Telemetry Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities
Telemetry nursing is a specialization within nursing. These nurses use high-tech equipment to measure life signs, dispense medication, and communicate with patients. Most work in hospitals or similar clinical settings with acute disorders such as heart failure, diabetes, or neurological problems.
As life-extending treatment increasingly relies on technology, the demand for these specialized nurses is growing even faster than that for registered nurses (RNs) in general. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the job outlook for RNs between 2012 and 2022 shows a 19 percent growth, which is faster than average.
RN median pay for 2012 was $31.48 per hour, of $65,470 a year. PayScale reports that U.S. telemetry nurses earn up to $39.07 per hour and $60.40 an hour for overtime pay. Their total yearly compensation could reach $81,769.
Jacksonville University indicates that since hospitals need telemetry RNs 24/7, shifts usually last 12 hours. These nurses must be flexible, independent, and comfortable with changing technology. They constantly need to learn new methods of care.
Paths to Increase Telemetry Nurse Salary
All telemetry nurses begin their careers as RNs. This requires a nursing diploma, a two-year nursing credential, or a four-year nursing degree and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), according to Johnson & Johnson .
Telemetry units typically require specialized training and a Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) certification. Because of a nursing shortage, many hospitals offer internships in telemetry nursing to both new graduates and interested staff RNs.
GraduateNursingEDU.com reports that there are no graduate programs or post-graduate certificate training specifically for telemetry nursing. However, nurses in this specialty can increase their compensation in several ways.
One path is becoming certified through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) . The Tele-ICU Adult Acute/Critical Care Nursing Certification (CCRN-E) is for nurses who remotely monitor patients in tele-ICUs. In addition, the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine grants a certification in cardiovascular telemetry nursing.
Nurses can also advance by combining telemetry experience with an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing to enter management. Telemetry clinical nurse managers earned an average yearly salary of $112,000 in 2010, according to Jacksonville University .
Some telemetry nurses choose to up their compensation by working as travel or per diem nurses. They often receive financial assistance from employers for housing and relocation expenses. Search open travel and per diem positions now .
RNs currently working as telemetry nurses might have an interest in these related specialty areas:
- Flight/transport nurses take care of patients to who are critically ill or who have severe injuries while they transfer from one treatment site to another. Most of these patients require acute care and the high-tech monitoring with which telemetry nurses are familiar. Two certifications are available for the flight/transport specialization. Flight/transport nurses needed now .
- Emergency room nurses work with individuals who often arrive without any diagnosis. These professionals must work quickly and independently during patient exams. Like telemetry nurses, they must be comfortable using advanced equipment as they monitor and care for patients. ER nurse opportunities near you .
- Nurse informatics careers are ideal for nurses who like the detailed and technical aspects of telemetry nursing. Informatics combines a knowledge of nursing, information science, and communications to convey and manage data. While some jobs emphasize systems evaluation and development, others require nurses who are experts in assessing an organization’s needs.
Further Your Career
Telemetry nurses work in a stressful, challenging environment. It is also one that offers huge rewards in terms of the life-saving impact this specialty has on patients. As job boards attest, the demand for these highly skilled nurses continues to grow with the graying of America, making this a very promising career choice.
Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript, womansday.com, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.