An endoscopy nurse works with physicians and other healthcare professionals during procedures to screen, diagnose, and treat respiratory and gastroenterological conditions. Registered nurses (RNs) who enter this specialty find rewarding employment opportunities in both clinical positions and supervisory roles.
Endoscopy Nurse Career in Brief
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.
- Proficiency in endoscopic procedures
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
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.
- 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.
- Gastroenterological 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.
- Endoscopy 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?
- Develop expertise in a variety of diagnostic procedures and disease management
- Acquire rewarding teamwork experience with physicians, technicians, and other healthcare providers
- Offers competitive salaries and job security, especially for nurses who are certified
Disadvantages to Becoming an Endoscopy Nurse?
- Can be emotionally draining due to fast-paced work environments and dealing with emergency situations often
- Involves management of potential patient anxiety over endoscopic procedures
- As the field evolves, must stay updated on and proficient in latest techniques and treatments
How to Become an Endoscopy Nurse
Pass the NCLEX-RN to receive nursing licensure
Gain clinical nursing experience
Consider becoming a certified gastroenterology registered nurse (CGRN)
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
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.
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.
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.
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 AssociatesWith 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 NursesABCGN 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 AssociationEstablished 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 NutritionRepresenting 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 society's several publications, provides a forum for research in pediatric gastroenterology and related fields.
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.
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