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Urology nurses care for patients with issues related to the urinary tract, such as infections, cancers, and kidney stones. Their specialized experience and medical knowledge may allow them to practice according to protocols with minimal supervision.
Urology nurses also educate and advise patients and their caregivers about conditions and treatments. As registered nurses (RNs), urology nurses earn an average annual salary of $77,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
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What Does a Urology Nurse Do?
Urology nurses primarily treat adult patients — both men and women — with issues like kidney and bladder cancers or stones, prostatitis or prostate cancer, and urinary tract infections. Some urology nurses work with pediatric practitioners. Due to the specific anatomical areas involved in treating those types of conditions, urology nurses must be skilled in making their patients feel comfortable discussing their symptoms.
The many responsibilities of urology nurses include assessing patients and preparing them for exams, providing patient care before and after surgery, and working with surgeons.
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- Developing and managing care plans
- Educating patient, caregivers, and family members
- Adminstering medication
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting with surgeries, procedures, exams, biopsies, and tests
- Patient assessment and diagnostics skills
- Collaboration with physicians and medical staff
- Compassionate and clear communication
- Discretion and emotional intelligence
- Patient education knowledge and skills
Where Do Urology Nurses Work?
Urology nurses find employment in many types of work settings. The BLS reports that 61% of RNs work in hospitals, including urology nurses. Other common workplaces for urology nurses are outpatient clinics and physicians' offices.
Hospitals employ urology nurses to work in urological surgical units and operating room (OR) departments. Job duties include carrying out physicians' orders, assisting with surgeries, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, administering medication and treatments, and caring for patients pre- and post-surgery.
Ambulatory urology clinic RN responsibilities include coordinating care plans; ensuring the availability of medical records, patient histories, and test results; performing triage and patient assessments; and educating caregivers and family members.
Urology practices hire RNs to conduct physical exams, record patient histories, perform diagnostic testing, and administer medication.
Why Become a Urology Nurse?
Becoming a urology nurse requires earning an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing from a nursing program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Getting an RN degree typically takes 2-4 years.
The next step is taking and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) and applying for an RN license with your state nursing board.
Many employers require or prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's in nursing, a year or two of RN experience, and certification in basic life support. If you are applying for a job in a surgical or an operating room department, you may need a year of surgical or OR experience.
Optional specialty certification from the Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates (CBUNA) can help you stand out from other job applicants. Some RNs go on to earn their master's degree in nursing to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRN credentials require CBUNA certification.
How Much Do Urology Nurses Make?
The median salary for RNs, which includes urology nurses, is $77,600 a year. Nationwide, the range of RN salaries spans from $59,450 for the lowest 10% of earners to $120,250 for the top 10%. Urology nurses can expect to follow the trend of all RNs and experience a 9% projected job growth rate from 2020-2030, according to BLS data.
Factors that affect earning potential include work setting, geographical location, education level, and certification. For example, the top five states for RN salaries are California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Alaska, with average annual wages of $97,230-$124,000. In addition, hospitals tend to pay more than outpatient clinics, and APRNs make a median annual salary of $123,780.
Frequently Asked Questions about Urology Nurses
What do urology nurses do?
Urology nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices caring for patients with urinary tract issues and conditions. As RNs, they assist with surgeries, assess and order tests for patients, maintain health records, and administer medication and care plans.
What's the difference between a urology nurse and an oncology nurse?
While urology nurses focus on patients with urinary tract issues, oncology nurses care for patients with cancer. However, there is overlap between the two specialties as urology includes treatment for bladder, kidney, prostate, and reproductive organ cancers.
What skills are important for urology nurses?
Urology nurses need the skills common to all RNs, including patient care and education, but also need knowledge in treating urologic issues and conditions. They need skills as empathetic and compassionate communicators because urology patients are sometimes uncomfortable discussing their symptoms.
Who do urology nurses work with?
Depending on the work setting, urology nurses may work with physicians, surgeons, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). They may work on large teams of healthcare specialists. Experienced urologic RNs may also supervise RNs, LPNs, and CNAs.
Page last reviewed August 2, 2022
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