Career Development

How To Become a Vascular Access Nurse: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a vascular access nurse, including education, skills, salary and more.

Vascular access nurses are responsible for the care of patients with vascular access devices, such as catheters and ports. They work closely with patients and their families to ensure that the devices are functioning properly and that the patients are comfortable and safe. If you are interested in becoming a vascular access nurse, it is important to know the steps involved in this process. In this article, we discuss the steps to become a vascular access nurse and the average salary for this position.

What Does a Vascular Access Nurse Do?

A vascular access nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of patients with central venous catheters (CVCs). They are responsible for the insertion, maintenance and removal of CVCs, as well as the management of any complications that may arise. Vascular access nurses work closely with other members of the healthcare team, such as physicians, to ensure that each patient receives the best possible care.

The duties of a vascular access nurse include:

  • Inserting central venous catheters (CVCs) into patients
  • Monitoring patients for any complications related to their CVC
  • Providing education to patients and their families on proper CVC care
  • Removing CVCs when they are no longer needed
  • Maintaining accurate records of all procedures performed
  • Collaborating with other members of the healthcare team to develop individualized treatment plans
  • Supervising junior staff members

Vascular Access Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a vascular access nurse is $87,550 per year. This figure can vary based on the level of experience, education, industry and geographical location of the nurse.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for vascular access nurses to increase at a faster than average rate over the next decade. This is due to an aging population and the associated increase in chronic conditions that require vascular access.

How to Become a Vascular Access Nurse

Here are several steps you should take to become a vascular access nurse.

1. Earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing

The first step to becoming a vascular access nurse is to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Most vascular access nurse positions require candidates to have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, but some employers may accept an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

Undergraduate programs typically last two to four years and include coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, ethics and patient care. Students also complete clinical rotations where they gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced nurses.

2. Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse

Once you earn your degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse (RN). The NCLEX-RN is made up of multiple choice questions that test your knowledge and abilities. You have to get a score of at least 75 on each part of the exam to pass.

The first part tests your medical knowledge while the second part tests your nursing skills. If you fail the exam, you can retake it after a certain amount of time has passed.

3. Gain experience working in a hospital setting

After earning your degree, you can begin applying for vascular access nurse positions. It is recommended that you gain experience in a hospital setting before pursuing this career path. Vascular access nurses often work long shifts and may be on call, so it’s important to have experience working in these types of environments.

You may also consider taking additional certifications or courses related to vascular access nursing. These programs are often offered by hospitals or medical facilities.

4. Consider certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

The ANCC is a professional organization that offers vascular access certification to vascular access nurses who have met specific requirements. The vascular access certification from the ANCC requires candidates to hold an active registered nurse license, complete at least one year of vascular access experience and pass an exam consisting of multiple choice questions.

The vascular access certification from the ANCC can help vascular access nurses advance their careers by allowing them to work in leadership roles or teach others about vascular access nursing.

5. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills

Vascular access nurses must be able to interact with patients and their families in a compassionate manner. They should also have strong communication skills so they can effectively relay information to other medical professionals. Nurses need to be able to listen to patients’ concerns and address them accordingly.

6. Stay up to date on changes in the medical industry

The medical industry is constantly changing, and vascular access nursing is no exception. It is important for vascular access nurses to stay up to date on the latest developments in their field so they can provide patients with the best care possible.

For example, new procedures or technologies may be introduced that vascular access nurses need to learn how to use. Additionally, there are often changes in regulations or laws governing vascular access nursing that vascular access nurses must know about.

7. Join professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA)

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a professional organization that provides support and education to vascular access nurses. The ANA offers continuing education opportunities, resources for staying up to date on the latest medical developments and networking with other vascular access nurses. Joining the ANA can also help you find employment as a vascular access nurse.


How To Become an Arabic Teacher: Step-by-Step Guide

Back to Career Development

How To Become a Production Sound Mixer: Step-by-Step Guide