertise in neuroscience nursing which may help in advancing a nurse’s career. The American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) recommends certification for nurses working in the neuroscience field. Nurses who meet all certification requirements and pass an exam administered by the AANN receive a designation as a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN). To be eligible to sit for the exam, applicants must possess two years experience as a full-time neuroscience nurse and 4,160 hours of practice in the five years prior to the exam. The exam is offered three times per year at various Computer Based Testing Locations (CBT). Although certification is not mandatory, but it is without doubt preferred by employers.
Neuroscience Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a neuroscience nurse is excellent. The number of jobs for nurses is predicted to grow at the rate of 21% over the next 8 years.
The average neuroscience nurse salary for a four-year RN is around $70,000 per year. The salary depends upon the nurse’s education and specialty.
Specializing in Kidney Disorders
The nephrology nurse works with patients with kidney diseases and disorders. Nephrology nurses may work in dialysis units, in critical care units, home care and in hospitals. Kidney disease can be seen in individuals at any age and may frequently be seen as a secondary complication of another condition.
Nephrology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nephrology nurse may assist patients in a physician’s office, a dialysis unit or at home. The nurse may perform assessments of patient condition, take medical histories, check vitals signs, explain doctor’s orders to patients or perform dialysis. Individuals who have undergone kidney transplants or who are experiencing renal failure or malfunction are the main concern of the nephrology nurse.
The precise role of a nephrology nurse depends upon the nurse’s level of certification. There are four levels of certification available through the NNCC (Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission) and they are as follows:
- Certified Nephrology Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nephrology Nurse
- Certified Dialysis Nurse
- Certified Hemodialysis Technician
The nephrology nurse may also work in transplant units with patients who have had a kidney transplant. This type of nursing may entail a strong element of patient education whether the nurse is employed in a dialysis unit or an outpatient clinic.
How to Become a Nephrology Nurse
The nephrology nurse must be an RN or LPN and some may move from medical surgical experience into nephrology nursing. Nurses with Master Degrees may have specialized in nephrology and this makes finding a job as a nephrology nurse much easier for the new nurse.
New RNs often take continuing education courses in order to become more qualified as nephrology nurses especially if they are required to wait for an opening in the unit.
Nephrology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
Due to the technical requirements and the complexity of nursing patients with renal disease, more nursing specialties such as nephrology are moving toward hiring only nurses with Bachelor or Master Degrees.
- A nursing license is required. Most employers prefer an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a clinical nurse or nurse practitioner with a Master of Science in Nursing
- Advanced degree nurses may specialize in nephrology during their Master Program. These nurses and RNs with Bachelor degrees will still have to accrue 2 years experience working with patients who have or are at risk for kidney disease in order to become certified.
- Certification is available for LPN/LVNs working in Nephrology Units after several years experience.
- All Nephrology nurses are required to have continuing education hours in order to keep their licenses current.
- To obtain certification as a nephrology nurse, interested persons should contact the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC). After successfully passing an examination, certified nurses carry the credentials of CNN or Certified Nephrology Nurse. Before taking the examination, applicants must work as a nephrology nurse for a minimum of two years, work for at least 3000 hours over the previous three years, and complete 30 continuing education hours within the same time period. The exam is available at various CBT, Computer Based Test location as well as other locations that offer written examinations as an alternative. Certification is endorsed by the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA). Certification is not mandatory, but certified applicants usually have a competitive edge over other job seekers.
Nephrology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Job growth for nephrology nurses is predicted to be from 21%-23% through the year 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for a nephrology nurse is around $73,000 per year. This figure is based upon the salary of an RN holding a Bachelor of Science in Nephrology Degree. The salary will vary according to the nurse’s education and the part of the country they are located.
Caring For Newborns
The neonatal nurse cares for newborns. Neonatal nurses care for newborns from the healthy newborn to the critically ill or medically unstable newborn. The neonatal nurse cares for the baby until they are ready to leave the hospital. They interact with parents answering their questions about the infant’s medical status. These nurses also instruct the parents when necessary on how to care for the healthy infant once they are home.
Neonatal Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
Healthy newborns may go to a regular neonatal unit where their vital signs are measured, apgar scores are recorded and the baby readied to visit the proud new parents. The nurse in the healthy neonatal unit will normally have many infants under her care.
Stable but ill newborns may go to an intermediate neonatal care unit (depending upon the size of the hospital) and neonatal nurses will monitor vital signs, administer oxygen and medications as necessary and perform regular care activities as necessary such as diaper changes and bathing.
The seriously ill or medically unstable neonate will usually be in the neonatal intensive care unit. Nurses in this unit have a very small patient load and constantly monitor and adjust medication for these critically ill newborns. Patient loads are minimized for the neonatal ICU nurse because these infants require so much specialized attention.
Neonatal nurses in all three-care situations will keep records of status changes for the infant; administer medications and any treatments ordered by the physician. They will also keep parents informed as to the health status of the newborn and facilitate parent interaction with the infant.
How to Become a Neonatal Nurse
The newborn nursery with healthy infants is a very popular place during school clinical. Many nurses decide based on their experience there and in pediatrics that they want to become neonatal nurses. A high score in pediactric care courses, infant and child development can help. Openings in neonatal units may be infrequent depending upon the size of the hospital, so any extra courses taken in newborn care can help when it comes time to interview. Nurses may have to accept a position in pediatrics until there is opening in the neonatal hospital. All neonatal nurses are required to have neonatal resuscitation provider certification.
High grades in school, extra courses in pediatrics and infant development and enthusiasm for the specialty are an excellent start for the nurse planning in specializing in newborn care.
Neonatal Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduation from an accredited 4 year nursing school and a Bachelor of Science degree is required.
- A current and unencumbered RN license is required.
- Certification as a neonatal resuscitation provider is required to work in the newborn units.
- Neonatal nurses are certified through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation. After taking an exam pertaining to various aspects of neonatal care including knowledge, skills ability, applicants receive certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Specific topics on the exam include signs, symptoms, lab values, blood gases, medications and reactions as well as procedures followed for certain types of illnesses. Exams may be taken online. Certification is not required to work as a neonatal nurse. However, the AACN strongly urges nurses working in the field to become certified as it lends credibility and proves their expertise to employers.
Neonatal Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a neonatal nurse is bright. Jobs in nursing are predicted to grow at an excellent rate of around 21% per year through 2018.
The neonatal nurse makes from around $70,000 to $119,000 per year depending upon their location and level of education.
Neonatal intensive Care Nurse
Working With Critically Ill Newborns
The neonatal intensive care nurse has an extremely fulfilling and high stress job. This nurse is specially trained to work with critically ill newborns. The neonatal intensive care nurse will only be found in hospitals or in very large well-equipped clinics. This nurse provides intensive care to premature babies, and babies born with congenital defects or diseases. The infants in the nurse’s care are monitored so intensely that in some units a neonatal intensive care nurse may only have two patients at a time
Neonatal intensive Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The neonatal intensive care nurse will monitor the vital signs of the infants in her charge. Some will be on ventilators and the nurse will maintain the equipment and monitor oxygen levels and pressure. Others may have cardiac monitors and IVs or feeding tubes. The neonatal nurse administers medications, feedings, bathes and changes the infants – amongst other roles.
The infants in the NICU normally require constant monitoring both visually and with telemetry. Many neonatal ICUs will return infants to the NICU immediately after surgery rather than placing them in a normal recovery room. The neonatal ICU nurse will then monitor the infant to ensure they recover from the anaesthetic without complications.
The job of a NICU nurse is fast paced, stressful and often emotionally draining. This is a position that requires the nurse be 100% focused on their tiny patients every moment they are on duty.
How to Become a Neonatal intensive Care Nurse
Becoming a neonatal intensive care nurse may take determination on the part of the graduate nurse. Generally, clinical hours in nursing school do not cover the NICU area. The few students who may do rotations in NICU are generally at the top of their class. However, in some hospitals nurses can in their last semester volunteer as a medical tech in the Neonatal Unit. The higher grade point average a student has in nursing school, the easier time they may have in entering neonatal intensive care nursing. .
Openings in the NICU may require the graduate and licensed nurse work in another unit. However, excelling in pediatrics, newborn care and child development can give a nurse the edge when an opening does occur.
Neonatal intensive Care Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduate from accredited nursing school with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A Master of Science in Nursing may give the new nurse an advantage in interviewing for a position in NICU.
- Receive a certification as a neonatal resuscitation provider. Newborns are very fragile and resuscitation techniques for them are different. While waiting for a position in NICU to open certification as an NICU nurse may be helpful.
- Critical care nurses obtain neonatal certification by taking an online exam offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation. Nurses who successfully pass the exam, which includes various aspects of neonatal care including knowledge, procedures and protocol, receive certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Applicants can choose to take the exam online by filling out an online application along with their immediate supervisor’s contact information. The corporation determines eligibility through contact with employers of applicants. Nurses do not have to become certified in order to work in a neonatal setting, but certification is highly sought after by hospitals.
Neonatal intensive Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The neonatal intensive care nurse career outlook is very bright. The number of nursing jobs will increase by at least 21% through the year 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average salary of a neonatal intensive care nurse is from $70,000 – $119,000 per year depending upon the location of the nurse and their education level.
Sharing Faith and Medicine
The missionary nurse is a professional affiliated with a faith organization. Most faith missionary nurses will work overseas in impoverished or undeveloped countries. While attending to the medical needs of the population, the missionary nurse will also minister to their spiritual needs.
Missionary Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The missionary nurse will perform all the functions of the hospital or doctor’s office nurse. These medical professionals will assess patients, take medical histories, administer IVs, assist in emergency procedures and teach patients methods to prevent the spread of infection or how to make water safe to drink.
In addition to the standard nursing procedures, the missionary nurse will also offer spiritual comfort and share their faith. The focus of the missionary nurse is twofold, to bring healing to the body and hope through sharing their faith with the people they help.
Many of the populations that the missionary nurse is working with overseas may live in impoverished nations where even clean water is unavailable. The missionary nurse and health team help provide health services and training in basic sanitation methods to villages that may lack medical care entirely.
How to Become a Missionary Nurse
The licensed RN or LPN/LVN who is drawn to missionary nursing will normally contact their own minister to find out what opportunities their particular religious organization may have available. If the nurse’s congregation doesn’t have any opportunities, then many nurses interested in missionary work contact larger religious groups that may have spiritual and medical missions going continually.
National organizations may offer more opportunities for missionary nurses. The need for these nurses is often dire. The reason is that the pay is very poor in general and some missionary nurses volunteer their services entirely. This is not a calling in which the nurse who plans to get rich will have much interest. However, a year or two as a missionary nurse can be a wonderful and broadening experience for any nurse.
Missionary Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- The nurse must hold a valid RN or LPN/LVN license
- The nurse must be free to travel and able to accept a nominal fee for their service.
- The nurse must have religious faith. The purpose of a missionary nurse is not only to help heal the body, but to minister to the soul. Most faith-based organizations accept only those who profess a strong belief in a higher power.
- Certifications are optional but usually gratefully accepted. The need for trained nurses is so critical especially in disaster areas that specialty certifications are considered optional.
- Missionary nurses do not need special certifications to work for faith-based clinics and non-profit organizations. However, the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers several certifications that can be obtained by missionary nurses including pediatric, public/community health, cardiac rehabilitation and many more. Nurses who obtain certification through the ANCC are designated at RN-BS and backed by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
Missionary Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The need for missionary nurses is critical and expected to remain so for the near future. It takes a special type of person to go to another country, face deplorable conditions and help make the lives of the population there better. Many nurses choose to volunteer for short periods as missionary nurses before continuing with their careers. No matter how long the nurse is able to stay, the help is generally appreciated.
The salary of a missionary nurse is around $25,000 yearly. Housing and food may be provided by the sponsoring organization.
A Career Serving Your Country
There is a nursing shortage across the nation and this shortage is just as critical in the military. Registered nurses and those who are considering a career in nursing may find that becoming a military nurse fulfils their career goals while serving their country. Many nurses choose to become military nurses in order to have their schooling paid for by the government.
Military Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The military nurse performs the same duties as the civilian nurse. The nurse may administer medications, perform prescribed treatments, assess patient status, monitor patient progress and assist physicians in surgical procedures. There are nurse specialists in paediatrics, OR, OBGYN, orthopaedics and more.
The difference between a military nurse and her civilian counterpart is that the military nurse may be assigned anywhere in the country or overseas. The military has height, weight, and training requirements even for nurses. Therefore, a military nurse will be required to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Military nurses can be deployed to overseas or combat zones.
Military nurses have career advancement opportunities much as the nurse in civilian life. An RN will begin as a commissioned officer and advanced schooling can be paid for by the service.
How to Become a Military Nurse
Many nurses enter the military through the ROTC. The individual who wants to become a military nurse should be accepted by an accredited nursing program and then speak to the local recruiter. The candidate should speak to the local ROTC recruiter to qualify for the scholarship opportunities offered by the military.
During the nursing school phase, the student nurse will be required to attend a summer program as well as training exercises. When the nurse graduates from school and receives their license, they can become a full-fledged military nurse.
Nurses who are already licensed may just speak to the recruiter in the branch of service of their choice. RNs usually enter the military as commissioned officers. The nurse will have to pass the medical and physical training phase necessary for all recruits.
Military Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduation from an accredited nursing school is required. Entry into the ROTC program may be necessary when student hopes to have the military pay for their training.
- Take the examination for RNs and receive a license.
- Apply for any advanced schooling such as a Master Degree.
- Nurses who are already licensed may choose to go directly to a recruitment office and sign up. There are physical fitness requirements for serving in the military.
- Specific certifications for military nurses do not exist, but the military offers pay and recognition incentives to any military nurse who receives any specialty certification through the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC offers certifications in pain management, psychiatric and mental health, adult health, cardiac vascular and medical-surgical among others. Certification is not necessary, but there are many benefits available to military nurses who obtain certification.
Military Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for nurses serving in the armed forces is bright. There is a nationwide shortage of licensed nurses and the military is experiencing the shortage as well as the private sectors. Jobs for nurses are predicted to grow at the rate of 21% through the year 2018.
Salaries for military nurses depend upon their rank and pay grade. The most experienced and ranking military nurses may receive up to $125,000 a year while the new nurse may receive $30,000 a year. Benefits such as basic subsidence allowance as well as housing allowances and health care tend to make this an attractive career choice for many nurses.
Medical Surgical Nurse
The medical surgical nurse is considered a specialized area of nursing now but at one time was the catch all for anyone admitted to a hospital not in intensive care, labor and delivery or pediatrics. The medical surgical nurse will usually have many different types of cases on her patient load in a single day.
Individuals who are stabilized after surgery are often moved into the med surgical floors, patients hospitalized with broken bones, infections or breathing problems will normally be placed on the medical surgical floor and in the care of the medical surgical nurses.
Medical Surgical Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The medical surgical nurse performs her duties in a hospital or clinic setting and cares for patients moved to the med/surg floor. The nurse must be well versed in infection control, pain control, patient assessment as well as wound care. The med/surg nurse will care for all ages and types of illnesses.
At one time, the medical surgical floor was where all nurses began and most left the floor to specialize in other areas. Now, medical surgical nurses are considered specialists in their own right and some make a career of it. The nurse will admit patients, discharge patients, perform treatments and administer medications for patients on their floor.
Medical surgical nurses may have patients with all manner of monitors on their floor. The nurse must know how to interpret the data from heart and O2 saturation monitors, start, change IVs, and change dressings on wounds. All care and medication given to these patients must be documented as well as admissions and discharge of patients.
How to Become a Medical Surgical Nurse
The medical surgical nurse must have superior time management skills. This type of nursing specialty requires an RN degree that may be a 2-year associate degree or a 4-year Bachelor degree.
The med/surgical nursing position may be the easiest for the new graduate to enter. The shortage of nurses all over the country is very noticeable on hospital medical surgical floors. The sometimes-hectic pace of a medical surgical floor is an excellent place for a graduate nurse to gain experience. Certification as a medical surgical nurse is not required but may be helpful.
Medical Surgical Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- The medical surgical nurse must graduate from an accredited nursing school.
- A medical surgical nurse must pass the licensing examination and receive an LVN/LPN or RN license.
- Medical Surgical RNs can apply to take the CMSRN certification. The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) administer the certification exam required to become a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN). Applicants must currently work in the surgical field and have two years experience as a medical-surgical RN. Applicants must also have 2,000 hours experience obtained during the three years prior to the exam. Exams are given by the Center for Nursing Education and Testing (C-Net). Some applicants may be able to obtain certification without taking the exam. Nurses who are certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a medical-surgical nurse may be exempt from taking the exam. The CMSRN is endorsed by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).
Medical Surgical Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Job growth for the medical surgical nurse is projected to be at least 21% through the year 2018. The career prospects for a med/surg nurse are limited only by their education level. The nurse with a 4-year RN or a Master degree may be in line for administrative positions as well as floor nursing jobs.
The average salary for a medical surgical nurse is around $54,000 per year.
The role of a maternity nurse is to provide care for the pregnant mother throughout the pregnancy and for up to four weeks after. The nurse generally performs this in a hospital clinic setting or community health center or in physician’s offices.
Maternity Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The maternity nurse helps assure that the mother remains health throughout the pregnancy. Nurse practitioners midwives may delivery babies as well. The midwife nurse will normally see patients in her office and may perform home deliveries.
The maternal nurse helps the mother become accustomed to her child in the first few weeks after delivery. Her focus may be divided between the mother’s health before the baby is born and the mother’s recovery as well as the newborn’s health.
The maternal nurse will normally provide care and instruction for the mother but as necessary instruct other family members in the care of the baby.
How to Become a Maternity Nurse
The path to becoming a maternity nurse is usually to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Some maternity nurse/maternal nurses have also had experience in newborn nurseries. The maternity nurse/maternal nurse may also choose to receive certifications in OBGYN or labor and delivery. Advanced degrees such as a clinical nurse specialist or Nurse Practitioner can open the door to even better paying jobs with more autonomy for the nurse.
Communication is a vital tool for the maternal nurse. These nurses must communicate effectively with a variety of people from all social economic levels and educational backgrounds. The maternity nurse must provide instructions and help which is culturally sensitive. Whether the maternity nurse meets her patients in a hospital setting, her own office or that of a physician, the nurse must be able to establish a rapport with the patient and help explain necessary treatments or medications. The maternity nurse may also help the mother learn to care for the newborn and will be alert for signs of post-partum complications. Whether the maternity nurse is a midwife, an office nurse or a community health nurse they help the mother remain healthy throughout their pregnancy.
