Endoscopy Nurse Career Overview

NurseJournal Staff
Updated February 28, 2023
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    Interested in a career as an endoscopy nurse? Read on to learn about educational requirements, certifications, and the training needed to enter the field, including career and salary prospects.
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    average earning potential$75,330SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Endoscopy Nurse Career in Brief

    adn or bsn required
    certification optional

    The scope of practice for an endoscopy nurse includes assisting the surgical team during endoscopic procedures; providing patient care before, during, and after the procedure; and educating patients about treatment. RNs in endoscopic practice must acquire specialized knowledge about gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases and the skills to use and maintain endoscopic equipment, administer medication, and manage emergencies and complications.

    Endoscopic nurses carry out a variety of clinical and supervisory roles and responsibilities depending on the specific employment setting.

    Career Traits

    • Proficiency in endoscopic procedures
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Communication skills
    • Detail-oriented

    Certification Option

    • Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse
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    Where Do Endoscopy Nurses Work?

    Many endoscopy nurses find employment as staff nurses in hospitals or specialty clinics. RNs in this field may also enter administrative positions.

    • minusHospitals

      Hospitals rely on endoscopy nurses to monitor vital signs, observe patients throughout procedures and recovery, and provide information to patients and caregivers about tests and treatments.

    • minusGastroenterological Specialty Clinics

      Endoscopy nurses in these settings perform both diagnostic and disease management functions. Duties include administering procedures, conducting cancer screenings, and helping patients manage conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

    • minusEndoscopy Laboratory Administration

      These endoscopy RNs work in hospitals and clinical labs supervising technicians and other endoscopy team members. They oversee equipment preparation, manage cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and ensure that team members follow policies and procedures.

    Is Endoscopy Nursing Right for Me?

    RNs who pursue endoscopy nurse jobs can find rewarding career opportunities in this expanding area of healthcare. While all RNs experience work-related emotional and physical challenges, endoscopy nurses express a high degree of job satisfaction delivering quality patient care in a specialized field.

    Advantages to Becoming an Endoscopy Nurse

    • checkDevelop expertise in a variety of diagnostic procedures and disease management
    • checkAcquire rewarding teamwork experience with physicians, technicians, and other healthcare providers
    • checkOffers competitive salaries and job security, especially for nurses who are certified

    Disadvantages to Becoming an Endoscopy Nurse

    • checkCan be emotionally draining due to fast-paced work environments and dealing with emergency situations often
    • checkInvolves management of potential patient anxiety over endoscopic procedures
    • checkAs the field evolves, must stay updated on and proficient in latest techniques and treatments

    How to Become an Endoscopy Nurse

    Earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN)

    An endoscopy nurse needs, at minimum, a two-year associate degree. Because of the specialized training required in endoscopy practice, many employers prefer to hire RNs who hold a four-year BSN.

    Pass the NCLEX-RN to receive nursing licensure

    To practice in their chosen state, graduates of ADN or BSN programs must apply to their state nursing regulatory board and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN).

    Gain clinical nursing experience

    After earning their degree and RN license, nurses typically seek clinical experience in a specialty field. Nurses who plan to pursue gastroenterology RN certification must complete two years of experience to qualify for this credential.

    Consider becoming a certified gastroenterology registered nurse (CGRN)

    While CGRN certification is voluntary, many endoscopy nurses pursue this credential to advance their careers and improve their patient care skills. Some employers prefer to hire CGRN-certified nurses.

    How Much Do Endoscopy Nurses Make?

    RNs entering endoscopy practice can expect competitive salaries compared to other RN specialties, such as pediatrics or geriatrics, according to PayScale. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not distinguish salary data for endoscopy nurses from the general category for RNs. Annual earnings for all RNs range from $53,000 to $116,000. However, salary levels fluctuate depending on factors, such as location, years of clinical experience, educational attainment, and specialty certification.

    Endoscopy nurse salary levels reflect the BLS ranges for all RNs. According to PayScale, endoscopy nurses earn between $47,000 and $103,000 a year. Gastroenterology nurse practitioners, who must hold at least a master’s including national certification to practice, earn higher annual salaries, making between $85,000 and $127,000 a year.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does it take to become an endoscopy nurse?

    An ADN degree typically takes two years to complete, while a BSN can require four years of study. After earning their degree, prospective nurses must take the NCLEX-RN and satisfy the nursing licensure requirements for their state. Endoscopy nurses who intend to pursue certification must complete two years of RN clinical experience directly in the field.

    What is the difference between a gastroenterology nurse and an endoscopy nurse?

    Although the terms are often used interchangeably for any RN working in endoscopy practice, the endoscopy specialty focuses on the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, while gastroenterology covers the entire GI system. Master’s-trained nurses, who typically earn a nurse practitioner specialty and gastroenterology certification, receive more extensive training beyond a general GI focus.

    What types of conditions do endoscopy nurses treat?

    These nurses apply their training to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the upper and lower digestive tract and respiratory organs. They may treat patients with cancer, bronchial infections, and ulcers. They also have training in more common conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, liver cirrhosis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

    Is endoscopy nursing stressful?

    Depending on the workplace setting, endoscopy nurses often work in challenging, fast-paced environments, requiring attention to detail and the ability to deal with anxious patients prior to, during, and after procedures. Because these nurses routinely work with patients and families, emergency situations, and life-threatening conditions, they may experience emotional exhaustion.

    Resources for Endoscopy Nurses

    • Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates

      With over 8,000 members, this professional organization represents the interests of nurses and associates working in gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing practice. SGNA offers opportunities for professional development through e-learning courses, webinars, and access to the online Gastroenterology Nursing journal. The organization also maintains a career center that offers job listings, career coaching, resume writing, and reference checking.
    • American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses

      ABCGN offers the only professional certification program for gastroenterology nurses. The Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse (CGRN) credential helps nurses develop the skills to improve patient care and advance professionally while demonstrating a high degree of professional commitment to prospective employers. ABCGN also confers awards and scholarships that recognize professional excellence in the field.
    • American Gastroenterological Association

      Established in 1897, AGA serves over 16,000 members committed to the advancement of the science and practice of gastroenterology. The organization sponsors an annual Digestive Disease Week, an international gathering of physicians, researchers, and scholars in the fields of gastroenterology, gastrointestinal surgery, hepatology, and endoscopy. Through its foundation, AGA provides over $3 million in annual research funding.
    • North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

      Representing the field of pediatric gastroenterology, this organization provides research, educational, and professional development opportunities that address the care of infants, children, and adolescents with digestive disorders. NASPGHAN offers training opportunities that include a summer research fellowship and a mentorship program. The Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, one of the societys several publications, provides a forum for research in pediatric gastroenterology and related fields.

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    Reviewed by:

    Portrait of Nicole Galan, RN, MSN

    Nicole Galan, RN, MSN

    Nicole Galan is a registered nurse who earned a master’s degree in nursing education from Capella University and currently works as a full-time freelance writer. Throughout her nursing career, Galan worked in a general medical/surgical care unit and then in infertility care. She has also worked for over 13 years as a freelance writer specializing in consumer health sites and educational materials for nursing students.

    Galan is a paid member of our Healthcare Review Partner Network. Learn more about our review partners.

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