Any NPs in Cardiology out there??

  1. Hi everyone, I am a nursing student finishing at the end of this year, and I thought I'd quietly tip-toe into your forum to ask a question to anyone out there who's doing this specialty. There is a NP in Cardiology doing rounds at two hospitals that I have done rotations in as a student. She is very busy, and no-one close to me knows her that I can contact her for questions...I very much want to go into this specialty, whatever it takes (and I imagine it takes alot)...what education and preceptoring did you have to go through to reach this prestigious position? Did the specialty work happen after the Master's level education? Or was this a choice in the Master's degree? Was there preceptoring with an MD cardiologist? I feel like a rock star groupie that would follow this woman around like a puppy if I could, but she's unreachable, and every single one of my nursing instructors (and most of them are NPs) has no idea how to pursue such a specialty. Any tips out there would be terriffic!!!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   heartICU
    Quote from tutored
    Hi everyone, I am a nursing student finishing at the end of this year, and I thought I'd quietly tip-toe into your forum to ask a question to anyone out there who's doing this specialty. There is a NP in Cardiology doing rounds at two hospitals that I have done rotations in as a student. She is very busy, and no-one close to me knows her that I can contact her for questions...I very much want to go into this specialty, whatever it takes (and I imagine it takes alot)...what education and preceptoring did you have to go through to reach this prestigious position? Did the specialty work happen after the Master's level education? Or was this a choice in the Master's degree? Was there preceptoring with an MD cardiologist? I feel like a rock star groupie that would follow this woman around like a puppy if I could, but she's unreachable, and every single one of my nursing instructors (and most of them are NPs) has no idea how to pursue such a specialty. Any tips out there would be terriffic!!!
    I am not an NP, but the school I graduated from does offer a specialty in cardiovascular nursing as part of their NP program. Check it out.

    http://fpb.cwru.edu/MSN/Cardio.shtm
  4. by   tutored
    Thanks SO MUCH heart ICU!!!:typing will do that now.
  5. by   labcat01
    OMG, I had to laugh at your post because I am also a nursing student that is in complete AWE of one of the local NPs in cardiology. I hope you will get some good advice here so I can learn too!
  6. by   Rhfish2
    I am an FNP in a large cardiology group. I choose not to do hopsital rounds but I am in the office 5 days a week. I see patients, administer Nuclear Stress tests, interrogate pace makers as well as a whole host of other things. It is neither boring or slow paced....i love it.
  7. by   np_wannabe
    Quote from Rhfish2
    I am an FNP in a large cardiology group. I choose not to do hopsital rounds but I am in the office 5 days a week. I see patients, administer Nuclear Stress tests, interrogate pace makers as well as a whole host of other things. It is neither boring or slow paced....i love it.
    Did you do this via an FNP program or was it specifically a cardio NP program?

    THX
  8. by   tutored
    Quote from Rhfish2
    I am an FNP in a large cardiology group. I choose not to do hopsital rounds but I am in the office 5 days a week. I see patients, administer Nuclear Stress tests, interrogate pace makers as well as a whole host of other things. It is neither boring or slow paced....i love it.
    Thanks for the encouraging future picture!!! All you NPs look so happy and confident. It will help keep me focuses on the far-away bigger picture in the long haul. Although, at 40, I getter get my butt moving! Thanks for responding.
  9. by   tutored
    Quote from labcat01
    OMG, I had to laugh at your post because I am also a nursing student that is in complete AWE of one of the local NPs in cardiology. I hope you will get some good advice here so I can learn too!
    Hey, labcat, I'm graduating in December '07 too!! congratulations in advance! :spin:
  10. by   tutored
    Quote from Rhfish2
    I am an FNP in a large cardiology group. I choose not to do hopsital rounds but I am in the office 5 days a week. I see patients, administer Nuclear Stress tests, interrogate pace makers as well as a whole host of other things. It is neither boring or slow paced....i love it.
    Rhfish, are the doctors, in general, supportive and not threatened by you? (if you don't mind my asking)
  11. by   tutored
    HeartICU, I did investigate your school. It sounds truly amazing. I'd love to go there. But,.....$1,200 a credit hour? (gulp!) But the programs look awesome. Still, I kept it in my favorites list! Must have been wonderful to go to such an institution.
  12. by   Rhfish2
    Quote from tutored
    Rhfish, are the doctors, in general, supportive and not threatened by you? (if you don't mind my asking)
    The doctors are extremely supportive, they teach me something new almost daily. None of them get upset of I ask questions. They often send me their patients to see and evaluate. The senior MD of the practice is on vacation for 1 week over memorial day oliday and she has any of her patients seeing me.
  13. by   DaisyRN, ACNP
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    i have just been approached about a cardiology position when i graduate (which is december '07, too!!!!) and i am extremely excited about its possibility. i am doing an acnp program, so want to do hospital rounds, but they want someone that can not only round in the hospital, but also do the stress testing, echos, run a device clinic (for resetting defibs/pacers - which i would love to learn more about), and see clinic patients. it would be so busy and i would love every minute of it. the most appealing aspect is that i would be doing so many different things! i would be pretty much running the show because the hospital i'll primarily be working at (which is of a group of 3, its #3), has only one cardiologist from their group and she is crazy busy at all three hospitals. i'd be her right hand man, he said. i think for my next rotation, i am going to plan to be with their group... so i can see if i like it, get some good cardio training, and then allow them to see if i'd be a good fit! and if so, they can go ahead and start teaching me echos/stress testing, etc. the cardiologist that i was talking to about this was very excited to talk to me and even though i told him i don't finish until december, he still said, "well, we'd be very interested in talking with you further." yea!