Maternity Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduation from an accredited four year nursing program is normally required
- Pass the licensing examination for RNs
- The RN who plans to continue her education will be required to complete the 4-year RN classes, and then accrue 2 years in OBGYN or labor and delivery before entering the Master of Science in Nursing with a midwife specialty.
- After graduation, the Nurse Practitioner can apply to take the certification examination to practice as a midwife.
- There are no certifications offered for maternity nurses, but other certification such as Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), and International Lactation Consultant Certified (ILCC) might help maternity nurses further enhance their education, connections and careers. Maternity nurses belong to a variety of nursing associations including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), and the American Society of Registered Nurses (ASRN).
Maternity Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a maternity nurse (maternal nurse) or midwife is bright. The demand for nurses of all specialties is predicted to grow at the rate of 21% through the next 8 years. The salary of a maternity nurse is around $73,000 per year up to around $86,000 per year depending upon the nurse’s education and location.
Managed Care Nurse
The managed care nurse is a well-trained licensed nurse who is an advocate for both the health care insurer and the patient. Managed care nurses must hold a nursing license.
Managed Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The managed care nurse is the liaison between the patients, the cost oriented health insurance provider, and the medical community. Patients with Medicare and Medicaid or managed care insurance, may see the managed care nurse who balances the need for cost-effective medical care with the patient’s needs. The managed care nurse’s focus is upon helping the patient stay healthy and avoiding unnecessary doctor visits and procedures.
However, the managed care nurse can advocate for specialists when the patient’s needs direct it. A managed care nurse might work in a large clinic, be placed in a hospital setting by their employer or represent patients in community health clinics.
The goal of this nurse is to obtain the best medical care possible for each patient while minimizing unnecessary visits. The managed care nurse usually emphasizes healthy lifestyle choices, encourages exercise and regular checkups.
In some office or clinic settings, the managed care nurse may also take on clerical or administrative duties. A few settings such as a managed care nurse placed in a small clinic may require the managed care nurse to perform certain bedside or office nurse functions.
How to Become a Managed Care Nurse
Most managed care nurses are RNs. Their education gives them a breadth of knowledge about patient care, anatomy, pharmacology and preventative care necessary for the job of a managed care nurse. An optional certification for managed care nurses is available and for the nurse new to the field it can give them an extra edge in the job market.
Most managed care nurses work a regular Monday through Friday schedule instead of shift work. A Bachelor degree in nursing can permit the graduate nurse to immediately pursue positions open for a managed care nurse.
Managed Care Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Managed care nurses must have graduated from an accredited nursing program. Although it is possible to become a managed care nurse with an LVN/LPN license the opportunities are rare and most managed care nurses are RNs.
- Obtain voluntary certification in managed care. Although not required a voluntary certification which includes a program of learning can prepare the managed care nurse for the job market.
- Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCN) obtain credentials and certification through the American Board of Managed Care Nursing (ABMCN). Before taking the certification examination, applicants must complete a home study course given by the American Association of Managed Care Nurses (AAMCN). In addition to the home study, applicants must sit for the exam within 120 days of receiving the study materials. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering vocabulary, concepts and applications of managed care. Certifications are renewed every three years and 25 hours of continuing education is required to recertify. Certification is not mandatory, but it is sought by employers.
Managed Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career prospects and job outlook for a managed care nurse are very good. The movement toward more cost efficient health care while keeping patient services intact is behind the increase in demand for managed care nurses.
The salary of these nurses depends upon their geographical location and their level of education. However, managed care nurses in general with an RN earn on average $73,000 a year. This salary is significantly above most staff nurse’s salaries. The prevalence of managed care nurses is predicted to increase as the number of elderly baby boomers on Medicare increase over the next few years.
Long-Term Care Nurse
The long-term care nurse works in facilities where the average stay of a patient is measured in months or years, rather than days or weeks as would be the case with a hospital patient. This nurse will see many of the same patients every day and has the opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life of all the patients under the nurse’s care.
Long-term Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The long-term care nurse will perform the duties appropriate to her licensing. These nurses will assess patients, administer medications, and administer treatments ordered by the physician and follow through with the plan of care as established by the nursing team. Long-term care nurses may deal with patients who are confused such as those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
In a rehabilitation facility, the long-term nurse may provide emotional support and encouragement to patients and family. Documenting patient progress and response to treatments is part of the long-term care nurse’s job.
How to Become a Long-term Care Nurse
The long-term care nurse is a specialty that requires the nurse obtain a nursing diploma or degree. Nursing administrators may have advanced degrees in administration or clinical nursing. Long-term care nursing can be challenging and rewarding for the graduate nurse as well as the experienced nurse.
The long-term care nurse may be faced with challenges such as long hours, and staff shortages. The reason for the staff shortages are complex, the specialty does not pay as much as other specialties. The nurse in a long-term care facility requires all the compassion and expertise of a nurse in a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office setting.
Patients in rehabilitation facilities may also have had life changing traumas such as strokes or serious accidents that require they re-learn skills of daily living. Patients present the special challenges that go along with aging and the long-term care nurse must have sufficient knowledge of psychological. Long-term care nurses may be LPN/LVN RN or Advanced Practice Nurses.
Long-Term Care Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduation from an accredited nursing school earning either a degree or a diploma is required.
- Hold a nursing license, LPN/LVN or RN
- Certifications in long-term care or rehabilitation care are available for nurses after graduation. RNs with a 4-year degree can opt for a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus upon Long-term care.
- Nurses interested in obtaining certification as a Long-Term Care Nurse RN-CLTC, should petition the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing (AALTCN). Applications receive 12 hours of contact education before sitting for the exam. Only those earning an 80-percent or higher on the exam become certified. Recertification occurs every three years and requires 20 hours of continuing education. Certification is not required to work as a long-term care nurse, but only certified individuals carry the RN-CLTC distinction.
Certified nurse’s aides are commonly hired in long-term care facilities to assist patients with activities of daily living and free the nursing staff to focus upon medications and treatments.
Long-Term Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Baby boomers are reaching retirement age and the demand for long-term care nurses is predicted to become even greater. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 21-23% growth in jobs for nurses through the year 2018.
The salary range for long-term care nurses depends upon their level of education. An LPN/LVN makes around $35,000 on average. An RN will make around $54,000 a year as a long-term care nurse.
Legal Nurse Consultant
Many nurses are choosing to expand their market potential by learning complimentary skills. Legal nurse consulting is one such marriage of skills sets that is extremely marketable and challenging for many nurses.
Legal Nurse Consultant Job Description & Scope of Practice
The legal nurse consultant is self-employed. Attorneys, governmental agencies, corporations and insurance companies are the most frequent employers of legal nurse consultants. The nurse planning to start a career as a legal nurse consultant should be experienced in nursing. They use their training and experience acquired as nurses to help review medical records and procedures and make sense of medical terminology for attorneys.
Attorneys are very well educated in the law, but very few have the skills to read through a potential malpractice suit or slip and fall and determine if medical malpractice might have been the cause. The nurse does not make that determination, but she does have the training and experience to know if appropriate medical procedures were followed and to point that out in the summary. She can also translate medical jargon into plain language for the attorney.
The legal nurse consultant will review the appropriate records, summarize the findings and point out any inconsistencies in procedures and care for the attorney.
How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant
The legal nurse consultant might work only a day or on a simple consulting job or for more complex cases the work could last weeks. It requires a combination of nursing experience, legal nurse consulting training, and marketing to become a successful legal nurse consultant.
The legal nurse consultant should have substantial nursing experience as well as legal nurse consultant education courses. These courses are generally offered as continuing education modules. The legal nurse consultant must also market their services in order to obtain business. Unlike the hospital or doctor’s office where patients seek out the nurse, the consultant is in charge of finding their own business. What that means in practical terms is the nurse consultant might also want to consider some small business classes to learn how to best market their skills, keep their books and report taxes.
Legal Nurse Consultant Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Graduation from an accredited nursing school with an Associate or Bachelor degree is required.
- The graduate nurse must take the NCLEX-RN exam in order to obtain an RN License.
- Advanced education credentials, such as a Master of Science in nursing can be very helpful for the legal nurse consultant.
- Obtain certification in legal nurse consulting by completing a legal nurse consulting continuing education program.
- In order to become a Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC), nurses need to sit for an exam administered through the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). The exam, accredited by the American Board for Nursing Specialties (ABNS), is given online and covers numerous topics including medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, risk management, administrative health law/regulatory compliance and criminal forensics among others. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of five years experience working as an RN and 2000 hours working in a legal nurse consulting field during the three years prior to the test. Certification is not required, but it is highly respected in the field.
Legal Nurse Consultant Salary and Career Outlook
The legal nurse consultant career outlook is bright as it is for all nursing fields. Consultants are usually employed by a company but contract their services for specific periods. However, the increasing complexity of medical procedures today, requires experts to interpret medical records and compile reports that are understandable to attorneys, human resource managers and insurance adjusters.
The salary of a legal nurse consultant can range from around $100 an hour to $150 an hour.
The lactation consultant can be self-employed, employed by community agencies, or work in a hospital setting. When a new mother or pregnant woman has questions or problems with breast-feeding, the lactation consultant is the one to see. This specialist can provide advice on proper diet, positioning and general health for the breastfeeding mother.
Lactation Consultant Job Description & Scope of Practice
The lactation consultant may provide general information for the public on the benefits of breastfeeding. Other consultants provide advice and guidance for mothers who may be experiencing difficulty or discomfort in breastfeeding.
The lactation consultant may provide breastfeeding advice for mother is who feel their milk production is inadequate. Other consultants provide advice on breastfeeding for adoptive mothers.
The lactation consultant will have a good base in biology, nutrition, anatomy and many clinical hours spent counselling patients and families about breastfeeding. Very few mothers have any question that breastfeeding is a natural way to feed babies, and few question the superior value of breast milk. However, not all mothers understand how to breastfeed and return to work, the lactation consultant offers advice on breast pumps, proper breast milk storage and nutrition for the breastfeeding mother.
How to Become a Lactation Consultant
There are several paths to becoming a lactation consultant. Nurses and doctors will have fulfilled most of the general education requirements. Health care professionals may be allowed to show to satisfy this part of the requirements. Anyone else must meet these requirements as well as meet clinical hours in providing counselling and guidance for breastfeeding mothers and families. All of this is required to sit for the International Board of Lactation Consultants Examiners (IBLCE) examination. This is the most widely recognized certification available for lactation consultants.
Lactation Consultant Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Obtain general education in eight subjects including sociology, biology, anatomy, nutrition, infant child development, anatomy, biology, and physiology. Candidates taking the test for the first time may also be required to take CPR, Infection control, medical terminology, medical documentation and ethics for the health professional.
- A health professional may have these educational requirements completed during the course of their training in the health field. Transcripts can be supplied by the professional in order to waive those requirements.
- Provide lactation counselling services for a minimum of 600 hours (for MDs) to 6,000 hours. Proof must be supplied that these clinical practice hours have been met.
- The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) offers certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Those wishing to become board certified must have experience working with breastfeeding mothers plus at least 90 hours of education in human lactation and breastfeeding. There are three ways or plans that candidates can follow to receive certification through IBLCE. The first path requires the appropriate education plus 1000 hours working in a clinical setting in the field of lactation and breastfeeding care. The second involves going to an IBCLC accredited school to receive education and practical experience. The third consists of education and shadowing another IBLCE for 500 hours. Exams are administered once per year at multiple locations worldwide. The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) provides a social network and educational platform for IBCLC. Certification is not required to work as a lactation consultant, but it is preferred.
Lactation Consultant Salary and Career Outlook
The lactation consultant career prospects are excellent and expected to grow apace with the demand for nurses and other health professionals. The BLS predicts a job growth of around 21% in the healthcare field over the next 8 years.
The salary of a lactation consultant ranges from around $60,000 a year in a hospital to over $85,000 for an independent lactation consultant.
The Flight Nurse (Transport Nurse) position is one of the most competitive nursing positions available. The Flight nurse must possess a depth of knowledge and experience that is usually unavailable to the new graduate. Most transport nurses have years of experience in emergency care, trauma units or critical care units and even so; the competition is fierce for the positions available.
Flight Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The flight transport nurse is part of a flight team which transports critically ill patients from accident scenes or to major medical centers equipped to deal with these conditions. This type of nurse often has a high degree of autonomy in their roles and is able to respond to changes in patient’s conditions appropriately. They attempt to stabilize the patient or to maintain the patient’s condition until they can reach the major medical center facilities.
A transport nurse may fly over several hundreds of miles to respond to accidents, disasters or a request for emergency transport for a critically ill adult or child.
They administer medications directed by protocol and doctors orders, they monitor patient’s condition during the flight; they may under direction perform aggressive life support measures when the patient condition warrants it. All the skills required of a trauma nurse are called into action with a flight nurse. These nurses must be able to understand life support protocols and the technology used.
How to Become a Flight Nurse
A Flight Nurse is a Registered Nurse holding a valid license and usually with many years of experience in emergency care, cardiac care, or a trauma unit. The skills obtained in the emergency unit, or trauma unit are necessary for carrying out the job of a transport nurse.
This flight nursing position is unlike the rest of nursing where shortages mean that there are more openings for nurses than there are qualified nurses. The flight transport nurse generally has more applicants for the position than there are available slots. What this means for the nurse with her eye on the sky is that she will normally spend several years preparing for the position. A more advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in trauma or emergency care can be very helpful.
Flight Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- A minimum of an Associate Degree in Nursing is required but due to the intense competition for these openings a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing will increase the nurse’s chance of winning a position.
- Licensing as an RN is required.
- Several years of experience in a trauma unit or emergency department are required before the registered nurse can apply to take the ALPC examination (Advanced Life Support) or a PALSC examination (Pediatric Advanced Life Support).
- EMT experience can be helpful if the RN meets the other requirements.
- Certified Flight Registered Nurses (CFRN) obtain certification by successfully completing a computer-based exam consisting of 180 multiple-choice on several subjects single system emergencies, multiple system emergencies, patient management, safety issues and professional issues. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and is given through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). Flight nurses are organized through the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA). Certification is not required to work as a flight nurse, but it should be considered after gaining experience as a nurse in flight.
Flight Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Although the competition for available positions is fierce, the job outlook for transport nurses is fair to good. The baby boom generation coming into retirement age is behind the increased need for nurses and that includes flight transport units. The well prepared and educated nurse can expect to see a growth in the number of positions open for flight nurses.
The average salary of the transport nurse is similar to that of a trauma nurse in the same area, depending upon the employer and the level of education of the nurse. A salary of around $76,000 is reported as an average for a flight nurse.
Emergency Nurse – A High Energy and High Satisfaction Nursing Career
An Emergency Room nurse (ER Nurse or Emergency Nurse) works in a high stress environment dealing with minor emergencies as well as life threatening traumas and illnesses. The Emergency nurse must be well educated, able to think and react fast to life threatening emergencies, and triage patients so that the most critical patients are treated first. The variety of cases in emergency room treatment for the nurse is part of what makes this job so challenging.
ER Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The emergency nurse can frequently find employment in a hospital or trauma emergency room. However, these specialized nurses can also be found in emergency medical flight situations, pre-emergency care or urgent care clinics, and working as contract nurses for special events
The emergency nurse will not only work with individuals in life threatening situations but also assess a number of less life threatening emergencies such as broken bones, burns, cuts and bruising prioritizing patient needs and monitoring patients during treatment or pre-admission.
Emergency room nurses are competent in both general nursing duties and in emergency procedures such as assisting with intubation, cardiac monitoring, dealing with major wounds and stabilizing patients before they are moved into ICU. The work of an Emergency nurse can be challenging and stressful particularly when a major event floods an emergency room with critically injured or ill patients. This is a nursing position that requires good judgement an even temperament and the ability to work under extreme pressure when lives are on the line.
How to Become an ER Nurse
An emergency room nurse must hold a valid RN, LPN or LVN license. However for larger hospital or specialty emergency rooms a nursing diploma is usually not enough. The nurse may require a certificate in emergency nursing and often hospital emergency rooms require experience or a licensed 2 or 4 year RN.
ER nursing is challenging and well paid and the requirements for the ER nurse to practice depend upon the size of the hospital and their emergency department. New graduates can be hired in the ER department in some cases, but most times the department prefers nurses with certain types of acute care experience or who are enrolled in an approved ER program.
ER Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The requirements for an Emergency nurse vary with the hospital. However all ER nurses must hold a valid nursing license.
- Graduation from an accredited nursing program is required.
- A valid and unencumbered nursing license as an LPN, LVN or RN is required.
- Certification as an Emergency room nurse is highly preferred by many hospitals and is administered by The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) which is a division of the Emergency Nurses’ Association (ENA). The ENA recommends nurses to obtain the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) credential. Most certification programs are open to Registered Nurses only. Two years experience as an emergency nurse is preferred but not required. To obtain certification, nurses must pass a computer-based exam consisting of 175 multiple-choice questions. The certification exam will involve testing you in the most common emergency room scenarios including wound management, cardiovascular, orthopedic, neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory and substance abuse emergencies as well as professional issues encountered in an emergency-care setting. For those interested, the ENA also awards certification for Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN) specialists and training for advance trauma nursing. Certification is not required, but it is endorsed and highly recommended by the ENA.
ER Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The Emergency Room Nurse plays a vital role in trauma care, cardiac care, and in treating burns, cuts, abrasions and broken bones that can occur with anyone at some point. The job outlook for this nursing specialty is very good. The BLS predicts a strong steady job growth until 2018.
The salary of the average Emergency Nurse is over 59,000 for Registered Nurses depending upon the state and hospital size.
Domestic Violence Nurse
Domestic Violence Nurse Combines Empathy, Compassion and Clinical Competence
The Domestic Violence Nurse is a relatively new specialty in nursing. Nurses who choose to specialise in this field generally work with individuals who are victims of family violence. Dealing with these traumatized populations takes a great deal of empathy and compassion. This nursing specialty combines the clinical expertise of a trained nurse who examines the patient and treats the injuries, with the trained investigator who documents the injuries, takes the patient’s account of the incidence and may even appear in court to testify. This is a complex specialty and requires a very unique combination of character traits in the nurse who chooses this career path.
Domestic Violence Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The domestic violence nurse may be employed by hospitals in emergency rooms, community outreach agencies, family shelters for victims of domestic violence or programs serving the elderly and disabled. The domestic violence nurse specialty is part of what is called forensic nursing. Forensic nursing focuses upon nursing and evidence collection from victims of violence or sexual assault.
The domestic violence nurse will normally be the point of contact for the patient who is already traumatized and must have medical treatment. Law enforcement is also a consideration and patients who are of legal age are advised of the available legal options. Elderly or developmentally delayed individuals may have legal action initiated on their behalf based on the findings of the domestic violence nurse.
