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Career Definition of Transplant Nurses
As a transplant nurse, you will usually work in a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. You will likely serve as a part of an integrated team that provides treatment services to transplant recipients. In this career, you may work in one of several roles: coordinating transplant services, working in a surgical setting providing pre-transplant care, or working in a clinic that provides post-op, follow-up care to patients.
General job duties for a transplant nurse can include performing physical assessments of patients, helping create long-term treatment plans for patients, evaluating diagnostic test results, and prescribing medications. You may be tasked with informing patients and their caregivers about their transplant and treatment, such as the admission/surgical process, medications, and how to look for signs of infection. You may be responsible for ensuring patient information is entered accurately for reporting purposes. You will also be tasked with notifying the treating physician of complications or issues.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's Degree|
|Job Skills||Compassion, excellent interpersonal communication skills, strong leadership abilities, and an ability to work well under pressure|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)*||$87,938 (Transplant Nurse Coordinator)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||15% (Registered Nurses)|
Sources: *Salary.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
In order to work as a transplant nurse, you will need to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. You will also need to become a registered nurse in your state of practice. This consists of passing the National Council Licensure examination, as well as meeting specific state requirements, such as a criminal background check.
A sense of compassion is one of the foremost skills you should possess as a transplant nurse. You will be treating patients whose quality of life has been impacted, some severely, while on the organ transplant list. Excellent interpersonal skills are crucial for working with patients and their families, from explaining treatment to providing emotional support. You should have strong leadership skills, especially if you are tasked with managing a team. You will also need an ability to work well under pressure and be able to make decisions during critical moments.
Career Outlook and Salary
As of March 2018, the career site Salary.com lists a median annual salary of $87,938 for the role of a transplant nurse coordinator. When it comes to job growth, there is not a specific category for transplant nurses under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the BLS does have a category for registered nurses. That career is estimated to have a 15% job growth during 2016-2026, which is much faster than the average.
If you are considering working as a transplant nurse, then you will need compassion and the ability to work well under pressure. Many positions in healthcare require those same skills, including a critical care transport nurse and a certified nurse anesthetist.