Calling all transplant nurses!!!

  1. 0
    Hello all... I was hoping to find out more about the career path for a transplant nurse. I am planning to enroll in an accelerated BSN program very soon. From what I've read about the specialty, I think it's where I want to end up; I'm just not sure how to get there.

    Since I am coming from a field unrelated to medicine (marketing/communications), I'm unfamiliar with the best route to this area of specialization, so I would appreciate any and all insight you could provide. Thanks in advance for your time and expertise!
    Last edit by EGKB on May 21, '07
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi and welcome. Are you discussing becoming an advanced practice nurse for transplant services? That would involve an MSN as either an NP or CNS. What exactly do you want to do with these patients?
  5. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Hi and welcome. Are you discussing becoming an advanced practice nurse for transplant services? That would involve an MSN as either an NP or CNS. What exactly do you want to do with these patients?
    Thanks for your reply!

    I think that becoming an advanced practice nurse would be my eventual goal, but for now, I'm just trying to find out more about what others have done in this specialty - how they got where they are. I understand that one can become a certified transplant nurse after meeting the appropriate requirements, and that's in the plan, too.

    I am still finishing my prerequisites for my BSN program and have no idea how many specialties work. It's easy to get information about the more general areas of practice, but I haven't found much on this specialty. Even so, everything I've read at the International Transplant Nurses Society website leads me to believe that this is the area of nursing for me.

    I hope I'll get some exposure to transplant nursing during my med-surg clinical rotation... I will be doing clinicals at The Cleveland Clinic. I'm sorry to be so clueless, but I don't know what to expect of clinicals - will I be able to request a rotation in this specific area?
  6. 0
    I would bet that you would have electives and could maybe choose transplant services. Are you looking to work with transplant patients BEFORE transplant or AFTER? Or are you looking at more of a harvesting role - going and getting the donated organs?
  7. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I would bet that you would have electives and could maybe choose transplant services. Are you looking to work with transplant patients BEFORE transplant or AFTER? Or are you looking at more of a harvesting role - going and getting the donated organs?
    I'm just not sure - I hope I'll have the chance to be a part of the whole process during clinicals and make a decision from there.

    I'm also hoping to do some volunteer work... will a hospital allow volunteers in this area? What type of work would they have you do?

    Or, do you think that getting involved with some kind of research would provide more relevant experience while I'm waiting for my program to start (I'll have 5 months between finishing prereq's and starting the program)? Or will hospitals hire "pre-nursing" people for interim positions in units they're interested in? (Since I'll be in a 14-month accelerated BSN program and I have a toddler at home, I won't work while I'm in school.)

    I know there are probably a million answers to these questions, and I'm sorry I can't be more specific - I'm just looking for LOTS OF opinions... (I told you I am clueless about all this!)

    THANKS!!!!
  8. 0
    No you are asking good questions. Since you want to get the right grad degree for you and your plans, it will be important that you have a good grasp on options availalble to you. For that 5 month time period, I would try for a hospital job on the transplant floor - maybe a CNA or tech? Or clerk? That would at least get you in the hospital, exposed to various types of nursing and you can ask questions then. Good luck.
  9. 1
    Quote from EGKB
    Thanks for your reply!

    I think that becoming an advanced practice nurse would be my eventual goal, but for now, I'm just trying to find out more about what others have done in this specialty - how they got where they are. I understand that one can become a certified transplant nurse after meeting the appropriate requirements, and that's in the plan, too.

    I am still finishing my prerequisites for my BSN program and have no idea how many specialties work. It's easy to get information about the more general areas of practice, but I haven't found much on this specialty. Even so, everything I've read at the International Transplant Nurses Society website leads me to believe that this is the area of nursing for me.

    I hope I'll get some exposure to transplant nursing during my med-surg clinical rotation... I will be doing clinicals at The Cleveland Clinic. I'm sorry to be so clueless, but I don't know what to expect of clinicals - will I be able to request a rotation in this specific area?
    I will give you a perspective from a non nurse that works with transplant nurses every day. To be a good transplant nurse you have to be a good nurse. Most of the transplant nurses I work with have a background in med-surg nursing and then either transplant units or oncology. You have to be good at counselling and teaching. A couple of years doing med-surg is imperative.

    The APN role in the office I work with is different than the transplant nurses. There are some programs that do use this model. Traditionally in the states that differentiate between the CNA and NP role the transplant nurses take the more traditional CNS role (education and counselling as opposed to diagnosis and treatment). It is a very intense and demanding role. It is definitely not for everyone. I would get comfortable with nursing first and then consider other roles.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    ghillbert likes this.


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