Nursing is a large career field allowing you to use your skills to treat and help patients improve their lives. If you are a registered nurse, you can get additional certifications to specialize in specific areas such as oncology, hospice, pediatrics, or infusion. Infusion nurses are registered nurses who are in charge of administrating intravenous medication or therapies and inserting intravenous devices.
In this guide, we discuss infusion nurse job and what you need to pursue this career.
What Is an Infusion Nurse?
Infusion nurses help patients receive intravenous (IV) therapy. They also choose an appropriate infusion device or monitor and evaluate the patient’s response to the IV therapy.
When working in the infusion therapy environment, you can take care of any patients who need an IV such as a football player playing too much in the hot summer or an individual with a bowel problem who can’t digest food and requires nutrition through an IV.
What Do Infusion Nurses Do?
Infusion nurse is a very interesting job with extremely diverse and different responsibilities from typical bedside nurses. These responsibilities include:
- Perform infusion therapy like blood transfusions, chemotherapy infusions, antibiotic infusions, steroid infusions, electrolyte infusions, and vitamin infusions.
- Administer medications and fluid therapy.
- Monitor patients’ IV and medications as well as develop care plans.
- Insert and maintain Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC).
- Educate intravenous access and PICC insertion.
- Insert intravenous access.
- Dress changes on PICCs, midlines, and central lines.
- Monitor a patient’s response to treatment.
- Evaluate line sites and patency.
- Keep infection control and prevention.
- Work with other healthcare professionals to review pertinent lab values and drug information.
- Educate about necessary information for patients, families, and caregivers.
- Assess patients in a timely and efficient.
- Coordinate the discontinuation of IV services.
How to Become an Infusion Nurse
If you want to pursue a career as an Infusion Nurse, below is an easy path for you!
Step 1: Attend Nursing School
Before becoming an infusion nurse, you have to pursue a registered nurse. So you will need to earn either an ADN or a BSN from an accredited nursing program. ADN-prepared nurses also can take the additional step of completing their BSN degree.
Step 2: Pass the NCLEX-RN
Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN exam) is the next step to becoming a registered nurse. This test determines if the candidate has the necessary knowledge to perform safe and effective entry-level nursing care.
Step 3: Get Experience at the Bedside
As an aspiring infusion nurse, you should have some years of bedside experience. This clinical experience will develop the skills needed to start IVs and administer various types of infusion therapy in different fields such as pediatrics, oncology, emergency room, ICU, and surgical units. Any bedside position helps you master IV skills as well as advance a nurse transition into an infusion nurse.
Step 4: Earn Your Certification
To practice as an infusion nurse, you need to get the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) certification offered by the Infusion Nurses Society. CRNI certification requirements include:
- A current, active, unrestricted registered nurse license in the United States.
- Have 1,600 hours of experience in infusion therapy as a registered nurse within the past two years in infusion specialties like nursing education, administration, research, or clinical practice.
Infusion Nurse Salary and Job Outlook
Curently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t report the salary of nursing specialties, however, they show the median salary for a registered nurse is $73,300 per year or $35.24 per hour. According to Salary.com, an infusion nurse can earn an average annual salary of $90,339. The salary range of an infusion nurse may vary depending on various conditions such as the experience, the work setting, and the state they work in.
When it comes to the job growth of an infusion nurse, the healthcare industry needs additional 221,900 nurses, which is an expected growth of 7% by 2019, according to the BLS. Due to the aging population, this number is expected to be even higher. The National Home Infusion Association report that home infusion is a safe and effective alternative allowing patients to continue normal activities quicker. As the result, there is a VERY high demand for infusion nurses.
Infusion Nurses have the ability to work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient pharmacies, infusion centers, outpatient surgical centers, or oncology facilities. To become a good infusion nurse, simply follow this 4-step guide.
Additionally, check out our other post: Home Infusion Therapy: What It Is, How It Work And Its Benefits.