Trainee Nurse Practitioner Coursework

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Role

A cardiac-vascular nurse practitioner’s duties include in-depth cardiovascular assessments, working closely with physicians and providing health education to patients and families. Assessing patients for acute and chronic illness, managing those illnesses with medications and other treatments and monitoring for results are among the responsibilities. Cardiac-vascular nurse practitioners also are responsible for interpreting lab work data, radiology and other test data, and acting on those findings.

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice

Cardiac-vascular nurse practitioners deal with patient populations that are experiencing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and arrhythmias (irregularities in heart rate). Cardiac-vascular nurse practitioners may work in a variety of settings, including private practice cardiology offices, family medicine or acute-care clinics and hospitals. New and evolving cardiac techniques make this field more challenging than ever, and advanced practice RNs play a key role in bringing quality cardiac care to patients in underserved, rural and urban settings.

Cardiac Vascular Nurse Practitioner Salary

On average, cardiac vascular nurse practitioners can expect to make around $105,000 a year working in cardiology clinics.A number of factors influence cardiac nurse practitioner salary, including education and training, geographic location and work setting.

FEATURED ONLINE HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS


Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

MPH@Simmons

MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.

MPH@GW

An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

MHA@GW

Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

HealthInformatics@GW

This online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University enables graduates to improve the efficiency of health care organizations through the use of data and technology.

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How to Become a Cardiac Nurse

While there is no certification for cardiac nurse practitioners, cardiac nursing positions require nurses who have advanced practice experience in cardiac nursing. An RN-BC for cardiac-vascular nursing can be earned from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Those interested in advanced practice cardiac-vascular nursing also should enroll in a nurse practitioner program with a cardiac subspecialty.

Cardiac-Vascular Nursing Eligibility Requirements

      1. Become a registered nurse. In order to apply to a family nurse practitioner program, one must have completed a degree in registered nursing and be certified as a registered nurse in a U.S. state or territory. Passing the NCLEX-RN examination is required for certification as a registered nurse.
      2. Practice as an RN for two years, work 2,000 hours in cardiac-vascular nursing within three years, and complete 30 continuing education hours in cardiac-vascular nursing within three years.
      3. Apply to take the cardiac-vascular nursing exam administered by the ANCC to earn cardiac-vascular nursing certification. More information about certification can be found at the bottom of this page.
      4. Apply for state certification as a cardiac-vascular nurse in the state in which you wish to practice. Go to our state certification pages to find out the requirements and how to apply. Many applications can be submitted online.
      5. Certification must be renewed every five years. In addition to renewing certification through the board, renewal through the state is also required and additional fulfillment of continuing education contact hours may be necessary.

Nurse Practitioner Eligibility Requirements

      1. Apply to nurse practitioner programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and have a cardiac subspecialty of concentration. These programs must be master’s, postgraduate or doctoral programs. More information on nurse practitioner programs and coursework requirements can be found below.
      2. Complete 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours related to the nurse practitioner role and population, focusing in the cardiac subspecialty.

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Programs

The first step to becoming a cardiac-vascular nurse practitioner is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Bachelor-prepared registered nurses are now recommended as a necessity by several professional nursing organizations. Because nurse practitioner programs are part of graduate training for nurses, applicants must hold at least a BSN and two years of recent experience in caring for patients with cardiac and vascular conditions before applying to a master’s or doctoral (DNP or Ph.D.) program.

In some cases, a “cardiac nurse practitioner program” may be difficult to locate—some schools will offer acute care nurse practitioner programs with an emphasis in cardiology. These programs will provide students with courses in statistics, ethics, research, pharmacology and advanced assessment for all adults and also offer focused cardiovascular courses. Applicants should expect to complete 50 credits or more and at least 600 clinical hours to complete the program.

After graduation, the RN will be required to take an exam administered by the ANCC. National exam prerequisites include completion of 30 continuing education credits related to cardiac-vascular nursing in addition to practicing as an RN for a two-year period in full-time capacity with 2,000 hours of practice in cardiac-vascular nursing in a three-year period.

ANCC credentialing is valid for five years and must be maintained by re-examination or completion of 1,000 hours of cardiac nursing as well as 75 hours of continuing education as required by the ANCC. Additional requirements may be needed, and the nurse practitioner should review the requirements periodically.

Depending on the path chosen, it may take two to four years to complete the candidate’s initial nursing degree. RNs who enroll in a cardiac-vascular nurse practitioner education program can expect to spend two years, or slightly more, in classroom and clinical time. The number of credit hours the student carries and other commitments can influence training time, and attending on a part-time basis will significantly impact time to degree completion. Students interested in part-time attendance should check with their institution to see if the option is available.

Online Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Programs

For working registered nurses who do not want to put their careers on pause or uproot their lives to attend an on-campus program at a university far from where they live, online nurse practitioner programs with a concentration in cardiology can be a flexible and high-quality option. When looking for an online nurse practitioner program, make sure that it offers interactive features such as live classes, rigorous coursework and excellent placement services that will help you get the most out of your education. Some universities offer online programs that are identical to their on-campus programs, allowing students to earn a degree from a university they know and whose reputation they trust, without having to relocate. Online programs are growing in popularity and are a great way to become a cardiac nurse practitioner.

