What does a neuroscience nurse do?
Neuroscience nurses provide medical care for patients with nervous system conditions such as seizures, head and brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and a variety of other conditions. They provide immediate and post-operative care to patients recovering from neurosurgery. They also provide specialized care to patients that have alterations in consciousness and those that are paraplegic and quadriplegic. Neuroscience nurses obtain medical histories, perform examinations, administer and interpret tests, and plan and implement a variety of treatments and interventions. They focus on employing treatments that will help improve and support bodily functions, promote recovery, and encourage patients to adapt to neurological difficulties that are persistent.
What kind of training does a neuroscience nurse need?
Neuroscience nurses must become registered nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree in nursing. Many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor degree in nursing. All nursing programs provide classroom and laboratory instruction and supervised clinical experiences. Many prospective neuroscience nurses complete neuroscience electives while pursuing their nursing program. All registered nurses must become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most neuroscience nurses also gain the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) designation administered by the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN). Neuroscience nurses must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications and stay up to date with advancements in the field
What are the prospects for a career as a neuroscience nurse?
Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing and aging population and increased demand for neuroscience care will drive job growth of neuroscience nurses.
Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for neuroscience nurses with professional certification and extensive experience. Numerous job openings will stem from the need to replace neuroscience nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do neuroscience nurses make?
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for neuroscience nurses is $58,000; average annual neuroscience nurse salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a neuroscience nurse is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in neuroscience and providing care to a variety of patients. Neuroscience nurses must have a solid understanding of the care and treatment of a variety of conditions related to the nervous system. Patience, tact, physical stamina, critical thinking, and detail orientation are necessary characteristics. Neuroscience nurses must have excellent communication and ability to help patients feel at ease. They must be able to effectively work as part of a team and make sound decisions in emergency situations.