How to Become an Infusion Nurse

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Infusion therapy is an important part of the medical field that deals with administering medications and fluids through intravenous incisions. Infusion nurses are registered nurses that insert and maintain intravenous lines to administer many different types of medications and fluids to patients.


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What does an infusion nurse do?

Infusion nurses provide care to patients by administering medications, fluids, nutrition, and blood products to patients by injecting needles into veins or maintaining arterial catheters. They monitor patients and record their observations and vital signs in medical charts. They watch for interactions and complications to intravenous injections and provide the necessary medical treatment as needed. They also maintain medical tubing for equipment and change patient bandages. Infusion nurses often collaborate with physicians and other medical professionals regarding the care of patients and the intravenous infusions. Some infusion nurses are involved in data analysis and research. Some also specialize in a specific area such as pediatrics or intensive care.

What kind of training does an infusion nurse need?

Infusion nurses must become registered nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree program in nursing. All nursing programs provide classroom and laboratory instruction and supervised clinical experiences. Prospective registered nurses typically complete courses in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, infusion therapy, and nursing ethics. All registered nurses must become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Infusion nurses also typically become certified through the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC). Certification requirements include minimum experience and passing an examination. Infusion nurses must complete regular continuing education throughout their careers to maintain their licenses and certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast on the advancements in the field. The Infusion Nurses Society offers a variety of continuing education programs and annual conferences.

What are the prospects for a career as an infusion nurse?

Employment of infusion nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1).

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for infusion nurses with professional certification and extensive experience. Numerous job openings will stem from the need to replace infusion nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do infusion nurses make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for infusion nurses is $50,000; average annual infusion nurse salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as an infusion nurse is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong desire to provide infusion care to a variety of patients. Infusion nurses must have a solid understanding of infusion therapy and good foundation of clinical knowledge and skills. Patience, organization, detail orientation, motivation, and critical thinking skills are essential characteristics. Infusion nurses must have excellent communication and the ability to help patients feel at ease. They must be able to effectively work independently and as part of a team.

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