As with any other nursing specialty, the first step to becoming a Cardiac Cath Lab RN is to graduate with an Associates degree or Bachelors degree in nursing and pass your NCLEX-RN to become licensed as a Registered Nurse.
Because the Cath Lab is more advanced, many healthcare facilities prefer to hire more experienced nurses as opposed to new graduates. RNs that aspire to work in the Cath Lab often spend a few years in the ED or the ICU or enter a hospital-based training program to gain the necessary experience before moving up.
Are there any required certifications or credentials?
While each healthcare facility has its own specific set of qualifications for Cath Lab RNs, there are some requirements that are pretty standard across the board. These requirements include:
- Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certifications
- Active RN license
- Nursing experience
- Critical care experience
Beyond the basic qualifications, some healthcare facilities also look for these more advanced items:
- Proficiency in cardiology procedures, medications, and devices
- Knowledge of cardiovascular anatomy, physiology, hemodynamic, and rhythm interpretation
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Cardiac Vascular Nursing certification (RN-BC)