This nursing specialty requires the nurse be able to establish a rapport with patients who may have been through severe physical or mental traumas. They are trained in biological evidence collection and storage, documentation procedures as regards injuries and how to look for concealed injuries.
The domestic violence nurse is not only expected to deliver superior medical care but also information on how the victim can protect themselves and at times these nurses are also expected to testify in court as to the nature and severity of the injuries they treat. These nurses will often be the interface with medical and law enforcement members for severely traumatized victims.
How to Become a Domestic Violence Nurse
The domestic violence nurse must be a natural communicator and this is not something that is learned in school. The ability to listen to a patient and project empathy in a non-judgmental fashion are just as critical to evidence gathering and to serving the patient’s needs as medical and clinical expertise. Victims of domestic violence are often reluctant to speak of the full nature of the abuse and the role of the domestic violence nurse is to help the victims, treat the injuries and learn the full extent of the violence. Domestic Violence Nurses are also called Forensic Nurses and this is an advanced practice specialty with classes in both nursing and criminal justice.
Domestic Violence Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Successful completion of an accredited 4 year nursing course is required.
- Pass the National RN nursing test to gain a license to practice as an RN.
- Continuing Education credits in Forensic Nursing or Elective courses during the Undergraduate course of study in forensic nursing.
- Master Degree in Forensic nursing is not required but may improve job prospects for the domestic violence nurse.
- Currently there is no certification for domestic violence nurses. However, nurses working in the field may obtain certifications relevant to their work including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Forensic Nurse (FN). Domestic violence nurses do not have to seek certification, but certification in these fields lends credibility and may also open up more job opportunities. Domestic violence nurses are mentored through the American Nurses’ Association (ANA).
Domestic Violence Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Domestic violence has become almost an epidemic. Elder abuse or partner abuse has reached epic proportions in the U.S. Domestic violence nurses will experience a good rate of job growth through the year 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average salary of a domestic violence nurse with a four year degree is around $65,000 a year.
Many diabetic nurse specialists enter the field because they have diabetes or someone they are close to has this disease. There are 25.8 million diabetics in the U.S today. Statistics show that 7 million people are not even aware they have diabetes. The role of a diabetes nurse is to serve a steadily growing population and empower them to manage their disease.
Diabetes Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
There are several roles for a diabetes nurse. A nurse practitioner who specializes in diabetes will diagnose, treat and adjust medication and diets for patients. A clinical nurse specialist who specializes in diabetes will monitor patients, educate them on diet choices and activity levels suitable for their condition. The diabetes nurse or Nurse practitioner will also monitor these patients for complications which are common with diabetes including circulatory disorders, heart complications, adrenal gland involvement, skin disorders and eye disease.
- The diabetes nurse practitioner may be allied with a community health organization, work from a clinic or have an established practice in collaboration with a physician.
- The clinical diabetes nurse will often work with community health services, hospitals, or home health agencies monitoring and serving diabetic patients.
- The diabetes nurse educator is normally found in a hospital or clinic setting and will help patients adjust their lifestyle and dietary habits to best control their disease.
How to Become a Diabetes Nurse
The diabetes nurse educator is a limited position in smaller communities with hospitals having only a single diabetes nurse educator. This professional is usually a Registered Nurse and certified as a diabetes nurse educator through the American Diabetes Association.
Due to cost cutting measures in health care, the amount of time a newly diagnosed patient with diabetes spends in the hospital learning to manage their condition is far shorter. Patients may leave the hospital with only the most basic understanding of their condition.
This has led to community services where the diabetes nurse practitioner or diabetes clinical nurse is the primary health care supplier as well as education for the patient. Home health agencies and community health resources are more commonly employing diabetes nurse practitioners and clinical nurses with a diabetes specialty to serve these patients. Individuals interested in a career as a diabetes nurse will normally need an advanced practice degree in nursing with a focus upon diabetes patients.
Some clinical nurses choose to specialize further, treating individuals with developmental disabilities with diabetes or pediatric diabetes patients. Internship programs working with the target population help the diabetes nurse gain practical experience in preparation for certification.
Diabetes Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
A diabetes nurse, nurse practitioner, or diabetes nurse educator will normally require at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) and certification as an educator or nurse specialist for diabetes. What follows are some of the school program options to become a Diabetes Nurse.
- Successfully complete a four year nursing program which awards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- Apply to the state licensing agency to take the state board. A diabetes nurse must hold an RN license.
- Enter an advanced degree program either for nurse practitioners or for clinical nursing. These programs usually offer specialties so that the successful graduate will have training and practical experience in their preferred specialty. The advanced practice programs for nursing award an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) although some programs can be pursued through the doctoral level. Most nurse practitioner programs as well as Clinical Nursing programs also include a clinical side with several hundred hours of working with patients in a hospital or community setting.
- Certification is available through the American Nurse Credentialing Center for Clinical Nurses or Nurse Practitioners who specialize in diabetes. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) certifies diabetes nurses as qualified educators through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE), but it does not offer certification for diabetes nurses working in the field in a non-educational capacity. Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) work with patients to help them manage their diabetes. Persons eligible to sit for the exam come from many fields including dietary, psychology, pharmacy and social work among others. Applicants must have two years experience practicing in the field that they wish to become certified. They must also possess 1,000 hours experience as a diabetes educator and pass an examination administered by the NCBDE. Certification is not required, but it is highly sought after by employers.
Diabetes Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The diabetes nurse practitioner and the clinical nurse who specializes in diabetes jobs are predicted to see a greater in average growth over the next 8 years. HMOs as well as community health services and hospitals are employing more of these specialized nurses. Diabetes nurse educators are predicted to see a fair growth over the next 8 years although the new jobs created for educators are more limited than for Registered Nurses or nurse practitioners.
The diabetes nurse practitioner – specialty care has an average salary in the US of around $86,000. The average diabetes nurse who is a clinical nurse specialist makes around $80,000 a year. The diabetes nurse is a growing specialty field and as the number of Americans reaching retirement age grows the need for this special nursing service will only increase.
Developmental Disabilities Nurse
The role of the developmental disabilities is challenging for any nurse and requires a commitment to excellence in patient care. Individuals with developmental disabilities may have multiple physical issues, behavioural issues and difficulty in communication in some cases. The developmental disabilities nurse serves as a patient advocate as well as a health professional. There is a shortage of qualified nurses in the developmental disabilities field.
Developmental Disabilities Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The developmental disabilities nurse job description is dependent upon the care setting. However, most developmental disabilities nurses will be involved in patient care and medication to help the developmentally delayed individual attain their maximum level of functioning and maintain optimal health. Nurses working in the developmental disabilities field may be in charge of delivering routine medications, supervising daily activities, documenting any increase in symptoms or behavioural changes that might be attributable to medications.
The developmental disabilities nurse may be employed in institutional, hospital or community living settings working with a population of individuals with diverse diagnosis. Some developmental disabilities nurses are employed to make home visits to developmentally delayed individuals who can live independently but require medication supervision.
The developmental disability nurse is a specialty which is badly understaffed and often not as well paid as other nursing opportunities. However the job satisfaction for dedicated nurses in this field is reported to be high.
How to Become a Developmental Disabilities Nurse
Unlike most nursing specialities that require at least a Bachelor degree in nursing or a Master level degree in Nursing; developmental disabilities nurses are often required only to hold a license as an LPN or LVN. 2 and 4 year RNs are usually preferred but the shortage of qualified and caring nurses in this field is reported to be acute and fewer certification requirements are placed upon the developmental disabilities nurse.
Generally state schools for the developmentally disabled as well as community support programs for specific developmental disabilities employ Licensed Nurses including LPNs and LVNs to help assure the health of their target patient population. Starting a career as a developmental disabilities nurse is reported to be easier than in some specialties.
Developmental Disabilities Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Successful completion of a nursing program from an accredited nursing school is required for all Developmental Disabilities Nurses.
- Passing the state mandated License exam and achieving an LPN, LVN or RN license is a requirement.
- Nurses are certified as Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurses (CDDN) through the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA). Certification occurs after meeting eligibility requirements and passing an examination. Eligible candidates must have 4,000 hours experience as an active developmental disabilities nurse within the five years immediately prior to the exam. The exam covers all aspects of developmental disabilities nursing for all age groups. The multiple-choice exam is given at the DDNA conference center and also at various local testing centers. Certification is not required, but it is recommended by the DDNA. CDDN certification can lead to better paid administrative and supervisory nursing positions.
Developmental Disabilities Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
RNs are predicted to have a good rate of job growth over the next 8 years. LVNs and LPNs are also in growing demand. The field of developmental disabilities nursing is challenging and predicted to grow at the rate of 21% over the next 8 years.
The salary for a developmental disabilities nurse depends upon the employing agency and their degree. Nurses who specialise in developmental disabilities and have an LPN or LVN diploma earn from $35,000 to $45,000 a year. An RN developmental disabilities nurse salary ranges from $50,000 to $60,000 a year.
The Hematology nurse addresses disorders of the blood. This specialization has a lot of advancement potential for the well prepared and certified nurse. Many oncology/hematology nurses also serve as educators for other nurses, for patients and for families. This nursing specialty requires an individual who excels at group and one on one communication as well as the technical aspects of the profession.
Because the profession also requires an advanced Nursing degree the hematology nurse often has had administrative and leadership courses. Hematology nurses can be employed in hospitals, private clinics and in private or small group practices.
The hematology nurse can specialize even further with some nurses serving the pediatric population as pediatric oncology/hematology nurses.
Hematology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The hematology/oncology nurse serves as an office or clinic nurse and starts IVs administering medication or blood under doctor’s orders. Takes patient history and assists the physician in procedures. May be required to assist in researching rare blood disorders. This type of nursing will treat patients with cancers of the blood, anemia, and certain hereditary blood disorders.
The hematology nurse must be a good communicator as they are usually required to educate family, patients, and caregivers on management of blood diseases. Often they give advice on how to best cope with side effects of chemotherapy and educate other professionals in this sometimes mysterious area of nursing.
How to Become an Hematology Nurse
A hematology nurse should be committed to their career and willing to expend the extra time it takes for certification and schooling to achieve this specialty title and the fascinating job that goes with it.
Most facilities and clinics require Hematology nurses to have a current RN license. The nurse specializing in oncology and hematology must also certification in hematology/oncology. Advanced degrees in nursing help, especially if the hematology nurse wants to move up to administrative positions.
Hematology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- To work in hematology or oncology the nurse must hold a current RN license. Nurses with an Associate degree can begin working in some hospital oncology units but nurses with Bachelor or Master of Science in Nursing degrees (BSN or MSN) have the most advancement potential.
- Advanced degree programs require the nurse to have 2000 hours of practice in hematology/oncology before applying for admission to the school. Most nurses begin in cancer treatment centers or clinics to gain experience for certification. Once passing the necessary certification exams and eligibility requirements, you can be certified to become a Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) and/or an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN).
- Nurse practitioners specializing in oncology/hematology may be able to direct much of the medical care received by their patients.
- Hematology nurses working in a pediatric setting can obtain certification as a Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) through the Association Pediatrics Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON). Eligible candidates will have 12 months experience as an RN (registered nurse), 1,000 practice hours within pediatric hematology or oncology and 10 contact hours of continuing education. Applicants must also pass an examination consisting of 165 multiple-choice questions. Certification in other areas of hematology is not offered at this time. Also, working in pediatric hematology and oncology does not require certification, but employers prefer hiring professionals with the designation.
Hematology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The hematology nurse can expect to see a better than average growth in new jobs for their specialty over the next 8 years. Nurses with advanced degrees and such as the hematology/oncology nurses will earn a better salary than those with a Bachelor degree only.
The average hematology nurse salary in the US ranges from $59,000 to $86,000 a year depending upon the level of education and certifications held by the nurse.
Dermatology Nurse – Healthy Skin Nursing Specialist
A dermatology nurse performs an indispensable role in the office of a dermatologist, the dermatology clinic or in hospital settings. The certified dermatology nurse has expertise in recognizing signs of skin diseases, nutrition and the role it plays in skin health as well as training in autoimmune skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Dermatology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A Dermatology nurse will perform many of the clinical functions and roles of a general nursing RN, including taking detailed patient health histories, routine examinations and screening for serious problems such as skin cancer. The health history will usually include information such as, including diet, allergies, how much exercise the patient usually gets, sun exposure including past exposure such as tanning salons or summer tanning and even recreational activities, routine examinations.
The dermatology nurse may perform routine skin treatments under the attending physician’s orders including biopsies, microdermabrasion, mesotherapy and chemical peels. Part of their duties may include assisting the Dermatologist in more complex patient treatments. The dermatology nurse will help counsel patients in diet, skin care routines and other methods of controlling skin disorders.
How to Become a Dermatology Nurse
A Dermatology Nurse is required to hold an RN license. Obtaining an RN license requires completion of a 2 or 4 year Nursing program as well as an application to the state board to take the NCLEX-RN Examination. Many dermatology nurses choose to become certified to allow for a greater advancement potential in their jobs as well as exhibit a commitment to nursing excellence in their chosen field.
Often Dermatology nurses will gain experience in their dermatology nursing by participating in internships at a dermatology clinic or dermatologist’s office. The only strict requirement for a dermatology nurse is that of an RN license, internships and certification may give the graduate nurse an edge in the job market with this well paid nursing specialty.
Dermatology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- A dermatology nurse is required to hold an RN licence. A dermatology nurse may hold a 2 year Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.
- Many nurses who specialize in dermatology also have had experience in dermatology through internship programs
- Certification is a further step for the dermatology nurse to prove expertise in their chosen field as well as demonstrate their dedication to providing superior care to patients. Certification proves your proficiency beyond standard licensure and proves that a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) meets certain practice standards in the field and confirms the level of specialized knowledge the nurse has in dermatology nursing. Certification includes Dermatology nurse Certified (DNC) and Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP), which are both provided by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board (DNCB).The DNC credential is gained upon successful completion of a written or computer-based exam. In order to sit for the exam, applicants must have two years experience working as a dermatology nurse and have 2,000 hours experience working as staff, administrator, teacher or researcher in a dermatology capacity. The test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics relevant to the field. It takes approximately four hours to complete the test. Certification is not required for dermatology nurses. However, certification can help further the careers of those practicing in the field.
The DCNP certification also requires sitting and passing an examination, also a multiple choice one. The certification will last for 3 years which after you will need to be re-certified through continuing education credit or exams. To be eligible to sit the DCNP exam, you will have to be a state licensed nurse practitioner (NP), have a Master’s degree in Nursing, have national certification as an NP and have at least 3,000 hours of working in a dermatology practice (also counted are hours spent in a dermatology NP educational program).
- All nurses are required to have continuing education hours in order to keep their nursing licenses and certifications current.
Dermatology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The dermatology nurse specialty is predicted to show a marked increase in jobs until at least 2018. Qualified dermatology nurses are sometimes difficult to find for clinics and dermatology offices. A four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree may qualify the nurse for advancement into administrative or supervisory roles in larger offices and clinics.
The dermatology nurse salary averages around $68,000 across the nation. The salary of a dermatology nurse depends upon the employing agency, the educational level of nurse and their geographical location.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse – Focus on Women’s Reproductive Health
The gynecology/obstetrics (OB/GYN, OBG, O&G, or Obs & Gynae) nurse can work in many settings and usually with women of reproductive age. The obstetrics nurse is normally found in private practice offices, labor rooms, clinics and community health agencies. The gynecology nurse may work with a specific population educating women about birth control. Others may work with pregnant women or a combination of both. However, the focus for this nurse is on reproductive health, birth control and healthy pregnancies.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Job Description
The OB/GYN nurse will take patient histories, prepare the patient for examinations, in obstetrics the nurse may administer medications, monitor mother and fetal vital signs and assist in delivery.
The gynecology/obstetrics nurse will normally take a teaching role with patients. Depending upon the patient’s needs the nurse may instruct a patient on the proper use of birth control, how to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, or in vitamins, diet and exercise for the pregnant mother.
In a hospital delivery situation the nurse may accompany their patient to the delivery room and assist as necessary.
How to Become a Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse
A nursing degree is required for a gynecology/obstetrics nurse. The degree can be a 2 year Associate degree or a four year Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree. The second step is that the RN must acquire 2000 hours of nursing experience in gynecology or obstetrics within a 3 year period. This allows the nurse to sit for the certification examination for the OB/GYN specialty.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Required first step is successful completion of a 2 or 4 year nursing school program resulting in either an Associate or Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Many nurses opt for an advanced nursing degree. Before a nurse can apply for the advanced course they are required to work for at least 1000 – 2000 hours as an RN. The advanced program requires an additional 2 to 3 years to earn a Master Science in nursing degree and can improve advancement opportunities for the nurse.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN Examination in order to receive an RN license
- The National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Specialties (NCC) certifies nurses working in gynecologic and obstetric capacities. To qualify, nurses must have 24 months or 2,000 hours experience working in the field. Applicants must also have earned their post-graduate degree after the year 2005. Exams are given at any one of the AMP Assessment Centers located throughout the country. Exams last anywhere from two to three hours and are specifically written for nurses practicing in different areas. Exams available include Core Registered Nurse Certified (RNC), Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (NP-BC), Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) and Neonatal Pediatric Transport (NPT). Those successfully completing an exam earn the designation associated with that particular exam. Certification is not required, but highly recommended.
There are numerous certifications which can be obtained by the gynecology/obstetrics nurse. The correct one depends upon the employment setting for the nurse. Hospital labor room OB nurses may require certification in inpatient labor and delivery while general gynaecological nurses may sit for a general OB/GYN certification.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for the gynecology/Obstetrics nurse is excellent. Babies continue to be born every day and the demand for nurses is predicted to be greater than the supply of skilled professionals through the year 2018.
The salary for an OBGYN nurse depends upon the employer and the nurse’s level of education. However, on average the OB/GYN nurse earns around $60,000 per year. A gynecology/obstetrics nurse with an advanced degree such as an MSN or an OBGYN nurse practitioner earns around $80,000 per year.
The gastroenterology nurse is a nursing specialty in high demand. This nursing specialty deals with disorders and diseases of the gastrointestinal system. This might include cancer of the stomach or intestines, bleeding ulcers, chronic irritable bowel syndrome and more. Nurses in this specialty may find employment in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. Jobs for the endoscopy nurse which require supervisory skills or administrative skills will normally require an advanced degree nurse specialist.
Gastroenterology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The gastroenterology nurse may also be called an endoscopy nurse and assists the physician and surgical team during this diagnostic procedure. The GI nurse may also educate patients in the management of chronic gastro-intestinal conditions including diet and stress management. Gastroenterology nurses work with a wide variety of age groups and patient demographics. This means the nurse must thoroughly their field and in a single day may train a caregiver to clean a feeding tube for a loved one, and then see a teen learning to manage irritable bowel syndrome.
