4 Great Reasons to become a Cardiac (Cardiology) Nurse and 6 Things to Know

Debra Riley


Have you been thinking about becoming a nurse but you’re unsure about your specialty? How about considering cardiac nursing?

Equipped with insights about the rigorous education requirements, emotional resilience needed, and the advancing nature of this field will help you get started.

This journey into the world of cardiology can pave the way for personal growth.

Let’s take a look!

become a cardiac nurse

Reasons to Become a Cardiac Nurse

Cardiac nursing is a rewarding career path for the right person. Here are a few things cardiac nurses love about their role and why you’ll probably like to become a nurse, as well.

Cardiology Offers Variety and Flexibility 

The field of cardiology nursing offers a wide variety of opportunities. From working in telemetry units closely monitoring heart rhythms to aiding in surgical procedures or becoming outpatient care nurses focusing on cardiac rehab, the options are abundant and diverse. 

Furthermore, cardiovascular professionals have unique flexibility with their schedules. You can work the fast-paced night shift or a steady daytime shift if you need more stability, 

Your Work Saves Countless Lives

When you decide to embark on a career as a cardiac nurse, your actions and decisions will save lives. Your hands will be directly involved in saving many individuals from heart conditions.

As a cardiac nurse, your daily activities will revolve around maximizing the survival rates of patients with severe heart concerns. Imagine going home every day knowing that because of your care, commitment, and skill set, numerous people are alive and fighting fit. That’s invaluable!

Contribute to Healthcare Innovations

As a cardiac nurse, you’re not only at the forefront of patient care but also at the cutting edge of healthcare innovations. This field continually evolves in response to new research into cardiovascular disease and advancements in technology used to treat heart ailments. 

Hence, your job sees you adapting to new techniques and best practices regularly. Also, as experienced professionals, cardiac nurses often contribute by participating in clinical trials.

Your Skills Will be Tested Every Single Day

The nature of cardiac nursing presents daily challenges that keep your clinical skills sharp and well-exercised. Medical emergencies arising from heart complications can occur unexpectedly and differ widely from patient to patient, requiring quick decision-making and nimble action. 

Thus, every day puts your knowledge, resilience, adaptability, and problem-solving to the test. These dynamic situations constantly reinforce the importance of staying current in your field. 

cardiology nurses

6 Things You Should Know About Cardiac Nursing

Before you jump into a cardiac nursing program, there are a few things you should know about this role. By the end of the section, you should have an idea of what cardiac nursing entails.

The Job Roles of a Cardiac Nurse

A cardiac nurse’s job role is diverse and comprehensive, encompassing much more than your average nursing duties. You’ll be involved in diagnosing heart diseases, managing post-surgery rehabilitation processes, providing critical care to patients, and educating them on treatment. 

Your responsibilities might also extend into handling cardiology medical billing aspects, working in conjunction with insurance companies, and collaborating with healthcare professionals.

Skills Needed to Become a Cardiac Nurse

As a budding cardiac nurse, there’s an array of skills you need to cultivate that go beyond medical knowledge. It’s important to learn these skills to be successful in this role.

As a cardiac nurse, you’ll have to develop:

  • Profound Critical Thinking Abilities: This is because, in a crisis, you’d often be called upon to make quick yet accurate decisions—people’s lives would depend on it. 
  • Stellar Communication: Great communication encompasses conveying terminology to patients in understandable terms and empathetically addressing their concerns. 
  • Teamwork: Teamwork plays a pivotal role as you work closely with other healthcare professionals. If there are arguments, you’ll need to set your differences aside. 
  • Mental Strength: Mental strength is an asset that ties all these skills together by helping maintain your composure during high-pressure and unpredictable situations.

Education Requirements for a Cardiac Nurse

The journey to becoming a cardiac nurse commences with acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, but an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is also acceptable. 

Following this, passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) will grant you a license to practice nursing. However, those who aspire to concentrate on cardiac care should earn specialized certifications in cardiology. 

For instance, these might include Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) or Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (RN-BC). Dedication toward lifelong learning is essential in this role.

Type of Career Advancements in Cardiac Nursing

A career in cardiac nursing isn’t a stagnant one—there are numerous pathways for advancement and diversification. With clinical experience, you may elevate your position to become a charge nurse or nursing director in cardiovascular departments. 

For those passionate about academics, teaching posts at nursing schools provide excellent opportunities. You could also specialize further by pursuing advanced degrees like a Ph.D. 

Salary Expectations for a Cardiac Nurse

Salary can vary widely, reflecting factors like geographic location, the level of experience, and specific workplace settings. On the whole, it’s recognized as a highly compensated specialty. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median pay for registered nurses was $81,220 in 2022. Yet cardiac nurses often earn higher due to their specialized skills. Importantly, though, like all healthcare professions, the real rewards stem from the work itself: 

cardiology care

Where Cardiac Nurses Tend to Work

As stated, being a cardiac nurse opens the door to multiple careers. However, like any other specialty nurse, you’re more likely to find them in a specific part of a hospital or practice.

Here are a few places that you’re likely to find a cardiac nurse:

  • ICU: A cardiac nurse in an ICU unit needs to administer drugs or use defibrillators after cardiac arrest. They may use telemetry or hemodynamic monitoring and devices like balloon pumps and catheters. They also look after patients recovering from surgery.
  • Hospital Surgical Unit: A cardiac nurse working in a hospital surgical unit will prepare patients for surgery, assist surgeons during surgery, and help patients recover.
  • Hospital Cardiology Unit: A cardiac nurse found in a hospital unit will monitor patient’s heart activity and electrocardiograms, educate patients, and administer treatments.

Since cardiac nurses are responsible for patients who have heart complications, their job security remains high. This is primarily because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. There are also more than 500,000 open-heart surgeries performed each year.

In Conclusion…

Your journey to becoming a cardiac nurse could be more than just a career—it could be your calling. Only you can choose this path of fulfilling work where every day is an opportunity to learn and contribute to health innovations.

If you’re up for the ‘heartwork’ involved, the rewards will go beyond just financial. So get started today! Take the first step toward a rewarding career.