Telemetry Nursing Training, Degree and Certificate Program Info

Registered nurses who want to become telemetry nurses need to complete two short training programs, offered by many community colleges and medical academies. Telemetry training teaches students to use an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) machine to monitor the condition of a patient's heart and provide information that helps a physician make a diagnosis.

Essential Information

Telemetry nurse training consists of telemetry and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training. Training programs in each area usually must be completed separately. Program content covers the application of electrodes to the skin and analysis of normal, abnormal and emergent heart rhythms. Graduates of these training programs may qualify for professional certification that shows their proficiency in this field.

  • Program Levels: Degrees and certification
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; training in basic life support
  • Program Length: Less than one year

Telemetry Nursing Training Degree

Some telemetry training programs also cover medical systems and medical terminology in separate courses. ACLS training teaches students to respond effectively when patients go into cardiac arrest. Telemetry and ACLS training may both be completed in less than a year. Academic topics covered in telemetry and ACLS courses are likely to include:

  • Heart anatomy
  • Disease progression
  • Cardiac rhythms
  • Cardiac pharmacology
  • Airway management
  • Case scenarios

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Nurses who finish telemetry training and ACLS programs are qualified to become a telemetry nurse. Hospitals are their primary employer. Figures for this specialty were not available as of May 2014, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) foresees 16% growth in employment of registered nurses over the 2014-2024 decade. As of May 2014, registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $66,640, per the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Most hospitals require nurses to have American Heart Association certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) before they are allowed to work as telemetry nurses. ACLS certification courses and exams are available from several heart association affiliates, such as A.C.T.N.T. Healthcare Services (www.actnt.com) or the ACLS Training Center (www.acls.net).

Telemetry nurses can also obtain a Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) certification from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). PCCN certification requires candidates to be licensed as registered nurses or advanced practice nurses and to pass a 125 question multiple-choice exam.

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