Gastroenterology nurse practitioners may have greater latitude in their job duties and initiate testing procedures as well as perform some non-invasive non surgical procedures. The gastroenterology nurse may be required to monitor patients during procedures and preparing nursing plans of care during inpatient stays as well as providing for information and instruction in necessary home care techniques to the patient.
In some settings the Endoscopy nurse assists with what are normally considered surgical procedures.
How to Become a Gastroenterology Nurse
The role of a gastroenterology nurse is highly demanding and requires extensive knowledge of the human digestive system. Many hospitals and clinics are beginning to require at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing or a Nurse Practitioner to fill these highly responsible and technologically demanding positions. Continuing education is necessary for the nurse dealing with new breakthroughs and constantly improving technology.
The National Nursing Standards board is considering making a 4 year RN degree a minimum for certification because of the high level of expertise required. To become a Certified Gastrointestinal RN requires an intensive examination testing the nurse’s knowledge and skills in the field.
Gastroenterology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- An RN License is required. The RN may be have a 2 year Associate Degree in Nursing but many clinics, hospitals and diagnostic centers require at least a Bachelor Degree in Nursing or a Master Degree in Nursing. Some schools offer Endoscopy Nursing Bachelor Degrees that can prepare a nurse for this challenging specialty.
- Certification as a Gastroenterology nurse is not required by most institutions but can establish a nurse’s competence in their field and is especially valuable for new nursing graduates and for those wanting better opportunities and security in their Gastroenterology nursing career. To become a Certified Gastroenterology Specialty Nurse (CGSN), you will need to pass and examination under the supervision of the Certifying Board of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (CBGNA).The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) recommends individuals working in the field to become certified through the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN). Certified nurses receive the designation of Certified Gastroenterologist Registered Nurse (CGRN) after completing an examination. In order sit for the exam, applicants must have experience working in the gastroenterology field and 4,000 hours of endoscopy experience. The exam is comprised of 175 multiple-choice questions based on the full range of knowledge possessed by gastroenterology nurses. Certification is not required. However, more career opportunities are open for CGRNs.
Gastroenterology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The nursing field is predicted to have a very good outlook with an average growth of 21% in jobs for registered nurses over the next 8 years. Nurses with specializations such as the endoscopy nurse are in especially high demand.
The average salary of an RN in the US is $59,000 a year. The salary for a gastroenterology nurse with an advanced degree such as a gastroenterology nurse practitioner can expect to make more per year.
A forensic nurse combines the advanced knowledge of a clinical nursing specialist with a familiarity with the legal system and evidence collection. This is a new designation in nursing and sometimes the Forensic nurse may have to help employers understand the unique assets a Forensic nurse specialist brings to a team.
Forensic Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The duties of a forensic nurse depend upon the employment setting. Forensic nurses are often on call or full time employees in emergency rooms. Victims of violence in particular sexual assault may be difficult to approach and require a point on contact.
The forensic nurse empowers and supports the patient while addressing their health needs. They provide a safe point of contact for the patient with physicians, law enforcement and sometimes with family. A forensic nurse is trained in evidence collection techniques and in some cases may be called to testify in court as to the condition of the patient and the evidence collected. Patient statements and evidence must be appropriately documented for medical as well as legal reasons.
Family violence nurses are a subspecialty of the forensic nursing field. These advanced practice nurses focus upon abused family members, children, and the elderly. They are trained to collect evidence and build a rapport with victims of family violence.
Often forensic nurses will conduct public education classes helping raise public awareness about domestic violence, victim issues and sexual assault prevention.
Forensic nurses are also employed a death investigators in some states. These nurses determine the time and cause of death using traditional techniques including speaking to witnesses and conducting medical examinations.
How to Become an Forensic Nurse
The role of a forensic nurse might sound glamorous but the schooling required is intense. The type of nurse best able to fulfill the challenging role of a forensic nurse is empathetic, logical, with strong deductive reasoning skills, and of course highly trained. Although not strictly required the forensic nurse usually has an advanced degree in nursing as well as specialized certification in their sub-specialty. Four year Registered Nurses can take sexual assault nursing continuing education courses which lead to certification. However, an Advanced degree nurse usually has the edge in any job in forensic nursing.
Forensic Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Hold a valid RN license, A Bachelor Science in Nursing is the minimum requirement and advanced practice nurse with a Master of Science in forensic nursing is most often preferred for positions such as Death Investigators and legal medical expert witnesses.
- The American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) certifies nurses with the Certified Forensic Nurse (CFN) credential. Applicants must have three years experience as a registered nurse and 40 contact hours in the area of forensics. Before taking the examination, applicants must also complete 15 hours continuing education in forensics. Applicants may also participate in a training program provided through certain universities and American Forensic Nurses (AFN). Training and certification ensures that nurses are proficient in areas such as sexual assault, specimen collection, forensic photography, and death investigation. Certification is not required to work in supervised forensic nurse positions. However, certification is required for career advancement.There are multiple sexual assault forensic courses for nurses. Family Violence Forensics, Death Investigation, and Psychiatric Forensic Nurses all have certification programs which can help ready them for employment in the field. The different certifications depend on your specialization. Options include: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), Forensic Nurse Investigator, Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist, Forensic Psychiatric Nurse, Legal Nurse Consultant, Forensic Gerontology Specialist, Correctional Nursing Specialist, Nurse Coroner or Death Investigator, Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE), Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE), Sexual Assault Nurse Clinician (SANC) and Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE).
Forensic Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
As forensic nursing becomes more widely known it grows in acceptance. The job outlook for nurses is predicted to grow by around 21% over the next 8 years according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The certified forensic nurse specialist can expect to earn around 1.5 times as much as a nurse with similar education. However, the forensic nurse for sexual assault and family violence can expect to be on call due to the unpredictability of those situations. A forensic nurse employed as death examiner may earn around $70,000 per year depending upon the area and employing agency.
There are a variety of specific career paths that nurses may pursue with the field of forensic nursing.
Forensic Nurse Career: Forensic Nurse Investigators
If you have an investigative nature and would like to utilize your nursing experience to help solve crime, the career of forensic nursing may be a great option.
Forensic nurses within this specialty investigate the circumstances surrounding and unexpected and/or violent death. Forensic nurse investigators are usually employed by coroner’s or medical examiner’s offices and examine the body of crime victims, assist with autopsies, as well as collect and evaluate evidence to determine the cause of death.
Forensic Nursing Career: Corrections Nursing Specialist
Correctional nursing specialists provide care to those who have been detained by the courts for a variety of offenses and are in jail, prison, juvenile detention centers, and other correctional facilities. Within these settings, correctional nurse specialists may perform basic medical exams, treat patients with chronic conditions, and administer prescribed medications.
Forensic Nursing Career: Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialists
Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialists hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) or doctoral degree and provide expert clinical care, research, and education in various types of forensics settings. Forensic clinical nurse specialists work in hospital emergency rooms, sexual assault programs, psychiatric forensic treatment programs, and as members of criminal investigation teams.
Forensic Nursing Career: Forensic Gerontology Specialists
Forensic gerontology nursing specialists help investigate incidences of elder abuse or neglect and typically work within hospitals settings, nursing care facilities, and other settings dedicated to the well-being of the elderly.
Forensic Nursing Career: Forensic Psychiatric Nurses
Forensic psychiatric nurses specialize in caring for offenders with histories of mental illness, as well as social and behavioral disorders. They evaluate patients and provide rehabilitative treatment within the hospital or supportive residence. Forensic psychiatric nurses may also assist and treat victims of crime who are experiencing some type of emotional trauma.
Forensic Nursing Career: Sexual Assault Nurse Specialist
The majority of forensic nurses work as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs). These nurses offer compassionate and supportive care to victims of sexual assault. Forensic nurse specialists participate in advanced training and are prepared to evaluate the extent of injuries that sexual assault victims have suffered, locate and assess evidence of the crime, and provide referrals so that the victim may obtain needed counseling. Forensic nurse specialists may also serve as expert witnesses during criminal proceedings and offer testimony based on their documented findings.
Forensic Nursing Education
To begin a nursing career as a forensic nurse you will need to hold a current and unrestricted registered nursing (RN) license. You may also obtain a master of science in nursing degree with a specialization in forensic nursing. Most graduate programs take two years to complete if you attend on a full time basis.
If you wish to work as a SANE you will need to take additional specialized training that will prepare to work with victims of sexual abuse and rape. To qualify to site for the SANE exam you will need to have accrued at least two years experience working as a licensed RN, hold an active and unrestricted RN license, and have earned an MSN degree. You may obtain certification as a SANE-A (Adolescent/Adult) or SANE-P (Pediatric). Pediatric certification will require three years professional nursing experience before application. Both credentials are earned through the Forensic Nursing Certification Board: FNSB).
The demand for forensic nurses is growing as there is expanding recognition in the legal system of the value these nurses bring to the health and well-being of sexual assault crime victims. This is a great time to begin a career and help chart the course for the expansion of this rewarding nursing specialty.
Forensic Nurse Salary
As per Payscale.com, the median hourly salary for forensic nurses is $24. But can rise to $70. per hour depending on years of experience, education, certifications, and geographic location.
Critical Care Nurse
A critical care nurse can find employment in settings where patient care requires nurses able to react to life threatening situations, constantly monitor the condition of unstable patients and for those who are able to bring the best in nursing care practice and a wide body of knowledge to their position. Technology has brought many more diseases and conditions into the realm of the treatable than has ever before been possible. The critical care nurse will often be found at the bedside of these at risk and very ill patients.
Critical Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The critical care nurse is generally found in hospital and clinic settings such as trauma units, cardiac intensive care units (ICU), Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU, and Adult Acute or Intensive care units. The patients assigned to the critical care nurse’s care normally require constant monitoring, a wide variety of treatments and are in unstable condition. The treatment and constant vigilance exercised by the critical care nurse can literally mean the difference between life and death. These nurses administer prescribed physician treatments, constantly monitor and record the status of the patients under his or her care and are trained to recognize and respond appropriately to signs of deterioration in the patient’s condition. The critical care nurse will be required to be familiar with the use and maintenance of state of the art medical devices intended to record patient’s vital signs or to assist in life support functions.
How to Become a Critical Care Nurse
A critical care nurse is usually an RN whose main focus of care has been that of the critically ill patient in an intensive care setting. Some hospitals accept RNs with associate nursing degrees if those degrees were obtained in their hospitals. The critical care nurse must have a keen eye, a wide body of knowledge in medicine, technology, and be able to communicate empathetically and effectively with both the patient and their caregivers. Nurses holding diplomas such as the LVN or LPN diploma are normally required to transition to an RN program and hold a current state RN licence in order to be employed as a critical care nurse.
Critical Care Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- 50 percent of Critical Care Nurse jobs require at least an Associate Degree in Nursing while 45% require a Bachelor Degree and 5% require an Advanced Practice Nursing Degree (Master Degree in Nursing).
- A current RN license is required for any critical care nurse.
- In some hospital settings the need for critical care nurses is so dire the hospitals will provide on internships for qualified registered nurses with no experience. Teaching hospitals may offer on the internships for Advanced Practice Nursing students in Pediatric ICU, Neonatal ICU, Cardiac ICU and more specialties.
- Critical care nurses receive the Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) credential through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Those wishing to obtain the CCRN credential must have 1,750 hours of experience caring directly for critically ill patients within the two years prior to the exam, with 875 of those hours being in the last year before the exam. They must also have a current RN license. Applicants must also pass the CCRN exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions focusing on clinical judgment, professional caring and ethical practice. It takes approximately three hours to complete the test. Certification is not required, but it is recommended by the AACN. Advanced practice nurses can apply for specialty certifications such as Pediatric Critical Care nurse or Neonatal ICU nurse if the majority of their practice hours were spent with that population. It is not mandatory to be certified (CCRN) to practice a as critical care nurse.
Critical Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The nursing shortage across the nation is particularly noticeable in specialties such as Critical care nursing. The job growth for Advanced Practice Nurses (Master Degree Level) and Certified Critical Care nurses is predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be above 21% through the year 2018.
Many hospitals offer attractive benefits including housing allowances, moving allowances and signing bonuses to attract qualified advanced practice nurses. The average salary of a Critical Care Nurse nationwide is around $67,000.
Labor & Delivery Nurse
The labor & delivery nurse is a sought after position for many nurses. In many hospital settings, the mother in labor will have one nurse who remains throughout the labor and delivery process. Childbirth can be stressful without adequate support from nursing staff and family. The labor & delivery nurse helps the mother and family through the sometimes-lengthy process.
Labor & Delivery Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The labor & delivery nurse will usually be the nurse who takes the mother’s vital signs, performs the initial vaginal examination, time’s contractions and monitors the mother and fetus’ vital signs throughout the labor.
The labor & delivery nurse will monitor the mother throughout the labor process providing information, support and direction in breathing and relaxation techniques as necessary.
In many hospitals, the OB/GYN nurse will prep the mother for delivery and accompany her into the delivery room. Smaller hospitals may have the OB nurse assisting in the delivery of the infant and even performing the Apgar tests and moving the baby to the nursery.
This is a position that is well paid and has a high level of satisfaction for the nurse who chooses to pursue a career in delivery room and labor. The nursing professional must have a solid knowledge of delivery, signs of complication and sterile techniques, postpartum care and newborn nursery procedure.
How to Become a Labor & Delivery Nurse
Because, the labor & delivery nurse position is well paid and highly sought after, the higher the educational achievements of the nurse applying, the better the prospects for the nurse are in landing a job. The RN with a Bachelor degree may receive more consideration for the job when positions become open in the labor and delivery room. Nurses wishing to specialize in labor and delivery or switch focuses may wish to take continuing education courses to help bolster their resumes and experience in labor & delivery.
An RN with an associate degree may find it helpful to transition to an accelerated nursing program and achieve their BSN to become a labor & delivery nurse.
Labor & Delivery Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Successfully complete an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program.
- During nursing school, the aspiring labor room nurse should take electives in maternal care, labor and delivery or plan on taking further courses after graduation to prepare for this career.
- Successfully take the licensing examination for RNs called the NCLEX-RN. Nurses returning for a Master Degree can elect to specialize in OBGYN care.
- Currently there is no certification in place for Labor and Delivery Nurses. However, people wishing to obtain certification and further their careers in the field of labor and delivery might consider obtaining certification as a neonatal nurse or as a Certified Nurse Midwife. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) guides, trains and educates nurses in the labor and delivery field.
Labor & Delivery Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Jobs for Registered and Licensed nurses are projected to grow at the rate of 21% -23% through the year 2018. The average salary of a labor & delivery nurse is $75,000 per year. Nurses with advanced degrees in maternal care will usually earn more than a nurse with only an RN education.
Correctional Facility Nurse
A correctional facility nurse, commonly known as a prison nurse, provides nursing services to incarcerated populations. The correctional facility nurse may be an LVN or LPN or may be an RN. The health issues a nurse encounters in the inmate population can be diverse and provide a nursing challenge for even the most experienced professional. This is a rewarding career for the right individual who is both compassionate and firm.
Correctional Facility Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The prison nurse will assist the doctor on sick call. In institutions like prisons, juvenile homes, jails, and penitentiaries, the Nurse Practitioner or RN (BSN) will hold sick call and refer inmates to the physician as necessary. The nurse will dispense daily medications to patients as directed by the physician together with other typical nursing roles. A nurse in a correctional facility will often have more latitude in decision making than in other nursing settings.
This type of nursing requires the nurse to adhere to standard nursing protocols as well as security procedures applicable to the inmate population. Most correctional facility nurses will also be required to have some training provided by the facility in security protocols.
How to Become a Correctional Facility Nurse
Larger correctional facilities may have full hospitals attached, and utilize the services of Certified Nursing Assistants, LPN or LVN diploma holders as well as Registered nurses and Nurse Practitioners. The correctional facility nurse will normally be required to undergo a thorough background check as well as drug screening before hiring.
Correctional Facility Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The correctional facility nurse education required for this position will depend upon the facility type. The aging prison population requires nurses familiar with all manner of diseases, injuries and ailments including the health issues that may be common with aging inmate. What follows are some of the most common requirements for nurses in a correctional facility.
- Clean background check (some facilities require an FBI background and fingerprint check).
- Pass a drug screening test.
- Hold a Diploma as an LPN Or LVN or RN.
- Pass the state board and be licensed to practice nursing as an LPN, LVN or RN. Nurse practitioners must be certified and hold a current certification as an APN practice nurse in their field of specialty.
- Attend orientation on security procedures in the hiring facility.
- The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) recommends correctional-facility nurses and those wishing to become correctional-facility nurses to become certified as a Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP). Applicants must pass a character and fitness evaluation as well as a written or computer-based examination consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam takes two hours to complete and covers health care procedures and legal issues that nurses confront in correctional facilities. Certification is not required. However, the certificate demonstrates knowledge and skills needed to work in a correctional facility.
Correctional Facility Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
A correctional facility RN holding a two year degree in nursing earns on average of around $59,000 per year. The job outlook for this challenging specialty is bright as the number of incarcerated individuals continues to grow and correctional facilities house a growing aging inmate population. The BLS predicts the average job growth for nurses will be around 21% through the year 2018.
A correctional facility nurse will also be eligible for signing bonuses, and benefits in many facilities due to the shortage of nurses in the country. Advancement opportunities are plentiful for nurses with Bachelor and Master degree nursing education. A correctional facility nurse may work with juveniles, male populations, female populations or in maximum security settings.
Community Health Nurse
Community Health Nurse – Public Health Nursing Professionals
The community nurse health professional is a challenging career for the well trained nurse. These public health nurse professionals are often employed in public health clinics, well baby clinics, community outreach clinics and state immunization or nutritional supplement programs for children. The skills required for this challenging profession include assessment and screening, patient counselling, as well as standard nursing procedures.
Community Health Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The exact job description of the Community health nurse varies with the agency that employs this nurse. However, there are certain roles the nurse will be expected to assume in any agency. The community health nurse usually conducts the initial screening of the patient including health status, allergies and complaints. This is the point the health nurse will normally screen the patient for risk factors or potential problems.
The nurse will give prescribed treatments to patients in applicable settings according to the physician’s orders. The nurse may refer patients to other services as well in order to enhance their overall health such as referring eligible pregnant mothers to nutritional programs. The community nurse may also screen patients for substance abuse problems or high risk behaviours. The community health nurse often prepares the plan of care and makes provisions for necessary health services for qualifying patients.
How to Become a Community Health Nurse
The community health nurse must hold a current RN license. Although BSN nurses are preferred by most public and private community health agencies, RNs with associate degrees and demonstrable experience in public health nursing may be considered by some agencies. Higher level administrative and clinical supervisory positions are generally held by nurses with a Bachelor level or above degree. All community health nurses should have continuing education in the public health field.
