I am halfway through a associates RN program. I'm thinking what speciality is right for me and I am pulled toward infusion/Iv therapy for many reasons. My question is; are there opportunities for a new grad RN to enter directly into a IV therapy or infusion team? I have done phlebotomy for 2 years- will be 3 when I graduate and have gotten pretty good with difficult veins. I have read a handful of articles or the responsibilities and tasks of this field and it sounds like a nice mix of skill base and clinical judgement. Any advice or experiences would be great to hear.
Some outpatient infusion centers may hire you or if you went into LTC you would have a chance. Just make sure it is a high acuity LTC facility but not an LTACH.
IV therapy isn't quite the same as phlebotomy. There are also a lot of factors that go into placing a line and managing it, knowing what medications will do to the veins. I think outpatient infusion would be a good place to start especially if they are willing to provide a good orientation. Also any throughput procedural jobs, daystay, but they usually want acute care/critical care experience but depends on the job. I know someone who worked at a cataract surgery center and every patient got an IV.
It is unlikely that you will find a position as a new grad in infusion/IV therapy. These kind of positions usually require proven proficiency in PIV initiation and maintenance. Phlebotomy really isn't the same. If that is what you see yourself doing then starting out in a position where IV starts are numerous (ED, infusion centers, etc) would be your best bet to get the experience and proficiency that you need. Look up the Infusion Nurses Society website. Much helpful information there.
You definitely want to get some hands-on clinical experience under your belt before you delve into Infusion Nursing, or being a vascular access nurse. I was a renal nurse for two years prior to going into Home Infusion, and that was in 1990. Worked several years in that, before switching to work for a Pharmacy as their clinical educator for Infusion... been doing that since 1995. So, as another poster said, we keep our positions!! But, I would work the hospital floors for awhile s/p graduation, then switch to Home Infusion. Wishing you well...