How to Become a Telemetry Travel Nurse
What is Telemetry Nursing?
Telemetry nursing is a specialty where nurses work closely with patients who develop cardiovascular complications and take care of patients with a variety of conditions, including heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias. These RNs have the flexibility to work morning, evening or night shifts as cardiac monitoring is necessary 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What is a Telemetry Travel Nurse?
A telemetry travel nurse has even more flexibility with the opportunity to work at facilities across the country. Travel nurses work works in a specific location for a predetermined amount of time – typically 13 weeks.
The Role of a Telemetry Travel Nurse
In a hospital’s telemetry unit patients are frequently in critical condition, requiring constant care and monitoring. The telemetry nurse reviews data from specialized equipment that tracks blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and other vitals as well as carrying out more traditional duties like communicating with their patients about their condition and administering medications. Telemetry units are sometimes used to monitor patients with other issues like epilepsy and sleep disorders. Telemetry nurses don’t work in Cardiac Care Units, a type of ICU that cares for cardiac patients. Patients on the telemetry floor are often transferred from the ICU and are considered stable, yet still require close monitoring.
Reasons to Become a Telemetry Travel Nurse
Telemetry travel nurses work in a challenging and often stressful environment, but in return, they enjoy a career that frequently brings huge rewards when it comes to the positive impact on patients. Nurturing and caring are a big part of the job – what telemetry nurses do matters in the lives of their patients. While that alone is reason enough to become a telemetry nurse, as a telemetry travel nurse there are many other benefits to the job, like a higher salary and outstanding benefits with free housing or a housing stipend along with the opportunity to see new places, meet lots of new people and make new friends. Telemetry travel nurse jobs are available throughout the U.S.
Salary for Telemetry Travel Nurses
Telemetry nursing jobs are in high demand due to the increasing use of high-tech equipment to monitor patient health. The salary for a telemetry nurse is typically above the average RN pay. The average annual pay for a permanent staff telemetry nurse ranges from $86,000 to $110,500, but telemetry travel nurses can make significantly more depending on location in addition to the housing and other benefits. Some of the highest-paying states are California, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Massachusetts, while the lowest-paying are South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota, West Virginia and Alabama.
How Much Experience is Needed to be Telemetry Travel Nurse?
Most facilities require at least a year of experience to work as a telemetry travel nurse – many require two. You’ll also need to have strong assessment skills and be ready to jump into action should a patient’s condition decline. Confidence and compassion are a must.
How To Become a Telemetry Travel Nurse
- Become a Licensed Registered Nurse
A Telemetry travel nurse must first become a licensed Registered Nurse. To become a licensed RN you must graduate from a two year (Associate’s degree) or four year (bachelor’s degree) nursing program approved by your state Board of Nursing. Then the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) must be taken and passed. Bear in mind that many hospitals give preference to nurses who have completed the in-depth bachelor’s degree program.
- Gain Experience As a Registered Nurse
Once the NCLEX-RN has been passed, you may begin working as a Registered Nurse. To become a telemetry travel nurse, a minimum of one year of experience working in a Telemetry setting is required – two years of experience is ideal.
- Obtain Credentials and Certifications
Telemetry nurses will need to be certified in basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). Many healthcare facilities prefer Telemetry nurses who have a progressive care nursing certification (PCCN). There are also sub-specializations for the telemetry nurse that include med-surg, acute, critical, and cardiac care. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses offers certification in CMC – for nurses providing direct care to acutely/critically ill adult cardiac patients and CSC – for nurses providing direct care to acutely/critically ill adult cardiac surgery patients in the first 48 hours postoperatively.
- Compare Travel Nursing Companies
Once the required licenses, certifications and relevant experience are obtained, a nurse is eligible to become a travel Telemetry nurse. There are hundreds of travel nursing companies with Telemetry positions. A nurse should speak with several companies and compare what each company offers. Factors to consider when comparing travel nurse companies are: housing (agency based vs. stipend), benefits (medical, dental, 401k, completion bonus), salary (hourly wage, allowances, overtime), guaranteed hours policy, and travel nursing destinations (availability of jobs in the geographic location the nurse wants to work).
- Choose a Travel Nursing Company & Accept A Position
After comparing travel nursing companies and what each has to offer, the nurse will decide on a position and will be offered a contract. The travel nursing contract must be read carefully and fully understood. The nurse must ensure all questions are answered before signing the contract and accepting the position.