Cardiology nurses work with patients who have suffered from a variety of cardiac conditions. These nurses work in hospitals assisting with stress tests and health assessments. The demand for nurses is steadily increasing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth is expected to increase 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. Prospective nurses interested in specializing in cardiology must complete the required education, licensing and certification before launching this career.
Enroll in a nursing program. Prospective nurses can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. An associate’s program takes two years and a bachelor’s degree takes four year of full-time study to complete. Nurses who have earned a bachelor’s degree will have an easier time breaking into the field of cardiology.
Achieve national certification by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This exam can be taken after completing an accredited nursing program, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Set up a testing date and request study guide materials by contacting your state board of nursing.
Take the Cardiac Vascular Nurse Certification. This is a computer-based exam that tests a nurse’s knowledge of cardiac and vascular health. As of 2010, the cost to take the exam was $390 for non-members and $340 for members of the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA). Contact PCNA to schedule an exam date and time.
Purchase study guide materials for the ANCC Cardiac Vascular Nurse Certification. As of 2010, the cost for study guide materials was $85. If you become a member of the association, you get a discounted price of $76.50. Study guide materials will help you learn the required material to pass the exam.
Apply to cardiology nurse positions. These positions can be found at community, private and university hospitals and private practices. Partner with your nursing program to find local positions. You can also check with professional organizations, such as the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association, to find local positions.
Consider volunteering at a cardiologist’s office during undergraduate study. This will give you exposure to the specialty to determine if it’s right for you. The experience will also be attractive to future employers.
Cardiac nurses often work long hours and irregular schedules, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.