Community Health Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The community health nurse must have at least an Associate degree in order to be employed by most public health nursing agencies. State funded programs may have additional requirements concerning the amount and type of work experience the nurse must have.
- Successfully complete a 4 year nursing program (BSN) or 2 year Nursing program (ASN)
- Students seeking administrative and supervisory positions in community health nursing often hold an MSN in community health or clinical nursing with a community health focus.
- Take the state board test and hold a current RN License
- Continuing education hours and clinical experience in public health nursing is required by many agencies. Nurses holding an Associate degree may be required to have at least one year in public health nursing.
- Certification for Community Health Nurses was available and demonstrated a high level of competency in community health. Requirements for certification were at least 500 clinical practice hours during the Master’s program. This certification program was available to nurses holding a BSN who had had at least 2 years experience in nursing. However, The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has discontinued testing and certification for individuals nursing in the community health field. Those who possess certification can renew their certifications though, but new certifications are not being awarded currently. Community health nurses are organized under the American Nurses Association (ANA).
Community Health Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The community health nurse career is projected to grow at an excellent rate of around 21% by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through the year 2018.
Advancement potential for this nursing specialty is excellent for the well prepared nurse with a Bachelor or Master level nursing degree. The average community health nurse salary is around $51,000 per year.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Nurse Specialist Are Problem Solving Professional Nurses
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is one of the advanced nursing professions requiring an advanced degree and a problem solving mindset. These extremely dedicated nursing professionals are found in clinical settings, administrative roles. The clinical nurse specialist generally specializes further in a particular type of nursing.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Job Description & Scope of Practice
A clinical nurse specialist might be a teacher, an administrator, part of a research team, or a nurse leader. Therefore the job description of a clinical nurse specialist varies with the facility employing them. Due to their advanced degree and ability to think outside established procedures these nurses are usually innovators and often found in administrative or supervisory positions. Some clinical nurse specialists are employed by hospitals, HMOs, nursing schools and others serve as floor nurses. Wherever this nurse specialist is employed they generally assume a leadership role.
How to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist
The clinical nurse specialist job requires an advanced degree. A BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) is required before the RN can apply to the advanced practice nursing school of their choice. The advanced degree focuses upon leadership, clinical practices, and nursing outcomes and teaches the nurse to look at standard protocols in a new way. Generally the advanced schooling for a clinical nurse specialist lasts from 2-3 years for a Master of Science to 4 years for a Doctoral degree.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing is required this degree will normally take around 4 years and include classroom as well as clinical instruction.
- Successfully pass the state board registered nurse examination and hold a valid RN license.
- 2000 hours (around a year full time) of clinical experience
- Admission and successful completion of a Master’s level program (MSN)
- Certifications as a clinical nurse specialist requires the nurse hold a MSN with a clinical focus and enrol in a CNS certificate program. Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in fields such as adult health, adult psychiatric and mental health, child adolescent psychology and mental health, diabetes management, home health, geriatric health, orthopaedics, oncology, pediatric and public health. Applicants must hold a master’s degree with emphasis on courses pertaining to their particular field and have a minimum of 500 hours supervised clinical experience. To earn the CNS credential, nurses provide documentation of qualifications and successfully pass an examination given at Computer Based Testing Centers (CBT) located across the country. Certified individuals are backed by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the organization that accredits certification. Certification is not required to work in specialty nursing fields. However, certification validates skills, knowledge and abilities.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Salary and Career Outlook
The clinical nurse specialist has a variety of career opportunities. Their advanced degree qualifies them for administrative as well as clinical roles. Clinical nurse specialist salaries vary greatly depending upon their employment setting. Nationwide however this highly trained professional can expect to see salaries of above $60,000 starting out. Seasoned nurse specialists are often found in high level administrative positions and exceed the average nursing salary.
Job growth for nurses is predicted to exceed 21% through the year 2018, according to the BSL. Clinical nurse specialists may experience an even higher job growth rate as hospitals and insurance providers turn to these professionals for new means to deliver high quality health care and still maintain cost efficiency. The clinical nurse specialist has an exceedingly bright future ahead no matter which job they choose, teaching, clinical practice, research, health provision or leadership roles in care delivery settings.
Clinical Nurse Leader
The Clinical Nurse Leader – A New Position for a Changing World
The clinical nurse leader (CNL) is the first new nursing position created in the last 35 years. Specialties have evolved to match the ever improving technology but nursing positions have more or less remained the same. Until now, this position is aimed at nurses who are dedicated to providing the best health care service for each patient and who can take the responsibility of implementing new procedures as well as evaluating the efficacy of standard protocols in terms of patient outcomes.
Clinical Nurse Leader Job Description & Scope of Practice
The clinical nurse leader is a very new job in the nursing field and as such, the duties are still evolving. However, the Clinical Nurse Leader serves as a coordinator in care for patients during a hospital stay. The nurse leader will assess special needs of the patient, and collaborate with the departments delivering the specific services so the patient receives the attention they require.
The clinical nurse leader evaluates patient care plans in terms of efficacy and efficiency. This individual will also help serve as a mentor and role model for newer nurses. One of the challenges faced by hospitals today is nursing staff turnover and having a leader trained in nursing able to communicate concerns and advocate for the patient as well as the nurses increases nurse retention.
A clinical nurse leader is usually the nurse who does regular rounds with the physicians. The role of a nurse leader is challenging and combines the role of the working nurse with that of a coordinating administrative position. Hospitals that have implemented this position have found that patient, doctor and nurse satisfaction usually improve.
How to Become a Clinical Nurse Leader
At one time the role of a Clinical Nurse leader was filled by a nurse with sufficient experience and the required personality traits deemed necessary for leadership. Today, though this role is filled by nurses who hold Master level degrees in clinical nurse leadership.
Clinical Nurse Leader Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
In keeping with the changing face of nursing more rigorous educational requirements are becoming the norm and positions of high responsibility will usually require an advanced degree as is the case with the job of the clinical nurse leader.
- A BSN (bachelor of science in nursing is required)
- An advanced degree in Clinical Nurse Leadership is highly recommended this is a 6 semester course and often accommodates working nurses. The clinical nurse leader is a generalist whose job is coordinating the various aspects of nursing and patient care to provide superior service delivery to patients.
- To become certified as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommends certification through the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC). Certifications are given through the AACN. In order to sit for the CNL Certification Exam, an applicant must be a graduate or be a student in their final term in a CNL education program or nursing school. To be considered for full CNL certification, the candidate must be an RN with a master’s degree or a post-master’s degree from an accredited CNL program. To obtain a waiver for these requirements and obtain the CNL certification, nurses must hold a graduate degree in health administration or public health and work as faculty on CNL education program at a nursing school. Applicants must also successfully complete an examination administered by the CNC. Nurse leaders do not have to obtain certification to fulfill their duties or secure employment, but it is highly recommended. The certification attests to the professionalism and expertise of the certificate holder, making it easier for them to compete with other job candidates. Those who earn the designation prove to employers that they possess the skills, knowledge and experience needed to expertly execute their CNL role.
Clinical Nurse Leader Salary and Career Outlook
Although the role of the clinical nurse leader is a new one the outlook is bright. The demand for cost effective and yet efficient healthcare has led to an increase in positions created for the nurse leader. The nursing field is projected to experience a very good rate of growth with a 21 – 35% increase in jobs for nurses until the year 2018.
The salaries for the graduate clinical nurse leader range around $55,000 per year. This rate of pay is not much over the rate of pay for a general RN. However, the career paths open to a clinical nurse leader graduate offer more choices in terms of settings, roles and career advancement.
Case Management Nurse
Case Management Nurse – Providing Quality Care Coordination
A case management nurse specialist is an exceptional career path for the skilled nurse who has exceptional coordination skills as well as a large degree of empathy for patients. Most frequently patients who require a case management nurse are suffering from long term or very serious illnesses. The case management nurse coordinates the various health as well as social services required by the patient in order to provide better care and a better outcome for the patient.
Case Management Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A case management nurse will usually be in charge of coordinating health care services to patients with complex medical conditions such as cancer or medically fragile patients who may require the services of several types of physicians. Health insurance providers are making greater use of this trained nurse who helps coordinate various treatments in order to deliver the best and most cost effective health care to the patient.
The health care system often requires multiple physicians and health care providers to deliver special services or procedures to a single patient. An example might be the cancer patient who may have radiation therapy, followed by a surgical procedure, followed by chemotherapy. The case management nurse coordinates the various stages of treatment in order to assure the best outcome for the patient.
These nurses are usually administrative and do not usually deliver patient care. They may stand act as advocates for the patient or intermediaries when dealing with insurance companies or medical facilities.
How to Become a Case Management Nurse
Case management nurse positions are very well paid and competition for available positions may be intense. A registered nurse (RN) with a Bachelor’s of Science degree (BS) in nursing can technically serve as a case management nurse. However, as health care choices become more complex, health insurance companies as well as medical facilities are tending toward selecting Case Management Nurses with a Master Degree in Medical Case Management.
Case Management Nurse Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing school is a minimum for Case Management Nurses. Nurses who hold associate degrees may take an accelerated course to achieve their bachelor degree in less time. A licensed practical nurse (LPN) and licensed vocational nurse (LVN) may receive some credit toward their bachelor degree for courses taken while pursuing their nursing diploma.
- A continuing education certification in Case Management Nursing is highly advisable. Although a few nurses who serve as case managers do not hold an advanced degree a certification can give a nurse the edge in a highly competitive field.
- A Master of Science in Nursing with a Case Management focus can prepare the nurse for administrative and supervisory positions as a Case Management Nurse. Most of these advanced courses include case management principles, statistics, clinical hours as well as leadership courses.
- Case management nurses obtain a Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To become certified, interested persons must possess two years full-time experience as a registered nurse and 2,000 hours of case management nursing experience as well as 30 hours of continuing education. Applicants must also successfully complete an examination consisting of 175 questions covering topics such as clinical case management practice, resource management, quality management, legal and ethical considerations and education. Although certification is not required, the American Case Management Association (ACMA) highly recommends nurses working in the field to become certified.
Case Management Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a case management nurse is particularly bright. More aging patients and more complex medical procedures have led to an increase in demand for trained nurses who understand and can coordinate health care services provided by many specialists to one patient . The nurse case manager job is primarily an administrative position with the potential to advance to supervisory positions.
Salaries for this nursing specialty range from $80,000 a year and upwards depending upon the employment setting and the geographical location of the case management nurse.
Cardiac Nurse Specialist
The Cardiac Nurse Specialist – The Heart of Nursing
The cardiac nurse specialist is an advanced degree professional nurse. These nurses possess the empathy and compassion of a trained nurse as well as advanced specialized training in cardiac care. Most hospital’s cardiac care units are staffed by these nurses who are trained to deliver extraordinary care to patients with acute or chronic heart conditions. Of all the organs in the body, the heart is counted among the most critical and the right care delivered by skilled nurses can improve a patient’s outcome.
Cardiac Nurse Specialist Job Description & Scope of Practice
The cardiac nurse specialist will provide routine care and monitoring to patients who have heart conditions. This well trained RN may assist the cardiologist in specialized cardiac procedures such as necessary. Because, many of the patients the cardiac nurse specialist sees on a daily basis are at risk this professional is trained to react in case of a cardiac emergency. They monitor stress tests, assure that physician protocols are followed and are help the family and patient better understand the need for compliance with medication and lifestyle changes.
How to Become a Cardiac Nurse Specialist
A nursing degree from an accredited nursing school is a requirement for any nurse planning to enter cardiac care. While an RN with an associate or bachelor degree in nursing can work in cardiac units, most acute and critical care cardiac facilities require an advanced degree and certification for Cardiac Nurse Specialists. The advanced degree and certification allow the cardiac nurse to assist in more challenging procedures and possibly move into supervisory or administrative positions.
Cardiac Nurse Specialist Educational Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
The cardiac nurse is a well paid and highly respected member of the nursing team. As such there are stringent requirements for schooling and certification as the patient’s heart is literally in their hands. What follows are some of the most common requirements for the job of Cardiac Nurse Specialist.
- High School diploma or GED
- Successfully accepted and entering an accredited four year nursing program. An RN with an associate degree can often take an accelerated path to a four year Bachelor degree.
- Successful acceptance into and completion of a Master Program for the Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist.
- The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers certification accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). The ANCC offers two distinctions including Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse and Cardiac Vascular Nurse. Nurses who successfully complete an examination will earn the Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) credential. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and is offered at several Computer-Based Testing Centers (CBT). A minimum of 2000 hours of clinical experience is required before the nurse is allowed to sit for this advanced examination. Certification is not required for cardiac nurses, but those with certifications are held in high regard.
Cardiac Nurse Specialist Salary and Career Outlook
The demand for nurses is growing throughout the country. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age and expect to live long healthy lives. The cardiac nurse specialist is part of the team that can help these aging individuals remain active and healthy.
The demand for nurses will continue to grow throughout the next 8 years at a rate of 21 to 35%. As medicine and lifesaving techniques improve the expertise required of physicians and nurses grow as well. Many nurses are choosing to specialize in order to advance their career prospects and improve their salaries.
The average cardiac nurse specialist earns from $60,000 and upward, depending upon the employment setting and the location.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse – Procedural Specialty Nursing
The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Nurse (Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse) is a highly trained specialist whose jobs begin the moment the patient is wheeled into the cath lab. Cardiac catheritization requires intense monitoring of patients and a thorough knowledge of the technology used to monitor the patient’s vital signs. The cardiac cath lab nurse will be thoroughly versed in telemetry, heart disease; normal and abnormal hearts functions and have a complete knowledge of the procedure to be performed.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Job Description and Scope of Practice
The cardiac cath lab nurse deals with patients undergoing cardiac catheritization procedures. This could vary depending upon the clinic or hospital and the cath lab nurse might also assist in angioplasties, defibrillator implants, pacemakers and balloon pumps might be part of the job. In a large cardiac cath lab the nurse will deal only with the patient from the time they are wheeled in, until they are removed to recovery. This means while they will monitor the patient closely, administer IV meds and assist in the procedure they do not usually follow patients into recovery or educate them before they are released.
The cardiac cath lab nurse will be well versed in the telemetry required to monitor the patient’s heart function before after and during the procedure.
How to Become a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse
Cardiac cath lab nurses require an RN license. They normally have had acute cardiac care experience, experience in cardiac recovery units, ICU or NICU experience. While for many hospitals the cardiac cath lab nurse is a procedural nurse not a bedside nurse, the cath lab nurse or sometimes called a cath lab RN, will usually have experience with bedside nursing and recovery before moving onward to the cath lab.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- A current RN license is required. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is almost always preferred for this position.
- Experience in cardiac care, ICU and telemetry is usually preferred though not necessarily required. Because the patient is vulnerable and requires such intense monitoring during procedures, the Cardiac Cath Lab nurse is normally a seasoned cardiac or intensive care nurse.
- New nurses may choose to take continuing education courses in cardiac care, and investigate training programs for cardiac care at local hospitals and online. The more the nurse learns about cardiac care the better prepared they are to take the step into the cardiac cath lab.
- Certification is available for the cardiac cath lab nurse who is currently employed in a cath lab. The certification can improve their resume and establish their qualifications for advancement. Nurses who work in heart-catheter labs can obtain certification through Cardiac Credentialing International (CCI). After meeting certain qualifications and passing an exam nurses receive credentials as a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS). Applicants must have two years experience working as an invasive specialist in a cath lab. The exam includes questions on topics including calculation/measurement, medical terminology, cardiovascular pathology, pharmacology, imaging and sterilization among others. Nurses do not have to certify in order to work in a cardiovascular catheterization lab, but certified nurses are highly sought after by employers.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a cardiac cath lab nurse is bright and projected to grow and a very good rate through the year 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The salary for a certified cardiac cath lab nurse is around $87,000 on average across the nation. The salary for a cardiac cath lab nurse is equal to the salary of many advanced practice nursing specialties.
The Camp Nurse – A Vital Part of the Camping Experience
While no one really talks about the neat nurse they met at camp, most children have at least one interaction with the nursing staff at camp. The nurse in charge is often the one to help soothe a homesick child, follow the physician’s protocols for treating bug bites, upset stomachs or sunburns. The camp nurse is responsible for helping create a memorable and healthy experience for every child and adult at camp.
Camp Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
Camp nurses may typically be employed in either seasonal camps, normally summer camps or in year round specialty camp settings. The camp nurse will usually meet with the director, learn the health issues and objectives of the camp and reside at the camp on call anywhere from 3 days to year round, depending upon the setting and type of camp. The nurse at camp is given a great deal of autonomy and has a set of physician ordered protocols to follow for most emergency situations. Camp nurses in healthy children camps may treat bug bites, asthma attacks, upset stomachs and help soothe a homesick child. Camp nurses must also be able to triage patients and follow established protocols as to when a physician should be called, or a child sent home due to the possibility of infection such as measles or mumps. The camp nurse will also hold a daily sick call in many camps where children who are not feeling well can be examined. Camp nurses dispense medications and accompany children to doctor’s appointments when necessary.
How to Become a Camp Nurse
A camp nurse is required to hold at least a diploma in nursing such as a Licensed Vocational Nursing Diploma or Licensed Practical Nurse diploma. Camps with medically fragile or special needs children may require a Registered Nurse with an associate degree or a 4 year R.N. The primary skill required for the camp nurse is a love of children and an enjoyment of the outdoors. Most camp nurses reside on site for the duration of the camp and are usually on call during that period. There are a limited number of large camps which accept nursing students during the summer. However, most nursing students are discouraged by their advisors from taking jobs in order to focus upon their studies.
Camp Nurse Educational Requirements, Certifications and Schooling Programs
- Must hold a state license as an LPN, LVN or R.N.
- Must be available for duration of the camp (this varies according to the type of camp).
- Must have experience working with children most children’s camps prefer pediatric experience.
- Special needs camp nurses may require a Bachelor of Science R.N. with pediatric experience.
- The Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) seeks to educate camp nurses by hosting symposiums, lectures and seminars several times throughout the year. Currently, the ACN does not offer certification. However, those who wish to become certified may do so through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in other nursing fields applicable to camp nursing such as emergency nursing.
Camp Nurse Salary, Jobs and Career Outlook
The camp nurse may be a seasonal job for the school nurse or a year round career choice for some nurses. The need for camp nurses grows apace with the need for qualified nurses throughout the country with a projected job growth of 21 to 35% over the next 8 years.
