Career Spotlight: Cardiovascular Nursing

cardiovascular-nurse_bpIf you’re a nursing student or an experienced nurse looking for a change, sifting through the different specialities within nursing can be difficult. If you’re looking for a nursing specialty that is in high demand for nurses, cardiovascular nursing might peak your interest.

Here is is the essentials on cardiovascular nursing and all that it entails.

What is a Cardiovascular Nurse?

Cardiovascular, or cardiac, nurses are nurses who work with patients that have heart and blood vessel problems. According Justin from Chron, “cardiac nurses play a pivotal role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular health issues. Cardiac nurses are critical in the fight against heart disease and are needed not merely to care for patients, but also to promote healthy lifestyle choices.”1

How do you become a Cardiovascular Nurse?

A cardiovascular nurse is required to have a degree in nursing. This can either be an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You also have to get your Cardiac Nursing Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.1

Justin says that certification requires 2 years of nursing experience as well as 2,000 hours of clinical training in cardiovascular nursing. You also need 30 hours of continuing education classes.1

How much do Cardiovascular Nurses make?

The average yearly salary for a cardiovascular nurse is $60,957.2

This of course is dependent upon the type of degree you have, where you are working and multiple other factors.

What does a normal day look like for a Cardiovascular Nurse?

Cardiovascular nurses not only play an important role in helping patients with heart and blood vessel disease; they also work to promote healthy lifestyle choices within their patients.

While there isn’t a typical day for these nurses, there are common tasks that these nurses are expected to carry out. According the Graduate Nursing EDU, “cardiac nurses are qualified to provide cardiac care to patients across the lifespan, which may include newborns with heart defects or elderly patients with advanced stage heart disease. They also provide a wide range of services, which may include:

  • Managing hypertension, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and other heart conditions
  • Evaluating and monitoring heart devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Performing a wide variety of cardiac tests, including stress tests, stress echocardiograms, exercise stress tests, PET/dipyridamole stress tests, and CT coronary angiograms
  • Providing physical exams so as to diagnose chronic and acute cardiac diseases
  • Interpreting laboratory results or cardiac tests
  • Prescribing and managing cardiac medications and other therapies
  • Educating patients on health maintenance and disease prevention”3

Is Cardiovascular Nursing the right choice for me?

Cardiovascular nurses are those who like a challenge and like to critically think. The cardiac unit can be fast paced, which requires nurses to be able to move quickly and think on their feet.

Beyond wanting to play an active role in cardiac care, those looking into cardiovascular nursing should have a desire to play the important role of educator. Cardiovascular nurses are extremely important when it comes to educating patients about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention.

If you are looking to be a caretaker as well as an educator, cardiovascular nursing might be the specialty for you!

Do you have a suggestion for another nursing career spotlight? Tell us in the comments below!