Quote from EGKB
I'm not sure yet. I'm hoping to get exposure to both areas and make my decision from there.
I'm so glad to learn that I can start out in that area as a new graduate; I would definitely seek certification and pursue a master's in the area as soon as I could.
Thanks to everyone for the information and advice - I appreciate it!
There are three areas that transplant uses RN's in generally. Transplant floors in larger hospitals are a good way to start and generally how RN's get into transplant. Most of them want a year of med/surg prior to hiring. Very larger programs such as Pitt have a transplant ICU also.
The backbone of the transplant program is the transplant coordinators. These are RN's that handle the day to day interaction with the patients. They maintain phone contact and keep the patient updated on their status. They are also key in assessing new patient. This is a very detail oriented job. I deal mostly in liver transplant, but I think that all the nurses where I work came from a transplant floor nurse or oncology floor nurse background.
The third place that RN's are used is with the OPO's (organ procurement organizations). These positions do not have to be RN but a lot of the OPO's use them. You do not do the organ harvest, instead the OPO's are the coordinators for the organs. They identify suitable organs and contact the accepting programs with information as well as manage the regional list. I really do not know what the experience is here since I rarely deal with them directly.
Finally I am somewhat suprised that allnurses.com doesn't have a transplant nursing forum under specialty nursing.
Here is information on the ITNS:
Also if you google transplant nursing there is some good descriptions of nursing positions such as this:
David Carpenter, PA-C