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Certification

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Type of Certification: RN-BC
Eligibility Requirements: Nurses must currently hold an active registered nurse license, have practiced as a registered nurse full time for two years, have a minimum of 2,000 hours clinical experience in a cardiovascular nursing setting within the last three years, and have completed 30 hours of continuing education in cardiovascular nursing in the past three years.
Certification Process: Nurses can apply online through the ANCC’s website or mail in an application. They must then sit for the Cardiac-Vascular Nurse certification exam.
Fees:$395 initial certification fee for non-members; $340 for Society for Vascular Nursing and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association members and American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Members; $270 for American Nurses Association members.
Renewal: Certification must be renewed every five years. Nurses must complete 1,000 hours of work in cardiovascular nursing and 75 hours of continuing education. In addition, cardiac vascular nurses must perform other professional development requirements, such as research or academic credits.

Learn about other advanced practice nursing specialties.

State Nursing Certification Information

FEATURED ONLINE HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS


Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

MPH@Simmons

MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.

MPH@GW

An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

MHA@GW

Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

HealthInformatics@GW

This online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University enables graduates to improve the efficiency of health care organizations through the use of data and technology.

Sponsored Programs

Master’s Degree Program

MSN programs are generally a two-year commitment. Not only will you earn your graduate degree, but you will also be trained in a specialty of your choosing. Many MSN programs are available both online and at traditional schools.

To get a better understanding of what MSN coursework will entail, here’s a quick sample of classes:

Health care policy: Covers major features of the health care delivery system, the financial and political impacts and teaches students to critically think about policy issues.

Advanced Concepts in Pharmacology: Prescription guidelines, drug interactions and side effects are taught.

Health care ethics: These courses teach students about patient-provider relationships, legal and ethical issues and moral judgment.

Theory and Practice (Specialty-based): This topic will start from broad to narrow with initial classes covering theory and practice in your chosen specialization and moving to more in-depth training related to the specific patients treated in your specialization.

Clinical practicum: Hands-on experience is required as part of nurse practitioner education. The amount of clinical hours required varies by state so check your state board’s requirements to confirm your program provides those hours.

Doctoral Program

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) isn’t required in order to practice as a nurse practitioner, but if you’re looking to advance further in your career, this degree provides a clinical (instead of research) focus. As the medical field continues to evolve and more nurses earn higher-level degrees, a doctoral program can help you stand out in the crowd. DNP programs are available both online and on campus.

An example of an online DNP is American Sentinel University’s DNP in Executive Leadership. This program is intended for manager-level nurses or executives and teaches students about finance, business intelligence, healthy policy, leadership and health services research.

Post-master’s certificates can also be obtained via an online school and cover topics like nursing informatics and nurse-midwifery.

What certification will I need?

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) both offer nationally-recognized certification programs. Your specialization will dictate which organization you can be certified, although there is some overlap with a few specialties.

Nurses with master’s-level, post-graduate or doctoral degrees can apply for certification in adult, family and adult-gerontology nurse practitioner specialties by taking AANPCP’s exam. To be eligible to sit for the test, applicants must have:

  • NPs with an MSN, post-master’s certificate or doctorate
  • Active RN license
  • At least 500 clinical clock hours supervised by a faculty member
  • Final transcript or transcript showing work accomplished so far

Students who are within six months of graduating with an MSN or higher can begin the application process for AANPCP’s certification exam.

ANCC also lets students apply for their exam prior to graduation and certifies nurse practitioners in almost a dozen specialties:

  • Acute Care NP
  • Adult NP
  • Adult-gerontology acute care NP
  • Adult gerontology primary care NP
  • Adult Psychiatric-mental health NP
  • Family NP
  • Gerontological NP
  • Pediatric Primary Care NP
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health NP
  • School NP

The general eligibility requirements to take the ANCC exam are:

  • Having a current RN license
  • A master’s degree, post-graduate or doctoral degree in your specialization
  • At least 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours
  • Graduate courses in physiology, pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology
  • Graduate-level content in health promotion and maintenance, disease management and differential diagnosis

It’s recommended that students research the exact specialization criteria before applying.

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and National Certification Corporation (NCC), which offers exams for neonatal NPs and women’s health NPs, also offer exams.

What will I learn in my courses?

Core science and nursing topics will be taught in undergraduate programs. When you reach graduate level coursework, you will determine an NP specialty which will dictate the types of classes you’ll take.

Some of the major specialties to choose from are:

  • Acute care nursing
  • Family nursing
  • Public health nursing
  • Oncology nursing
  • Women’s health nursing
  • Geriatric nursing
  • Neonatal nursing
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Pediatric nursing

Students can be prepared to delve into topics like health policy, ethics, business management, nursing theory and health promotion and disease prevention.

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