A Cardiac Nurse is registered nurse (RN) who specializes in the study of cardiology. Cardiac nurses must assess and care for patients with heart problems that range in severity from arrhythmias to heart transplants. They must be able to immediately assist in treating or initially diagnosing a person who is undergoing a sudden life-threatening emergency. When a medical condition damages the heart, swift action must be taken. Cardiac nurses provide the following:
- Monitor patients for any negative signs of a change in condition
- Administer medication to make sure heart conditions remain level
- Help with basic personal care needs
- Work with the cardiologist to develop a plan of action for the patient's care
Although most cardiac nurses work in the critical care unit of a hospital, some provide care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or patients' homes. In these cases, a cardiac nurse regularly visits patients to monitor their cardiovascular health, make sure their medications are being taken and are effective, and make recommendations for a better diet or increased exercise. Their overall objective is to provide guidance and follow-up care. Although sometimes very demanding, a career in cardiac nursing can be a very rewarding, well-paid position.
A Cardiac Care Nurse usually out with a BSN and expand their expertise from there with a concentration in cardiac care. RNs must have practiced the equivalent of two years full time as a registered nurse and have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in cardiac vascular nursing within the last three years have completed 30 hours of continuing education in cardiovascular nursing within the last three years.
A Cardiovascular Nurse entry level (1- 4yrs.) will start around $57,000- $86,000 while an experienced Cardiovascular Nurse (15-20 yrs.) earns $87,000-$161,000.
American Nurse Credentialing Center, 2009
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, 2009
Pay Scale, 2009