Radiology Nurse

Radiology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The radiology nurse cares for patients who are undergoing radiology treatment.  Radiology is a medical treatment involving imaging and includes ultrasound, magnetic resonance and radiation oncology.  Nurses who specialize in radiology must maintain their technical expertise on the latest tools and treatments for patients in this field.

Nurses must also be able to explain how the technology works to patients before they undergo a procedure.  These nurses assist radiologists by preparing patients for treatments such as X-ray Computed Tomography (CAT) scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests.  They also assist doctors by tending to a patient’s needs before, during, and after such procedures  They also assist doctors in reviewing and analyzing test results and in educating patients on the results.

How to Become a Radiology Nurse

A radiologic nurse is a specialized nursing position that requires you to first become a registered nurse (RN).  This type of nursing career will require you to have an expertise in radiology technology and you must stay abreast of the latest equipment used.  Nurses specializing in radiology must graduate from an accredited program and receive a nursing degree, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  Once you graduate with a BSN degree you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed nurse.  Many nurses who want to specialize in radiology take special courses in their undergraduate work that provide them with education in the field.

Nurses working in the field should continue their education process by taking ongoing classes to learn the latest technology and how it works.  nurses may also choose to join the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing (ARIN).  This association provides assistance and promotes the knowledge of radiologic nurses across the country.  The group has various regional chapters that operate in the U.S.

Radiology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs

In order to specialize in the field of radiology you must first become a registered nurse.  The best program to complete is the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.  Upon completion of the program the graduate will be able to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed.  During your undergraduate work you should be sure to concentrate on taking classes that deal with radiology and imaging.  After achieving the BSN, nurses may take a special exam to qualify them as a Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN).  Many graduates go on to get their Master’s degree in nursing (MSN).  The aspiring radiologic nurse should look for a nursing position at a hospital or facility where they can work closely with the radiologist and doctor to gain experience in this area.

The Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN) bestows the Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN) credential on qualified nurses through the Radiologic Nursing Certification Board (RNCB). In order to sit for the exam, applicants must have at least two years or 2,000 hours experience working as a radiology nurse within the three years prior to the exam. Applicants must also have completed 30 hours of continuing education with 15 of those hours spent in radiologic classes. The exam covers multiple topics and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Four hours are allotted to take the exam. Certification is not required, but it is highly sought by employers.

Radiology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook

The nurse with a focus on radiology patient care is a specialty position that is in high demand.  As with other nursing positions, the need for specialty nurses is expected to continue to grow over the coming decades.  As more people reach the senior years, the need for nurses and medical professionals of all types will grow greatly.  The rate of growth for nurses who specialize in radiology will likely grow at a higher rate than other types of non-specialty nursing positions.  This nursing position can expect a salary of between $48,000 and $75,000 per year.  Those with the most experience as well as those with a CRN or MSN degree will be at the higher end of the scale.