Cardiac Nurse

Care for heart patients in a Doctor's office or hospital.
picture of Cardiac Nurse

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Cardiac Nurses do?

The human heart beats about 100,000 times per day. With each beat, blood is squeezed through the body, delivering nutrients and eliminating wastes. Some hearts can do this work for decades without complaint. Other hearts grow tired of the work, and they slow down, speed up, or stop working altogether.

Cardiologists may be able to diagnose and treat the disease, but often, the patient must do a significant amount of work to help heal the ill heart. Cardiac Nurses can assist with this work.

As a Cardiac Nurse, you often work under the direct supervision of a Cardiologist. When patients arrive for their appointments, you take their pulse and blood pressure readings and ask about their health. Sometimes, you ask them to run on a treadmill while you take readings, and other times, you perform blood tests to see how their hearts are performing. All of your results go directly to the Cardiologist for evaluation.

Some Cardiac Nurses work in heart wards in hospitals with Emergency Room Doctors, Gerontologists, or Pediatricians. In this role, you see patients who are recovering from serious heart problems or have recently had surgeries, and your job is to closely monitor them and report anything out of the ordinary to their Doctors.

All Cardiac Nurses provide advice on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes that can help the heart improve. Encouraging your patients to replace deep-fat-fried candy bars with carrot sticks may not be easy, and forcing them to ride a bike to work may be downright impossible. But you have facts, figures, and charts to help back up your claims, and you provide encouragement and support to motivate your patients.

Should I be a Cardiac Nurse?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Cardiac Care Unit Nurse, Cardiac Nurse Specialist, Ward Nurse

    How to become a Cardiac Nurse

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