cardiac rehab nursing

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    I work in cardiac rehab with three exercise physiologists. Does anyone have a clearly defined job role for the RN vs the EP? It seems to be a free for all. I would appreciate any advice that is out there. Thanks
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  4. 18 Comments so far...

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    I'm very interested in cardiac rehab (currently work at the bedside in a cardiovascular unit.) I'll talk with the RNs at my facility and see what they know.
    peahen10 likes this.
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    I will be graduating with a BSN in a few months from Duke. My previous career was as an exercise physiologist (at the master's prepared level). EP's can be credentialed by national organizations but do not have a state licensure (except for Louisiana). They are well trained for implementing tailored exercise programs, lifestyle modification initiatives and exercise testing across a myriad of comorbidities. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) credentials the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification and outlines the scope of practice. The employer typically outlines the scope of practice for the EP so the range of responsibilities can vary. The challenge without having a national licensure for EP's is that the roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined, like the role of the nurse. There is a growing movement toward licensure for EP's but it may take many years for it to happen. Nurses are likely being cross-trained to act as exercise specialists due to declining reimbursement and financial constraints. I hope you will find common ground in your place of employment through continued dialogue. I think that both professions are valuable in caring for heart failure patients.

    Thanks for your interest,
    erich and peahen10 like this.
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    I would check with the AACVPR, I'm pretty sure I've seen staffing guidelines and roles information in some of their publications.

    It CAN be a free for all if the roles are not clearly defined. I have a background as an EP and then as an RN as well. It's a grey area for sure because we want the EPs to be clinically alert to situations, but they do not necessarily need to be doing more advanced nursing assessments and making judgement calls.

    I could type a book, but to save time...what specific problems are you encountering?
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    I have a different question for those of you in nursing that were in EP...I am trying to break back into the workforce after taking time off to raise a family (about ten years!) My degree is in Exercise Science and I worked in the field for a few wonderful years....now I know I will need to continue my education to get a good job and make some money...I really want to be involved in cardiac rehab. I am looking at a masters in EP or go back for nursing and try to specialize in cardiac rehab. Nursing school is MUCH cheaper and I think the salaries are higher, and wondering what job outlook is for EP's- never see jobs posted here(I'm in MA). Any input, advice would be appreciated...what made you switch from EP to Nursing? Thank you!
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    I never have been an EP, always a nurse. We have a master's level EP working where I am. Jobs are scarce and do not pay very well. I think pursuing your nursing will be to your advantage. Good luck in what ever you choose.
    mjenk likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from peahen10
    I work in cardiac rehab with three exercise physiologists. Does anyone have a clearly defined job role for the RN vs the EP? It seems to be a free for all. I would appreciate any advice that is out there. Thanks
    I am a RN, we all share job responsiblities BUT since we are NOT trained in resistance exercise, we leave that to our EP. Our EP does NOT have the type of clinical experience we have with heart patients (we have all come from critical care backgrounds), so for the most part we do the initial clinical evaluations. We do communicate easily with one another so sharing of job roles is easy.
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    Thank you to all of you for your input concerning Cardiac Rehab Nursing. My future endeavor is in cardiac rehab, I just did not know whether the LPN to RN or EP was the route to go. It seems to me that the LPN to RN route is best is since I will be involved in both the diagnostic and teaching side. What an exciting field!
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    Wow! I'm so glad I've found this discussion board! I have a BS in EP, and want to get into cardio rehab, most want a EP with a MS, but in this small rural area I live in, they don't have EPs. So, I was trying to decide how to get into cardio Rehab...and decided to be an RN, and I get find jobs. THANK YOU ALL for your input! You have helped me a lot too!
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    I so appreciate your response, thank you


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