Camp nurses for seasonal camps may earn only $500 a week if the organization is non-profit. This figure includes room and board. Other camp nurse opportunities pay as much as $5,000 a week plus room and board, depending upon the camp setting and the type of education required of the nurse. A camp nurse job is often a springboard for the nurse into pediatrics, urgent care or specialty nursing, while enjoying the outdoors and of course the company of children.
Behavioral Nurse Practitioner
A behavioral health nurse practitioner has an advanced nursing degree specializing in mental health and psychiatric conditions. Often individuals with behavioral issues also have health issues, and the behavioral nurse practitioner may also see patients with physical as well as behavioral issues. There are a variety of settings wherein a Behavioral nurse practitioner may find employment including hospital behavioral units, outpatient mental health clinics, inpatient mental health facilities and community outreach services.
Behavioral Nurse Practitioner Job Description and Scope of Practice
The setting in which the behavioral nurse practitioner is employed may determine the job duties. However, as a nurse practitioner the behavioral health nurse practitioner is permitted to review treatment plans, advise patients on medications and help counsel families and patients on medication compliance, participate in research and study programs as well as provide feedback on program efficiency and quality of care. The behavioral nurse practitioner may be called upon to perform routine examinations and must be able to recognize the differences between mental health problems and behavioral issues that may have a physical cause. In some states the behavioral nurse practitioner may also prescribe certain psychotropic medications and must be conversant with those currently in use.
How to Become a Behavioral Nurse Practitioner
The primary requirement to becoming a successful behavioral nurse practitioner is an interest in the mental health and well being of patients. The behavioral nurse practitioner is highly trained and learns to correlate the relationship between mental health and physical well being. Individuals interested in a career as a behavioral nurse practitioner should have an interest in pharmacology, biology, mental health, psychology, as well as family counseling. The coursework required for a certification as a Behavioral Nurse Practitioner is rigorous and time consuming. The results however, for the right nursing candidate becoming a behavioral nurse practitioner, can be well worth the time commitment.
Behavioral Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
A nurse practitioner is an advanced nursing degree. Obtaining this degree allows the practitioner to prescribe medications, give routine medical examinations, and select a specialty such as becoming a behavioral nurse practitioner and in many cases progress to administrative and supervisory positions. What follows are the requirements to become a certified Behavioral Nurse Practitioner:
- Acceptance into a 4 year Registered Nursing Program and successful completion of the program. This requires a high school diploma or GED and passing the college entrance examination. An application to the nursing program must also be made by student.
- Pass the state board examination Registered Nurses. The applicant into a behavioral nursing program should hold a valid RN license.
- 2000 hours of nursing experience. Most behavioral nurse practitioner students choose to work in a psychiatric setting before applying to the Master’s program.
- Acceptance into a Behavioral Nurse Practitioner Master degree program. In order to become certified as a BNP (behavioral nurse practitioner) the applicant must be enrolled in a rigorous 2 to 3 year program for Nurse Practitioners. Most Master degree programs for a Nurse Practitioner will require lecture and classroom experience as well as clinical experience in a mental health setting as part of the educational process. These programs range from 55 – 60 semester credit hours.
- Pass the certification examination for the Behavioral Nurse Practitioner. Becoming certified can help the graduate nurse expand their career potential. Nurses in the mental-health field look to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) for guidance, timely information and to stay abreast of changes within the mental-health field. Certification is available at all levels, including Nurse Practitioner (NP), through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Nurse practitioners who choose to become certified through the ANCC hold the Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (NP-BC) distinction. To earn certification, applicants must successfully complete a computer-based exam at one of many Computer-Based Testing Centers (CBT) strategically located across the country. The exam takes approximately three hours to take. To work in the behavioral-health field, nurses do not have to certify. However, hospitals and clinics regard certified applicants as experts and professionals.
Behavioral Nurse Practitioner Salary and Career Outlook
There is projected to be a shortage of qualified nurse practitioners until 2018 or possibly beyond. Currently nursing jobs are predicted to see a growth of between 21 – 35% over the next 8 years. The shortage of qualified nurses is even greater in advanced practice specialties such as for Nurse Practitioners.
Currently the certified Behavioral Nurse Practitioner earns over $80,000 per year with that figure projected to grow. The Behavioral nurse practitioner has a greater earning potential than a general RN and is frequentlyemployed in administrative capacities.
Infection Control Nurse
The infection control nurse has a career with a widening field of focus and expanding roles. At one time an infection control nurse in a major hospital was mainly concerned with preventing the spread of diseases within the hospital. Today, this nurse may also be the one who helps design protocols to be used in case of a biological terrorist attack. The infection control nurse must not only deal with the possibility of terrorism but also with antibiotic resistant infections. The job of an infection control nurse is critical for a smoothly functioning hospital.
Infection Control Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The job description of an infection control nurse depends upon the nurse’s employer’s focus. A community health infection control nurse might focus upon public education. A staff infection control nurse might develop procedures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases within a hospital environment. They might examine isolation protocols and suggest improvements or changes in procedures. The infection control nurse must have a strong grasp of microbiology and how pathogens are spread. Some infection control nurses also take on clinical nursing duties but most focus upon the administrative and educational roles required by their position.
How to Become an Infection Control Nurse
The infection control nurse must be well educated and in larger hospitals the infection control nurse will generally have an advanced degree in nursing. The RN must accrue 2000 hours (about 2 years) of work experience as an RN before applying to a Post Graduate Nursing program. Infection control nurses may be in administrative positions and as such should have some administrative schooling such as a Master of Science in nursing offers.
Infection Control Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
Lesser degree programs such as an Associate of Science in Nursing may be acceptable for community outreach or health agencies jobs. More responsible and higher paying jobs as an infection control nurse may require a significant amount more experience and education. Because the infection control nurse is normally very well paid the competition is greater than for entry level nursing positions.
- Obtain a Nursing Degree from an accredited Nursing Program.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain an RN License.
- A Master Degree in Nursing is required but may give the newer nurse a competitive edge for infection control nursing positions.
- Certification as a Registered Infect ion Control Nurse is not required by all hospitals but can help fill out a nurse’s resume when applying for these high paying jobs. Certification is available through the Certification Board of Infection Control Nursing.
- Certified Infection Control Nurses (CIC) are certified through the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). Applicants must currently hold a position that deals with infection prevention and control in order to sit for the examination. No specific amount of experience is necessary, but candidates must pass the Computer Based Test (CBT) to become certified initially and take the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE) to recertify every five years. Tests are given at designated Applied Measurement Professionals Assessment Centers (AMP). Certification is managed through the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control (APIC). Certification is not mandatory, but the CIC certification holds an esteemed reputation among medical professionals.
Infection Control Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The infection control nurse career prospects are particularly good. The nursing field is expected to increase the number of available jobs by 587,000 new jobs over the next 8 years. This increase will apply to the infection control nurse position as well as general nursing jobs.
The salary of an infection control nurse depends upon their specific job duties. The average infection control nurse will make from between $57,000 to $70,000 a year.
Independent Nurse Contractor
The independent nurse contractor is a self employed nursing professional. The type of independent nurse contractor most familiar to the public is the travel nurse. However, independent nurse contractors can be hired directly by facilities for special events. This is a job which gives a great deal of freedom to the nurse and allows them to set their own schedules.
Independent Nurse Contractor Job Description & Scope of Practice
The Independent nurse contract is normally an RN with a 2 or 4 year degree. These nurses may have an advanced degree in nursing may be Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing RNs Their job duties will depend upon the agency hiring them. Normally, when working in a hospital or clinic the independent nurse contractor will take vital signs, take patient histories, and assess the patient’s conditions and document treatments and medications given.
The independent nurse contractor’s job is very similar to that of any other nurse working in that setting except they are not hired, they are contracted and their employment has a definite start and end date. These nurses will normally have a higher degree of expertise in their field and a great deal of adaptability to new situations. The nurse who desires a constant challenge and changing work situation is often drawn to the independent nurse contractor position.
How to Become an Independent Nurse Contractor
The nurse contract will often travel to their employment location. This type of nursing requires an individual who adjusts quickly to new situations and protocols. Generally independent nurse contractors are experienced nurses with a firm grasp on their nursing specialty. ICU and Trauma nurses are in particularly high demand.
Becoming an independent nurse contractor may be a temporary career choice or a permanent position, depending upon the nurse’s particular situation. The stronger the nurse’s resume and the greater their nursing experience, the easier it is to find positions as a contracted nurse.
Independent Nurse Contractor Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- The nurse must be a graduate of an accredited nursing school and have earned a diploma or a Degree.
- The nurse must be licensed holding an LPN/LVN or RN license.
- Nurses with advanced practice specialties such as NICU nurses Trauma or ER Nurses may also be required to hold the appropriate certification in their specialty. The certification requirements vary with the nursing specialty as well as with the facility employing the independent contractor nurse.
- The National Nurses in Business Association, Inc. (NNBA) provides critical information to nurses who wish to become independent contractors. Currently, there is no certification or designation that you must receive to start your own nursing business. Independent contractors negotiate contracts with various agencies including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and correctional facilities. Those interested in pursuing an independent career in nursing might want to obtain certification in other areas such as emergency, labor and delivery or hospice to improve their chances of successfully negotiating contracts in their area of expertise.
Independent Nurse Contractor Salary and Career Outlook
There are currently more positions for skilled nurses than there are nurses to fill these positions. The Bureau of Labor statistics predicts that job growth in the field of nursing will be around 21% until 2018. This means the contract nurse will continue to be in high demand to fill temporary positions where the need is critical.
The salary of the nurse contractor is higher than that of the employee nurse. The travel nurse may be given accommodation reimbursements as well as travel allowances. While the independent nurse contractor is not obligated to work year round; if they choose to they usually make from between $57,000 and $70,000 a year.
The hospice nurse deals with terminally ill patients and their families in a home care setting. This nursing profession requires the nurse be conversant with normal nursing duties as well as have extensive training in pain relief, the grieving process, and the physical and psychological process of dying.
The goal of the hospice nurse is to keep the patient comfortable and pain-free during this final stage of their life. This type of nursing is not for every nurse graduate as it requires a large amount of compassion and emotional stamina.
Hospice Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse who provides hospice care will see patients who can no longer benefit from medical treatment to halt their disease. These terminal patients require nursing support to stay comfortable during this final stage.
The hospice nurse may maintain IV drips, give injections to relieve pain, or other support services.
The hospice nurse may also serve as an advocate for the patient allowing them control of their health decisions. The emotional support a hospice nurse offers the family and patient help are an essential component of this nursing specialty. Most hospice patients die within 30 days of enrolling in the hospice program and this can be difficult for the nurse.
How to Become a Hospice Nurse
Hospice nursing is a nursing specialty which is chronically short of well qualified nurses. Many people, nurses included have a difficult time dealing with the final stages of life. The scarcity of the individual who can help alleviate pain and provide comfort for the family and patient during this difficult time, makes the true hospice nurse a valued member of the hospice team.
A nurse interested in joining a hospice team may find opportunities plentiful and may work with organizations providing in home hospice care or inpatient hospice care in hospice facilities. Nurses who provide in home hospice care can expect to be on call periodically. RNs planning on continuing their education with an advanced degree, may work as RNs in hospice situations for the 2000 hours required before applying for graduate school.
Hospice Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- Hold a valid and unencumbered nursing license either an RN or LPN/LVN.
- There are a few advanced practice nursing programs which offer specialties in Hospice nursing.
- Many continuing education programs for nurses offer pain management, and palliative care courses.
- To obtain certification as a hospice nurse, candidates must work full time for at least two years in a hospice setting and pass an exam give through the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN). Applicants are screened according to education and experience before being given one of six exams offered by the NBCHPN. Exams offered include the Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN), Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN), Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse (CHPPN), Certified Hospice and Palliative Licensed Nurse (CHPLN), Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant (CHPNA), and the Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator (CHPCA). Each exam covers more than 150 topics from all domains of hospice care. Certification is accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). Those seeking to become a hospice care giver are encouraged to join the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). Certification is not required in order to work in a hospice setting, but it is encouraged as many agencies seek certified professionals for their teams.
Most hospice agencies and facilities also offer extensive training for the hospice nurse during orientation as well as continuing education courses.
Hospice Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for a nurse is predicted to be excellent through the year 2018. 587,000 new nursing jobs are anticipated over the next 8 years. Skilled nursing specialties such as hospice nursing will grow at the same or greater rate according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The salary of a Hospice nurse with an RN license is around $59,000 a year which is similar to nurses with the same license and degree.
Home Health Nurse
Traditionally patients requiring regular nursing treatments were hospitalized or institutionalized in order to assure they received consistent daily care. However, the movement today with elderly and many chronically ill patients is to provide basic treatments in a home setting, allowing the patient to live as normal a life as possible.
Elderly diabetics who require daily monitoring may be capable of living independently with daily visits from a home health nurse. This not only makes economic sense for the insured individual and the insurance company but also tends to give the patient a higher quality of life than hospitalization or institutionalization might. The trend toward home health care in preference to hospitalization or institutionalization has increased the need for the home health nurse in the US.
Home Health Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The home health nurse will make regular visits to patients in their home setting. They perform assessments, give mediations, and assess the patient’s overall health. A diabetic might receive injections once or twice a day and have their circulation checked in their extremities.
A patient with chronic congestive heart failure might have a home health nurse visit to weigh them regularly, assess their vital signs and deliver medications.
The home health nurse visits, performs regular routine procedures under physician orders. The home health nurse will document all visits and any changes in the patient’s condition.
How to Become a Home Health Nurse (HHN)
A home health nurse must have a great deal of compassion and be an effective communicator because they may work with individuals of all ages, races and ethnicities.
The home health nurse must hold a valid nursing license. Different patients require different levels of care and home health nurses can be LVNs, LPNs or RNs. The home health nurse must possess excellent communication skills and a wide variety of skills since the problems faced by patients vary from short-term rehabilitation and wound care to long-term health issues requiring specialized procedures and equipment. Patients on oxygen or requiring regular medications are commonly seen by the home health nurse.
Home Health Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- The home health nurse must have a diploma or degree from an accredited nursing school.
- The nurse must also possess a valid RN or LPN/LVN license.
- Nurses working in the home setting must also meet the regular continuing education hours required to renew their licenses and certifications.
- Clinical Nurses or Nurse Practitioners may choose to specialize in a particular population such as geriatrics or diabetes or oncology and still work in home health nursing.
- Certification for Home Health Nurses (HHN) has been discontinued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Persons who have already received certification can renew their certifications provided they have completed all necessary continuing education hours. Nurses who work in home health are not required to become certified. However, those who certify in other areas such as hospice and wound care can earn more than those without any certifications. The Home Health Care Nurses Association (HHNA) releases timely information concerning home-health nurses.
Home Health Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career prospects for the home health nurse are excellent and job growth is predicted to be better than average. The increased need for nurses in the home setting derives from the aging baby boomer population and their increasing health issues and the cost cutting measures in health care. It is significantly less expensive in many cases to support a patient at home than to hospitalize the patient.
The salary of any nurse depends upon their level of education as well as their specialty. The home health nurse with an RN license earns on average $60,000 a year. The LPN/LVN home health nurse earns around $37,000 a year.
The holistic nurse is not a new nursing specialty. Florence Nightingale was believed to be one of the first complimentary health nurses. The Holistic nurse integrates alternative treatments into standard medical practice. Traditional nursing is not ignored it is simply complimented with techniques which many feel will enhance the patients overall health.
Some of the techniques used by holistic nurses (sometimes called complimentary nurses) include massage therapy, positive imagery, acupuncture and body balance. Nurses may be found using holistic health techniques in hospitals, clinics, alternative medicine practices and home health and hospice situations. The complimentary health nurse does not replace standard nursing practices with alternative methods but instead complements standard nursing techniques treating the body and mind as directly connected and parts of a whole.
Holistic Nurse Nurse Job Description and Scope of Practice
The holistic nurse may work in a variety of settings. A holistic nurse might be employed by clinics specializing in holistic medicine where they would administer traditional treatments as well as the holistic therapy in which the nurse specializes. A number of licensed nurses have chosen to become registered massage therapists as well. These nurses integrate massage therapy into their standard nursing procedures.
The complimentary health nurse who is a trained acupuncturist may perform their specialty in addition to administering treatments and medications ordered by the physician in a holistic practice. The massage therapist/Registered Nurse might integrate that therapy with their regular nursing duties.
How to Become a Holistic Nurse
Holistic health nurses generally learn a number of alternative nursing techniques in modules during nursing school. Some nurses choose to learn other techniques such as acupuncture massage therapy, guided imagery and therapeutic touch to name a few common techniques. Whatever the specialty of the complimentary health nurse; the goal is the same to help relieve pain, provide comfort and encourage a healthy relaxed mind and a healthier body. Relaxation techniques are frequently used by holistic nurses with the patient’s permission to help relieve pain.
Holistic Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- The holistic nurse/complimentary health nurse must hold a nursing degree or diploma from an accredited nursing school.
- Passing the state license examination for the applicable license such as RN, or LPN/LVN
- Participate in formal training for the alternative medicine therapy the nurse chooses to provide. A nurse who chooses to offer acupuncture must successfully complete an acupuncture school. Massage therapist nurses generally seek formal training in massage therapy. Other complimentary health nurses provide positive imagery therapy and even yoga therapies for their patients.
- Holistic nurses are certified at three levels through the American Holistic Nurses’ Certification Association (AHNCC). For registered nurses who do not have a Bachelor Degree in Nursing, the certification is called HN-BC or Holistic Nurse-Board Certified. For those who do posses a four-year degree, the certification is called HNB-BC or Holistic Nurse Baccalaureate-Board Certified. Those with graduate degrees will be certified as an AHN-BC or Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certified, the highest certification available to holistic nurses. Applicants must work as a holistic nurse for one year or an equivalent of 2000 hours before attempting to take the certification exam. Certification exams are given by the Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at more than 400 locations. All candidates are given a quantitative test which takes several hours to complete. Holistic nurse certification is endorsed through the American Holistic Nurse Association (AHNA). Certification is not required, but many hospitals seek candidates with certification credentials.
Holistic Nurse/Complimentary Health Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The holistic nurse/complimentary health nurse salary depends upon the nurse’s level of education. In general, the RN who specializes in holistic medicine earns around $50,000 a year. Many of the services provided by holistic nurses are unpaid.
The job outlook for RNs and LPN/LVN nurses who practice complimentary nursing is very good. Nursing jobs are predicted to grow at the rate of 21% or more through the year 2018.
HIV/AIDS Nurse – Offering Healing Compassion and Social Support
HIV/AIDS is a complex autoimmune condition whose symptoms can manifest in many ways. Nursing individuals who are diagnosed HIV positive can present many challenges. Rare conditions may be common with HIV-positive individuals and bacteria and fungi that are normal in the human body can become life-threatening in the HIV-positive person. AIDS affects the patient not only physically but may have negative social and psychological effects. The HIV nurse helps educate the patient and family in dealing with HIV.
The HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) nurse may work with clinics, hospitals, community outreach programs, or Home Health nursing.
HIV/AIDS Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The AIDS nurse will work with HIV-positive patients in order to assist the individual in maintaining as independent a lifestyle as possible. HIV-positive patients receive education, support, and health care from AIDS nurses. This is a position requiring a nurse who is well educated in the complications of HIV as well as compassionate and knowledgeable in the social and psychological ramifications of living with a pervasive autoimmune condition.
The AIDS nurse will assess the patient, administer physician-ordered treatments and medications to the patient. In a home health care setting the HIV/AIDS nurse will, document changes in patient status to the physician or health care team, counsel family members about HIV, and how to help care for the patient.
An HIV/AIDS Nurse Practitioner or HIV Clinical Nursing Specialist will take more responsibility in the care of the AIDS-positive patient than other nurses. The Nurse Practitioner who specializes in AIDS-positive patients may order tests, adjust medications and monitor the patient for infections or cancers that can accompany HIV. The clinical nurse specialist may be responsible for patient assessment, drawing up a plan of care, and helping the family and patient adapt to the changes illness may bring.
HIV nurses will administer IV medications when necessary and conduct physician-ordered tests. The role of the AIDS nurse is as complex as the manifestations of the HIV disease and the nurse must be extremely well trained in the AIDS virus and the disease progression.
How to Become an HIV/AIDS Nurse
After receiving a nursing degree the HIV/AIDS nurse who plans on specializing in this autoimmune disease must also have 2 years of clinical experience in HIV nursing, counseling, or education. This is to ensure that the nurse understands the scope of the disease and has practical nursing experience in dealing with patients, families, and complications of AIDS. Some nurses elect to apply for internship programs and others are employed by hospitals, home health organizations, or community agencies dealing with HIV-positive individuals.
HIV nurses are required to treat many conditions that are rare in the general population but these diseases may be relatively common with immune-suppressed individuals. HIV/AIDS patients may also be using relatively new drugs in order to help stem the progress of the disease. The AIDS nurse must keep a close watch on patient status changes when this is the case.
HIV/AIDS Nurse Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
- Complete a 2 or 4 years accredited nursing program earning an Associate or Bachelor of Science in nursing.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN examination to receive a license.
- Certification is not required but usually highly recommended for nurses who want to provide the best care possible to their patients. Certification can also be helpful for nurses who want to advance their careers more quickly.
- A Pre-certification requirement for HIV/AIDS nursing is that the RN must work for 2 years as an HIV/AIDS nurse for a total of 2000 hours of clinical experience prior to taking the certification examination.
- Pass the HIV/AIDS Nursing Board certification examination.
- Certification in HIV/AIDS Nursing for Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists working with predominately HIV-positive patient populations may be required by some employing agencies. If you are currently a Registered Nurse in the USA or have equivalent international qualification and also have been working for 2 years or more in HIV/AIDS research, education, clinical practice, or any other HIV/AIDS area; then you will be eligible for the AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN) examination. This HIV/AIDS certification examination is administered by the Professional Testing Corporation (PTC). It is endorsed by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) and the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board (HANCB). Once you pass the certification exam, you will then be able to put the ACRN designation after your name. The HANCB will send you your new certificate. Although voluntary, certification shows you are dedicated to a career in HIV/AIDS Nursing, and the more seriously you will be taken amongst your peers and potential employers.
HIV/AIDS Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The job outlook for the AIDS nurse with an RN is very good. HIV/AIDS nursing is a nursing specialty that is in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19% growth in jobs for nurses through 2022.
The average salary of an RN specialising in HIV patient care is generally from $55,000 to $70,000 per year. The advanced degree HIV/AIDS nurse or Nurse practitioner may expect to earn from $80,000 to $89,000 a year.
The anesthesiologist nurse has a critical role in most surgical procedures performed today. The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA) is a highly trained registered nurse who specializes in administering all types of anesthesia. The nurse anesthetist will normally consult with the doctor and or other health professionals regarding the appropriate anesthesia for the patient. This advanced nursing specialist will then administer the anesthesia during the surgical procedure, and monitor the patient’s vital signs during the procedure and in the recovery room. The anesthesiologist nurse job outlook is bright even in a slow economy, and the demand continues to grow for CRNAs.
Anesthesiologist Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The nurse anesthesiologist is vital in surgery or any procedure which requires anesthesia such as childbirth, dental procedures, and diagnostic procedures such as a colonoscopy or a CT scan on a small child.
The nurse anesthetist will consult with the attending physician and then determine the best anesthesia for the patient’s age, and physical condition. This professional will normally meet with the patient and describe the type of anesthetic as well as assess their physical condition.
The CRNA will administer the appropriate type and amount of anesthetic to assure patient comfort during the procedure and continually monitor their condition during the procedure. The nurse anesthetist will follow the patient’s progress during post procedure recovery.
The Nurse Anesthesiologist administers anesthesia as a practice of nursing. They are permitted to administer anesthesia of all types including epidural, spinal, general sedation, local anesthesia and peripheral anesthesia under the direction of the attending or collaborating physician.
How to Become an Anesthesiologist Nurse
Preparation for a career in nursing and becoming a nurse anesthesiologist can begin early in high school with the student focusing upon chemistry and biology courses, or the nurse may choose to change focuses later in their career. An LVN or LPN can choose a leveling program to RN which will allow them credit for schooling already completed. A new student will need to choose a school that offers a four year nursing program. A high school diploma is required for entry into any nursing program. Successful completion of a college entrance examination is also required. Nursing students who successfully complete the four year program and receive their RN license will then enroll in a Master level program for anesthesiologist nurses. These master level programs typically require two to three years to complete.
The educational requirements for the nurse anesthetist are rigorous because the patient’s well being during a surgical procedure is literally in this professional’s hands:
Anesthesiologist Nurse Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
• Achieve a Bachelor of Science nursing degree in 4 years of nursing school.
• Pass the state board for registered nurses and hold a valid registered nurse license.
• Have one year experience in an acute care setting such as ICU, NICU, trauma units, or post operative recovery.
• Attend a 2 year Master Degree program in nursing anesthesiology. These programs include clinical as well as classroom instruction.
• Pass the Certified Registered Nursing Anesthetist examination. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) recommends certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) as it lends credibility and expert status to anesthesia professionals. Certifications for the field are managed by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). In order to sit for the exam, candidates must complete a nurse anesthesia program that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs within two years prior to the exam. Three hours are allowed to take the exam, consisting of a mix of 100 to 170 multiple choice questions and mathematical calculations. Nurses must be certified to work as an anesthesiologist nurse.
Positions in Master programs for nurse anesthetists are limited. The programs at the most prestigious schools are meticulous. Competition for the limited openings at these schools may be very intense. Chemistry, pharmacology, and advanced courses in anatomy are part of all of these program’s curriculums.
Anesthesiologist Nurse, Salary and Career Outlook
Those nurses successfully trained in anesthesiology nursing fit well into today’s movement toward maintaining quality health care and making it more affordable. To date, no state requires an anesthesiologist to administer anesthetics and although the nurse anesthesiologist is well paid they are more cost effective than an Anesthesiologist. The nurse anesthetist may expect to see an increase in jobs in rural settings as well as inner cites. Private clinics and outpatient cosmetic surgery clinics also employ nurse anesthetists.
Job growth for nurses is predicted to be around 21% to 35% until 2020. Advanced nursing specialists such as the nurse anesthetist can expect to see an equivalent increase in demand for their services. So in the near and long-term, job security for those in anesthesiologist nurse careers should be very promising.
The CRNA’s salary is commensurate with their training and most earn at least twice the national average for a Registered Nurse. Nationwide the average salary of a CRNA is around $150,000. Salaries for the Nurse Anesthesiologist will vary with geographical locations as well as employment settings.
Ambulatory Care Nurse
Becoming an Ambulatory Care Nurse Is An Expanding And Lucrative Career Choice For Nurses
The Ambulatory care nurse provides comprehensive nursing care on an outpatient basis for patients in a variety of settings. An ambulatory nurse’s job is challenging and may be the ideal way to start a nursing career. While an ambulatory care nurse may still function as a Registered Nurse (RN) in a clinical setting, this specialist will have far more knowledge and depth to draw from and is often found outside the hospital environment.
Ambulatory Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
Ambulatory care nurse jobs may be found teleconferencing, health screening clinics, walk in clinics, well baby clinics, Hospice settings and more venues. An ambulatory care nurse must not only excel in the practice of nursing but be able to triage patients in walk-in clinics, translate doctor’s orders into activities which are understandable and practical for the patient or family. In certain situations the nurse may act as a phlebotomist, doctor’s nurse, or nutritional counselor to patients and family. This specialist will attempt to establish a rapport with family and patient in order to increase compliance with medication or lifestyle changes.
Ambulatory nurse specialists will encounter a variety of situations in the course of a day’s work in a disease screening clinic, prevention of illness or into supporting sick individuals to wellness. Ambulatory nurses may be required to triage patients in order to treat the most critical first.
How to Become an Ambulatory Nurse
Preparation for a career in ambulatory care nursing can begin as early as high school. The student may want to focus upon biology, chemistry, math, and the sciences. A four year nursing degree from an accredited nursing school will allow the student to make the most of their nursing degree and permit them to move upward into administrative positions. Upon graduation from high school the hopeful should apply to the nursing school of their choice. Classes for nurses include the normal balanced curriculum such as English, math, and the arts. However, the nursing student will also take classes in advanced biology, patient care, nursing ethics. The final semesters consist of hands on clinical experience in hospital settings.
Ambulatory Care Nurse Education Requirements, Certification and Schooling Programs
While ambulatory nurses may be LPNs, or LVNs, most clinical settings require a Registered Nurse for this position. In order to obtain most of the available positions in administration for Ambulatory care nurses, the RN must also have a certification in ambulatory nursing care. The following are the requirements for receiving a certification as an Ambulatory Nurse specialist from the American Board of Nursing Specialties:
• Complete a 2 or 4 year RN course from an accredited school of nursing.
• Pass the state board Registered Nursing Examination.
• In order to become certified as an Ambulatory Care Nurse, the RN must have had at least two thousand hours of clinical experience in an ambulatory care setting within the last three years.
• The RN must also have completed at least thirty hours of continuing education in ambulatory care prior to applying for the certification examination.
• Successfully pass the certification examination given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The certification examinations are computer based and are taken at locations throughout the U.S. The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) represents nurses in the ambulatory-care field. Certification is available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In order to become certified – Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) – applicants must have two years full-time experience as a registered nurse. They must also have at least 2,000 hours experience in an ambulatory-care setting and 30 hours continuing education within three years prior. The exam consists of 175 questions, which fall into the following categories: clinical practice, communication, issues and trends, systems and education. Certification is not a requirement to work in ambulatory care, but it helps applicants secure jobs as it advertises their expertise in the field.
While Licensed Practical or Vocational nurses may be employed by some facilities as ambulatory care nurses, the scope of their practice is necessarily more limited. Furthermore, Certification is usually restricted to RNs. The individual interested in specialty nursing will find the better career opportunities go to the candidate with the most education and experience in the field.
Ambulatory Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The nursing field is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses of all levels of education, but the crisis is particularly acute in nursing specialty areas such as Ambulatory care nursing. The decade of 2008 through 2018 is predicted to find the demand for nurses increasing from 21% to 35%. The Certified Ambulatory Care Nurse can make from $65,000 to $85,000 a year. The salary depends upon the agency employing the nurse specialist as well as the location where the nurse lives and practices.
General nursing can be a wonderfully fulfilling career for many nurses. However, nurses who want to broaden their knowledge base, increase their responsibilities and increase their job satisfaction may well want to consider specializing in high demand areas such as that of an ambulatory care nurse.
Advanced Practice Nurse
Advanced Practice Nurse – Is This The Career For You?
An advanced practice nurse is a Registered Nurse and also holds a Master or Doctoral degree in their chosen nursing specialty. These professionals enjoy more latitude and independence in decision making. The certification APN can apply to several types of advanced nursing degrees.
The Advanced Practice Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The APN may specialize in one of many fields including some not mentioned. Necessarily their roles and job descriptions will change according to the advanced practice nursing specialty chosen. However, what follows is a very short rundown of the four most common nursing paths chosen by an Advanced Practice Nurse.
• Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – This specialist is permitted to administer anesthetics including local, general, conscious sedation, and general anesthetics.
• Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – These Registered nurses are part of the prenatal care as well as home deliveries for pregnant women. This profession requires an advanced Master Program in Midwifery as well as clinical practice under a licensed instructor.
• Nurse Practitioner (CNP) is a Registered nurse who has completed a bachelor degree in nursing, as well as a Master level program. These professionals provide routine primary care and are permitted to write prescriptions or make referrals to specialists.
• Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are nurses who have chosen to specialize in a particular area such as neonatology, ICU, psychiatric nursing, pediatrics, OB/GYN care geriatrics or other fields. Often, these professionals are in administrative positions.
Providing affordable and yet quality health care has been a growing concern over the last several decades. The Advanced practice nurse is a feasible answer to cutting the growing cost of health care and yet providing exceptional care for patients. An advanced nursing degree allows the Registered nurse can give the RN a greater body of knowledge to work with and many specialties such as Nurse Practitioners have independent practices. An advanced practice nurse who has chosen a Nurse Practitioner specialty may provide most common health care services without the direct oversight of a physician.
How to Become an Advanced Practice Nurse
Careers in general nursing can be extremely satisfying and an advanced practice nurse need not leave the clinical setting entirely. These highly trained nurses instead possess a greater depth of knowledge in their chosen specialty which allows them to impact patient’s lives in a more positive and long term way. A four year Bachelor of Science nursing degree is a prerequisite for any Advanced Practice Nursing degree. The nurse can choose to begin preparing for advanced practice nursing as soon as they are accepted into nursing school or they may choose to redirect their career at a later point.
Advanced Practice Nurse Education Requirements, Certifications, and Schooling Programs
• Successfully complete a four year nursing program from an accredited nursing school this requires a high school diploma or GED and passing the college entrance examination.
• Pass the state board examination to obtain a Registered Nurse’s License
• Select a specialty program such as Nurse Anesthetist or Nurse Practitioner
• Successfully complete the 2 to 4 year program for the advanced practice nursing specialty sought.
• Pass the certification examination for the applicable advanced specialty, such as the Midwife certification or Nurse Practitioner examination or Anesthesiologist Nurse. Advanced practice nurses receive certification through the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Advanced nurses can obtain certification in several different areas including Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Nurse Anesthetist (NA), Nurse-Midwife (NMW), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse (PMH) and Public Health Nurse (PHN). Applicants test in the area of their specialty and must pass the exam in order to become certified. Many of these disciplines do not require certification, but most hospitals and health clinics prefer to hire certified professionals.
Many of these programs also require an internship period before becoming eligible to take the certification examination. An advanced practice nurse can further specialize in a sub-specialty and become a pediatric nurse practitioner or a family nurse practitioner. Most nurses will select a sub-specialty before entering their Master’s program.
Advanced Practice Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Nursing is a career which is experiencing a crisis shortage of qualified providers. APN professionals (advanced practice nurses) are in even more demand than the common Registered Nurse. Because the APN is a key to quality lower cost health care these professionals can be found in urban settings, rural communities, hospitals and clinics. Job growth for the advanced practice nurse is expected to exceed 21% through the year 2020. The average salary of an advanced practice nurse is from $80,000 per year upward and can be as much as two to three times that of a RN without an advanced degree.
Wound Care Nurse
Wound Care Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A wound care nurse is a specialized nursing position that is designed specifically to heal patient’s wounds. The nurse who specializes in wound care has a nursing degree and is a certified nurse with a specialization in caring for patients with injuries.
As a wound care specialist you will have many of the following roles and responsibilities:
- Stage a patient’s wound
- Provide wound treatment
- Assess wounds
- Work with doctors to provide medication
- Educate patients on wound care
Nurses who are proficient in caring for wounds may work with trauma or emergency situations and may work with all types of wounds including gunshots, cuts, and scrapes. The nurse may need to take photos of the wound and assist the doctor in determining a treatment plan. Nursing professionals must have good attention to detail, good communication skills, and must be able to provide gentle care in a calm and soothing manner.
How to Become a Wound Care Nurse
Anyone who is interested in becoming specialized in wound care will need to become a certified nurse and should have at least 5 years experience in wound care. Nurses should first attain a nursing degree through a good nursing school or university. After graduating with a nursing degree you must take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse in your state. Gain some work experience by taking an entry level nursing position in the area of wound care, possibly at a hospital or clinic.
Wound Care Nursing Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The aspiring nurse should complete an educational program in nursing. A two-year nursing program will provide you with an Associate’s Degree in nursing (ADN) while a four-year program offers you a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). Both offer good programs, however, when striving to become a specialty nurse you will be better off choosing the BSN option. Students should take undergraduate courses that prepare them for wound care as a specialty. Additionally, nurses may opt to go on to attain a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) with a specialty in wound care. Nurses will need to gain as much experience as possible before entering a MSN program.
Wound-care certification is awarded through the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) as well as the National Alliance of Wound Care (NAWC). Both agencies offer different levels of certification for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Registered Nurses (RN) and nurses with higher degrees. Each has their own requirements. Testing focuses on general wound-care principles such as assessment, cleansing procedures, drainage, cauterization and infection control among others. Several certification options are available including the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse (WOCN) through the WOCNCB and Wound Care Certified (WCC) through NAWC. Both these professional organizations offer nurses support, educational resources, and information about wound care. Certification is not required to work in these areas, but it is highly recommended.
Wound Care Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for all nurses is expected to climb in the coming years. There is going to be a high demand for trained nurses and particularly for nurses with specialties such as wound care. By some estimates, the need for nurses will go up by as much as 22% over the next ten years. Nurses with the highest level of education can expect to receive top salaries. The salary for a nurse with a specialty in wound care may range from $52,000 to $65,000. Those nursing professionals with the most experience and training will expect to get the high end of the pay scale. Those with MSN degrees may expect to exceed $75,000 annually.
Urologic Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A urology nurse is a nurse that specializes in caring for patients with illness or diseases of the urinary system. The urinary nurse treats patients with diseases of the kidney, bladder, and urethra as well as any other parts of the urinary tract. The urologic nursing professional works closely with the doctor and assists with patient intake information, exams, preparing for lab tests, diagnosing illnesses, and educating patients and their families on the treatment and maintenance of the urinary system.
Urology deals with kidney related illnesses such as kidney stones. Kidney stones are among the most common type of disorder that affects the urinary system. Another common urologic condition is urinary incontinence. Nurses who specialize in urology assist patients with learning how to take care of their urinary problems including how to take medication as prescribed and how to make note of symptoms.
