What Does a Pulmonary Care Nurse Do?
The nursing field has many specialties related to different parts of the human body. This is because oftentimes, different organs come with their own set of delicate and complex characteristics and therefore demand specialized expertise and skills. Pulmonary care, which is the care of the lungs and respiratory system, is no exception. Pulmonary care nurses work with patients who have respiratory problems, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. These diseases can be caused by things such as working in poorly ventilated conditions or smoking, though other causes exist as well. Pulmonary care nurses can work in hospitals with patients or in private clinics and homes to assist patients with pain management from conditions like emphysema or lung cancer. Many nurses also deal with counseling the patient and the patient’s loved ones, especially when it comes to helping the patient come to terms with a lung cancer or cystic fibrosis diagnosis.
How Can I Become a Pulmonary Care Nurse?
Only registered nurses can become pulmonary care nurses, so those interested in joining the field should look into earning licensure to practice as a registered nurse. This is different than earning licensure to practice as a licensed practical or vocational nurse, so be sure that you are completing the correct program if you wish to join the pulmonary care specialty. To become a registered nurse, prospective nurses need to earn a diploma, associate degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing. During the nursing program, students should take as many classes as possible related to respiratory health to prepare themselves for a future in this specialty. After completing an accredited and approved nursing program, nursing students will need to successfully complete the NCLEX-RN examination to gain licensure. With a nursing license under their belts, new nurses can begin working in hospitals and private physicians’ offices to gain hands-on experience working in the field. Most employers looking for specialized nurses prefer those who have plenty of experience as well as education in pulmonary care. To increase your chances of employment, consider earning critical care nursing certification. The two fields are often interlinked, so earning a certification in critical care is desirable.
What Is the Career and Salary Outlook for a Pulmonary Care Nurse?
There is good news for those looking to join the nursing field. Employment opportunities for registered nurses are projected to increase 22 percent during the 2008-18 decade, pouring approximately 581,500 more jobs into the market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, registered nurses make up the single largest occupational field in the health care industry, which means that there are more registered nurses in the health care industry than any other job, including physicians and technicians. This is because there will always be a demand for nurses due to the increasing population and necessity of professional health care, as well as the lower cost of employing nurses as opposed to physicians. The job outlook for pulmonary care nurses should be similarly positive. Though unfortunate, the increasing amount of pollution as well as the persistent issue of smoking will continue to bring patients with respiratory problems into the offices of pulmonary care nurses. These nurses earn an average of $42,000 annually, according to Simply Hired, though that figure may vary depending on the nurse’s level of experience, employer, and geographic location.