Are you on the search for a career? Interested in getting into the medical field? If so, you might consider becoming a progressive care nurse.
Sometimes referred to as telemetry nurses, progressive care nurses work with critically ill or injured patients who are in recovery, monitoring their vital signs, and helping them to get through their darkest hours.
Wondering how to become a progressive care nurse and earn your telemetry certification? Then read on. We’re going to get into the specifics below.
What Does a Progressive Care Nurse Do?
Progressive care nurses care for critical patients who are in recovery. This differs from critical care nurses, as critical care nurses care for patients who are in critical condition but who aren’t expected to recover.
Because progressive care nurses need to keep up on their patients’ health statuses, they must have certification in telemetry. In the medical world, telemetry refers to the monitoring of
Becoming a Progressive Care Nurse
There is quite a bit involved in becoming a progressive care nurse. It takes years for an individual to gain the qualifications necessary to enter the profession. We’ll get into the specific qualification requirements below.
The path to becoming a progressive care nurse begins with education. After you’ve graduated high school, you must enter a university nursing program. This program will prepare you to become an RN, a prerequisite to becoming a progressive care nurse.
Nursing programs require between 2 and 4 years of coursework. To gain a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you will need a 4-year nursing degree. Note, however, that a 2-year Associates degree in nursing can be sufficient as well.
Once you’ve graduated from college, you will need to take the NCLEX. This is an exam which you must pass in order to become an RN.
Though a university program will enable you to become an RN, in order to become a progressive care nurse, you’ll have to put in additional work. Generally, you’ll have to put in 1,750 hours of work with acutely ill adult patients over a span of 2 years. However, there is also an option to put in 2,000 hours of work with acutely ill patients over a span of 5 years.
Once you’ve reached these work milestones, you can move on to the certification phase. Note, the hours you’ve worked must be verified by a superior.
Once you’ve put in your time as an RN, you must gain your PCCN certification. This is a certification which enables you to work directly with acutely ill patients. It’s the last step before gaining your telemetry certification.
To obtain PCCN certification, you must pass an exam. This exam will indicate whether you have the knowledge necessary to perform vital tasks.
Though working as a progressive care nurse will almost undoubtedly require you to understand telemetry, it won’t make you an official telemetry nurse. To become an official telemetry nurse, you’ll have to obtain one more certification: the NTA (National Telemetry Association) certification.
This certification can be obtained online and doesn’t require you to put in any set amount of hours at work. As long as you’re knowledgeable about telemetry, you can pass the exam and earn your certification.
To give yourself the best chance at passing, you’re advised to study diligently prior to the exam. There are study guides and mock exams available online.
Progressive care and telemetry nurses require a bevvy of skills, including social skills, technical skills, and everything in between. This position includes a variety of responsibilities, and so requires a well-rounded individual in order to fill it.
Technical skills needed to become a progressive care nurse include EKG monitoring, echocardiogram monitoring, vital sign detection, wound dressing, and medicinal administration, to name just a few. You will need a wealth of knowledge on cardiovascular health as well, as the majority of the patients you’ll be working with will be suffering from cardiovascular issues of some severity.
Social skills needed to become a progressive care nurse include an ability to communicate, an ability to show compassion, and an ability to be empathetic. The patients you’ll be treating will be going through dark times. Yours will need to be a shoulder for them to lean on.
Job Outlook for Progressive Care Nurses
At the present time, the job outlook for progressive care nurses is extremely positive. This is due to the fact that there is a shortage of progressive care nurses existing in the world today. Because the field is so specialized, and because progressive care units are fairly new, few RNs have pursued the certification needed to become progressive care nurses.
This is a good thing for those who are interested in the profession. Little competition means that there are plenty of jobs available. So, as long as you obtain the necessary prerequisites, your chances of landing one are very high.
How Much Money Do Progressive Care Nurses Make?
Currently, the average salary for progressive care nurses is around $1,025 a week. For a full year’s work, this comes out to a little over $50,000.
Note, however, that your actual salary will be dependent upon a number of different factors. For instance, those who live in big cities are bound to make more than those who work in small towns.
At the very least, you should expect to make $48,000 a year. At the very most, you can expect to make around $85,000.
Looking to Get Your Telemetry Certification?
Are you ready to get your telemetry certification? If so, you’re in the right place. You can register for your certification exam right here at the National Telemetry Association website.