How to Become a Urologic Nurse
A urologic nursing is a specialized nursing position. To become a nurse specializing in urology you must first attain your nursing degree. After getting a nursing degree you will need to take the NCLEX-RN examination to become a licensed nurse in your state. Some nurses may choose to go on to a Master’s program to achieve a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN). When choosing a MSN programs choose a specialty that will assist with becoming a urology nurse. Additionally, choose a nursing position in a hospital or clinical setting that specializes in urologic health. If you gain advanced education you may expect better career options and salaries over your lifetime.
Urologic Nursing Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
In order to become a urology nurse you will need to have a nursing degree. There are two options for nursing education including an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). In order to attain an ADN degree you will need to graduate from a two-year program. The BSN is a four-year program. When taking courses during undergraduate study you should take specialized courses in biology, anatomy, and chemistry. This will assist with learning more about the urinary system.
After becoming a registered nurse, you should get experience as a nurse by working in an entry level nursing position. Once you have additional experience you may opt to take certification exams through the Certification Board of Urologic Nurses and Associates (CBUNA). You should also join the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA). SUNA provides information, sponsors conferences, and certifies nursing professionals. Nursing professionals with these additional credentials may be in higher demand and may attain higher salaries.
The Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates certifies urologic nurses through the CBUNA. Applicants must have completed their education through a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and possess 800 hours clinical practice in a urologic setting. Nurses with an associate’s degree can also obtain certification after one year experience in urology. The multiple-choice exam covers numerous topics including erectile dysfunction, minimally invasive therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia, pelvic organ prolapse and voiding dysfunction. SUNA recommends voluntary certification for all professionals working in a urologic setting.
Urologic Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Nursing and all health care professions are growing rapidly. With more and more Americans reaching old age, the need for nurse care professionals continues to increase. The urology nurse is a specialized position. Most nurses who specialize in urology can expect a salary ranging from $62,000 to $78,000 or more per year. The more experienced nurse should expect a salary on the high end of the scale.
Travel Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A travel nurse is a nurse that works in various medical facilities or hospitals throughout the country or around the world. Traveling nurses carry out all general nursing duties in temporary assignments. Assignments may be local, nationwide, or anywhere in the world and may average in length anywhere from about a month to a year or more.
This nursing position is best for those who enjoy new surroundings and meeting new people. You must be confident in your nursing abilities since the position requires you to know the job thoroughly. The traveling nurse job can be an exciting opportunity for nurses to travel to new and interesting locations while providing necessary services. Most often these nurses are new nursing graduates due to the extreme travel commitment required. This makes it easier for young nurses with a desire to see the world.
How to Become a Travel Nurse
Traveling nurses are often hired through a placement or staffing company that specializes in health care. The nursing professional must have a wide variety of nursing skills and experience. It is helpful to obtain at least a year of nursing experience working in a hospital setting. These specialized positiong are most often hired through staffing agencies or placement companies. There are many companies that offer positions for traveling nurses both in and out of the United States. This type of nursing position must be licensed by taking the NCLEX-RN exam. Additionally, traveling nurses may want to join a professional organization such as the American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA). Professional organizations assist nurses by promoting the profession as well as providing information and education resources for nurses.
Travel Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
A travel health nurse must be a registered nurse. The first step towards this goal is to train in a two or four year educational program. You will need to have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or an Associate’s Degree. The program must be accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Once your education is complete you must take the nursing board exams through the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, NCLEX-RN.
The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA) works for the advancement of travel nurses, but there is currently no certification available for travel nurses other than blanket Registered Nurse (RN) certifications. A Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) designation, available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) may help travel nurses secure employment with agencies.
Travel Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Nurses are in great demand around the world. Traveling nurses typically get paid by the hour, with rates ranging greatly depending on the location and assignment. Average hourly rates range from $30 to $40. Other benefits are often provided for the travel health nurse as well, including such things as relocation fees, bonuses, and room and board. These nurses are usually paid through an agency. Because the position requires you to relocate for extended periods of time, the salary is higher than that of a typical nurse.
The career outlook for the traveling nurse is very good. There is an increased need for nurses which can be filled through the travel health nurse position. The need for these types of nursing professionals is expected to increase substantially over the next decade. Traveling nurses will often get substantial bonus or benefit packages depending on the circumstances of the job.
Trauma Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A trauma nurse is a nurse that specializes in caring for patients who have been affected by trauma. Traumatic events may be catastrophic events such as vehicle accidents and other emergency events. Nurses who specialize in trauma work in a fast-paced environments where there are patients with traumatic injuries. One example of a nursing position is in the emergency room of the hospital. ER nurses are also necessary when emergency situations occur such as plane or train crashes, earthquakes, and fires.
Emergency nurses work closely with doctors and other health care professionals to evaluate patients, assist in patient care, and provide assistance by providing life-saving techniques. The emergency nurse is an extremely stressful job which can become depressing over time. They are often called upon to work long hours and must be able to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
How to Become a Trauma Nurse
The path to becoming an emergency nurse is similar to other nursing positions. It is important for you to seek a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University. Once you graduated from a nursing program you must take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed in your state. You should also consider joining the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN). This group offers support and educational resources to nurses working in trauma area. Nursing students should consider externing in a hospital emergency room as part of their undergraduate or graduate studies.
Trauma Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The first educational requirement necessary to go into trauma nursing is to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). You should take courses throughout your undergraduate work that specifically deal with trauma, such as injury prevention. Nurses working in trauma must have a high level of expertise and experience working in areas such as emergency rooms. Not everyone is able to work well under the extreme stress and fast pace of the emergency room. After attaining your BSN degree you should try to get an entry level nursing position that will expose you to as many different medical situations as possible. Additionally, some nurses may choose to go on to attain a Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN). Choose a Master’s degree program that provides the best fit for your desire to become an emergency room nurse.
Trauma nurses seeking certification must do so in another area as there is no distinctive trauma-nurse certification. A similar area relevant to trauma nursing is emergency medicine. Interested persons may obtain certification as a Certified Emergency Nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Trauma Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The need for high quality nurses of all types is expected to rise in the coming years. Emergency nurses are specialized positions that are not easily replaced. Therefore the demand for these nursing positions is likely to be even higher than that for other types of nursing positions. The salary of an emergency room nurse depends on various factors including your education, your experience, and the location where you work. In general, the salary for this specialized nursing position is between $60,000 and $75,000. The high salary is often based on the fact that the position is highly stressful and requires a great deal of experience. Nurses with the highest level of education and the most experience can expect to make the most money.
Transplant Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A transplant nurse is a highly specialized nursing position that provides patient care and support to those who are receiving organ transplants. This specialty nurse works with patients before, during, and after the transplant surgery. They help educate patients on the possible procedure including explaining the procedure and its potential risks as well as aftercare. They may also work with living donors – patients who choose to donate an organ to someone else, such as bone marrow, a kidney, or part of the liver.
Nurses who work in the transplant specialty assist doctors by taking patient histories, getting the proper signatures on donor documents, assist with setting up lab tests, helping evaluate the results of tests, and provide information to patients and their families about their condition, their procedure, and their care.
How to Become a Transplant Nurse
The career path begins with an undergraduate nursing program to attain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). The BSN degree should be earned through an accredited college or university. Those nurses with associate degrees such as the ADN (associate degree in nursing), should consider taking a bridge program to earn a BSN degree in order to pursue becoming a specialty nursing position.
After earning a nursing degree, you will need to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse in your state. Additionally, in order to gain the expertise and credentials necessary to get a job as in transplant nursing you should consider becoming board certified as a Certified Clinical Nurse specializing in organ transplants. This is done through the American Board for Transplant Certification (ABTC). Nurses with a specialty in transplants may also opt to join the Transplant Nurses’ Association (TNA). The ABTC awards nurses with the Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse (CCTN). Before earning certification, nurses must meet certain requirements and pass an examination. To sit for the exam, applicants must have two years experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) with half of that time spent caring for transplant patients. The certification exam consists of 100 questions covering several areas of transplant nursing. Certification is not required, but it is recommended by the Transplant Nurses’ Association.
Transplant Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The nurse who wishes to work in the area of transplants must follow a strong educational path. First, you must complete undergraduate work to attain your Bachelor of Science in nursing degree (BSN). After completion of the BSN degree you should consider going on to a Master’s program. Many MSN programs require that you first establish your career by working for several years. During that time it is helpful to work in an ICU or related area that will give you specific skills necessary to go into transplant nursing. Then, you can enter a program to earn your Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN). Choose a specialty that will allow you to learn as much as possible to prepare you to work in the organ transplant arena.
Transplant Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for all types of nurses is expected to be very good. Because this is a highly specialized nursing position, the job outlook is even better. The demand for organ transplants is on the rise, with many thousands of people on the waiting list to receive an organ. The salary for a nurse with a specialization in organ transplants is expected to be between $60,000 and $72,000 annually. Several factors will affect the salary including such things as your education, your experience, and the location. Those with the most education and experience are more likely to achieve a higher salary.
Toxicology Nurse Job Description, Certification, and Schooling Programs
Toxicology nurses care for patients who are suffering from the effects of poisons or toxic substances. These types of nurses are specialty nurses that are trained to work with patients in a variety of situations. Some of the most common toxicology patients have ingested something toxic or something that they are allergic to. Other toxic situations may include such things as contact with hazardous materials, exposure to poisons, poisonous snake bites and similar problems.
Nurses with a specialty in toxicology are trained to work with patients in emergency situations as well as provide education on the hazards of toxic substances. They may work in hospitals, poison control centers, clinics, and other health care facilities.
How to Become a Toxicology Nurse
Those who are interested in becoming a specialized nurse should plan on taking an accredited nursing program earning either a two-year or four-year degree. Some nurses may earn a certificate through a local program or hospital. After completing a nursing program, nurses will take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed. Once you have your nursing credentials you should begin working in a hospital, poison control center, or other facility that deals with toxicology. One way to get the necessary experience is to work in a critical care or intensive care unit prior to getting into toxicology nursing.
Toxicology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The first step towards going into toxicology nursing is to enroll in a good nursing program. Most specialty nurese should graduate from a good Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). When taking undergraduate electives be sure to include some courses in toxicology and pharmacology. These courses will assist you later in your career. Those nurses who want to ensure the best paying jobs will elect to enroll in a Master’s degree program to attain a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN). Take specialty courses throughout your master’s program that prepare you for a career in toxicology.
Certification is not currently available for toxicology nurses. Those who wish to become certified can obtain a Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) credential through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). However, after working in the field of toxicology you may choose to become a Certified Specialist in Poison Information by taking the exam that is offered through the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). This exam should be completed after gaining years of experience and knowledge as a nurse in the area of toxicology.
Toxicology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for nurses is expected to grow considerably over the coming years. Nurses with a specialty, such as toxicology, will have an excellent future career outlook. The need for specialty nurses will certainly keep rising. These nursing professionals work in hospitals, health care clinics, pharmacies, and poison control centers. However, it is important to note that most of these facilities require only one or two nurse with a specialty in toxicology on staff at a time. For this reason, it may be difficult to get an initial position in the field. The expected salary for a nurse with a specialty in toxicology ranges from $45,000 to $60,000 annually. The salary you will get is commensurate with your education and your work experience.
Surgical Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The surgical nurse, also known as a medical nurse, is a specialty nursing position that prepares patients for surgery and care for them during and after surgical procedures as well. These nurses work with other members of the surgical team including the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and other specialty nurses. Medical nurses make up the largest portion of nurses in the country. Nurses work with patients before a procedure, often explaining what happens during the surgery and what the patient should expect after the procedure is complete.
During surgery, nursing professionals assist surgeons by preparing instruments and handing them to the surgeon as needed. After surgery is complete, the nurse cares for the patient to ensure that the patient’s vital signs are stable and general monitoring of the patient. Nurses who specialize in surgery must possess many varied skills and may work in a wide variety of surgical settings. These may include hospitals, clinics, surgical centers and private practices. Nursing professionals may specialize in a specific type of surgery, for example, orthopedic surgery, eye surgery, or plastic surgery.
How to Become a Surgical Nurse
The first step in becoming a specialized nurse is to graduate from an accredited nursing program with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). After graduating from the BSN program, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN. Additionally, you should become board certified through the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). AMSN is an organization dedicated to helping nurses learn and advance their careers. With chapters across the country, they offer members information and provide seminars and conventions to assist nurses in their ongoing education process. Nurses who want to go into surgical nursing should gain as much work experience as possible working in a surgical unit.
Surgical Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
Those who want to go into surgical nursing should attain the highest level of education possible. First, choose a good undergraduate nursing school to get your BSN degree. When taking undergraduate electives be sure to choose courses that relate directly to surgical medicine. Upon completion of the BSN, attain some working experience as an entry level nurse in a surgical setting, if possible. It is recommended to enter a Master’s nursing program with a specialty in medical-surgical nursing. The MSN degree will help you qualify for the best positions at the best facilities and will improve your career and salary for your lifetime.
The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) offers certification through their certifying board, the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). Surgical nurses who meet the requirements and pass the exam are awarded the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) credential. Applicants who already possess medical-surgical certification through the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) may automatically receive certification without taking an exam. Eligible applicants must have two years experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) in a medical-surgical setting and 2,000 hours of clinical practice. Certification is voluntary and it is highly recommended by the AMSN.
Surgical Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The career outlook for all types of nurses is very good. Those nurses with a specialty will be in even greater demand. Nurses who specialize in surgical procedures will be particularly sought-after in the coming years as medical procedures and surgeries will rise. These nursing professionals may work in hospitals, clinics, private practice, or other medical facilities. Nurses working in surgical settings may expect to receive a salary of between $51,000 and $68,000 annually. Those with the most experience and highest level of education should expect to reach the high end of the scale.
Substance Abuse Nurse
Substance Abuse Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A substance abuse nurse specializes in providing care for patients who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, or other substances. This specialty nursing position works closely with doctors to provide patients special care. The nurse is often responsible for assisting with exams, educating patients and their families, and administering and monitoring medications. Nurses must be specially trained in pharmacology and also must be particularly supportive and caring when working with difficult patients.
Patients with substance abuse are often dealing with other problems in their lives. Nurses must be able to have compassion yet be able to distance themselves from patients when necessary.
These specialty nurses work with patients in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Some of the most common places where these nurses work include hospitals, private clinics, mental health facilities, psychiatric wards, and treatment centers. Nurses specializing in substance abuse must be trained in both the physical and mental aspects of addiction and work with doctors to provide customized treatment plans for their patients.
How to Become a Substance Abuse Nurse
The first step towards becoming a nurse specializing in substance abuse or addiction is to first become a registered nurse (RN). There are two main ways to become an RN including either a two-year or four-year program. A two-year program will provide you with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) while a four-year program results in a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree (BSN). Most nurses prefer to attain the BSN degree because you will have better career choices and salary options. After completing a nursing program, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed.
Substance Abuse Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The nurse treating patients with substance abuse problems is a specialized nurse position that requires training and experience. The path towards becoming this type of nurse begins by getting a two or four year degree. Choose the BSN degree with a specialization in pharmacology or substance abuse. Be sure to focus your undergraduate studies in anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. Once you have graduated and have successfully passed the licensing exam you should begin your work experience.
Substance abuse nurses are not currently certified through any certification agency. However, nurses in this field may wish to obtain certifications in relevant fields such as psychiatry or mental health offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Nurses in this field are mentored through the Association of Nurses in Substance Abuse (ANSA).
Also, nurses with a degree, a nursing license, and several years of work experience may choose to take a Addictions Nurse certification exam. The exam is designed specifically for nurses who work with patients with addictions like those with substance abuse problems. Those who pass the exam are called Certified Addictions Registered Nurses (CARN). This allows nurses better career and salary opportunities now and throughout the career.
Substance Abuse Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
Nurses who specialize in substance abuse will be in high demand in the coming years. As with many nursing positions, the need for all types of nurses is expected to rise considerably. The need for nurses with specific training in substance abuse will rise at an even higher level. Substance abuse care is becoming more mainstream and with it the need for high quality nurses also increases. The salary for this type of nurse depends greatly on the location and setting where the nurse works. The average yearly salary may range between $45,000 and $65,000. Those nurses working in private practices or facilities will reach the upper end of the range.
School Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A school nurse is one of the most important nursing jobs there is because parents put their trust in the nurse to care for anything that may happen to their child while at school. Nurses practicing in a school are somewhat of general practitioners as their roles are multifaceted. They deal with all types of illnesses and injuries ranging from headaches and upset stomachs, to falls and broken bones.
The nurse is also responsible for helping to ensure that students and their parents take ongoing health precautions to guard against communicable diseases and outbreaks that can occur in a school setting. Most often the nurse is the only medical professional on site at the school and must have a wide range of knowledge and experience as well as the ability to deal well with children.
How to Become a School Nurse
In order to become a nurse at a school you must first be a registered nurse. When choosing an educational path it is important to concentrate on general and pediatric coursework. A public health nurse is a general nurse that will need to have a great deal of knowledge in a wide variety of medical areas. After first attaining registered nurse status, the aspiring nurse will need to gain experience. The best place to begin getting this experience is by taking an entry level nursing position at a hospital, pediatric doctor’s office, or a general clinic. This will expose you to the many various types of illnesses and disorders that may affect children on a regular basis.
Nurses who practice in schools may elect to join the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). This non-profit organization is designed to assist nursing professionals in promoting student health.
School Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
The first step in becoming a nurse for a school is to enroll in an accredited undergraduate nursing program to attain a nursing degree. Some nurses begin by attaining an associate nursing degree and progress to the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Many students go on to attain a Master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in general or pediatric nursing. While taking undergraduate courses you should concentrate on taking classes related to general health and to children’s health. It is also important to take some courses that teach how to relate to children and their parents.
The National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN) endorses certification for school nurses. To be eligible, applicants should meet the preferred requirement of three years full-time experience working in an academic clinical setting or in a school. The board will consider other combinations of experience and education upon an individual basis. The four-hour exam covers subjects such as health appraisal, health problems, health promotion, special health issues and professional issues. School nurses are organized and mentored through the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). The NASN encourages voluntary certification for school nurses.
School Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
More and more schools are requiring on-site nursing professionals. The position is required at every school including elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. The need for nurses has been climbing and is expected to rise over the coming decades. Students who choose a nursing career can expect a higher than average need for their career throughout their lifetimes. Registered nurses are always in demand and there is reason to believe that the need will increase over time. As the number of schools increases, there will also be an increase in the number of professionals necessary to attend to these students. The salary for a nurse practicing at a school typically ranges from about $48,000 to $62,000 annually based on experience and knowledge.