    however - i've been worried about specializing in an area such as cardio, simply because if i get into it for a few years and decide i want to go back to say, hospital medicine (which was my initial aspiration)... i will have forgotten stuff about gibs or copd, etc. and have to relearn it. i guess the one thing about cardio, though, is that it crosses nearly all other major disease processes... so it'd never hurt to be "expert" in that area. what are your thoughts on this? do you get tired of the same ole same ole heart stuff? i'm thinking that cardio is diverse enough that you wouldnt get in a monotony rut, but how do you feel about that now? and i'm betting they compensate you well for being able to do such a variety of tasks.

    and i'm probably going to embarrass myself here, but i have a super hard time identifying/hearing murmurs and other abn heart sounds, i.e. ejection clicks, mvp. any pointers? did you buy those training cds to learn how to hear heart sounds? use a better stethoscope? i have a littmann card ii now. i can tell when a heart doesn't sound normal, but to determine if its a systolic, holosystolic, diastolic, stage ii or iv, im clueless. also... in terms of the devices you're responsible for... how'd you learn that? some mds i have known in the past simply call medtronics reps or whoever instead of dealing with it themselves... just curious as to how you go about training for that. esp since the hiring group is wanting someone to do these things.

    what things do you wish you had learned or focused on more while you were in school, before stepping into the cardiology role? tips? advice?

    Last edit by DaisyRN, ACNP on Jun 9, '07
  14. by   Kristiern1
    Hi Charlsie,

    I work in a cardiology practice that sounds a lot like the job you are considering.

    Congratulations. To answer some of your questions. The best way to feel confident about murmurs comes with time. Start with a good stethescope, quiet environment, stethescope to skin only not through clothes. Then start listening to anyone you can get your hands on. Repetition. Always think of your murmurs in regards to flow....is it systole or diastole? Where do you hear it best....does it radiate? to axilla, precordium, carotids, to back? Try to visualize the dynamics of the murmur...(so i hear this loud swoosh at the rsb when I should be hearing S1. so aortic valve murmur during systole...maybe AS) I was also worried starting out but with doing it over and over it becomes easier.

    Also, having a good rapport with your doc's and being able to say...."hey ...i hear something weird but not sure what it is. "

    As far as devices go, that has been the most challenging of all aspects of my job. Most of my training is on the job. Yes sometimes the reps help come run the clinic, however if you are going to be making treatment decisions based on their findings you are going to have to be familiar with all the functions of the devices as well.

    In my experience it was a whole new world. As a staff nurse I knew what to look for on EKG to assess capture and sensing. An could tell you what modes meant... VVI, DDD, DDIR etc.

    I did a lot of on the job training. Additionally most of the companies Boston Scientific, Medtronic and St. Jude offer additional training classes.

    We also do home monitoring of our CRT-D patients and also plain defibs.

    Sorry this is so long, but I would also before jumping in that position get a specific idea of what your daily responsibilities will be. If that doctor is already that busy you want to make sure what your expected hours etc will be. Good luck! If you have any further questions let me know.
    Kristie

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