Cardiac rehab help

  1. I am an aspiring cardiac rehab nurse, and I have a few questions:

    1. would an associates degree be enough, or do most places actually want the bachelors?

    2. Do most hospitals help pay (tuition reimbursement) for associates degree nurses to get their bachelors? And on another note, are online RN-to-BSN programs good, or is it recommended to do an on campus one?

    3. Where would one start before going to cardiac rehab? Do ICU, CCU, and Telemetry units really prepare you for Cardiac rehab, and do they take on associates degree nurses anyway?

    I know this was all a lot. Any answers to any of those questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Pangea Reunited
    Quote from JBonnn10
    I am an aspiring cardiac rehab nurse, and I have a few questions:

    1. would an associates degree be enough, or do most places actually want the bachelors?

    2. Do most hospitals help pay (tuition reimbursement) for associates degree nurses to get their bachelors? And on another note, are online RN-to-BSN programs good, or is it recommended to do an on campus one?

    3. Where would one start before going to cardiac rehab? Do ICU, CCU, and Telemetry units really prepare you for Cardiac rehab, and do they take on associates degree nurses anyway?

    I know this was all a lot. Any answers to any of those questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
    1. Depends on the market where you're located.
    2. Some do, but I wouldn't say "most". Online seems pretty well-accepted.
    3. I don't know about that specialty, but the ASN verses BSN comes down to location, again. In saturated markets, employers are more likely to require (or heavily favor) BSNs. In less saturated markets, it doesn't make much of a difference.
  4. by   JBonnn10
    Thank you!
  5. by   JBonnn10
    I anyone else has any answers/advice that would be greatly appreciated too!
  6. by   HouTx
    This is a great career field for nurses. It's not one that most new nurses aspire to, so I'm wondering how OP came to this decision.

    Probably the best source of information is the Cardiac Rehab Professional Association... it was recently recognized by ANCC as a national certification for nurses. The web site has a very nice outline of specific areas of competence and links to resources for additional development. A BSN and about 6 months of CV rehab experience is required for certification, so this should be factored in to your decision.

    Best of luck on your nursing journey
  7. by   JBonnn10
    I came about this interest because I was originally interested in PT but I shadowed a hospital CR and liked it way more. Thanks for the help!
  8. by   heinz57
    A BSN would or should be preferred. You might be working with Exercise Physiologists who have Masters degrees and Respiratory Therapists with Bachelors or Masters.

    PTs who work in Acute Rehab and TBIs or Sports Medicine are great but most must have their doctorate for these positions and their own office setting.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Since cardiac rehab is not exactly a coveted specialty in the area where I reside, nurses are still being hired into this niche with associate degrees. However, the BSN would open up a greater number of opportunities.

    Hospital systems in the area where I live do offer tuition assistance. However, the amount is so trivial that I wouldn't count on it paying for much of anything.
  10. by   sunnyskies9
    1. would an associates degree be enough, or do most places actually want the bachelors? BSN's are almost always preferred over associates degree RN's

    2. Do most hospitals help pay (tuition reimbursement) for associates degree nurses to get their bachelors? And on another note, are online RN-to-BSN programs good, or is it recommended to do an on campus one? My hospital has tuition reimbursement. Depends on the hospital and how much money they have. I never had an associate's degree, went straight for the BSN.

    3. Where would one start before going to cardiac rehab? Do ICU, CCU, and Telemetry units really prepare you for Cardiac rehab, and do they take on associates degree nurses anyway? Yes, I highly recommend acute care experience first. Definitely on a tele unit at the very least. Even working in the cath lab would give you great experience, although I don't believe new grads are hired into the cath lab. Cardiac obs units, and I would be willing to bet maybe even cardiac step downs would take new grads.

    Also, unrelated, but I definitely recommend going the RN route as opposed to the EP route if you are interested in working CR. EP's need a master's to work in CR and don't make any more than the RN's do. RN's also have more clout and say with regards to pt care. Good luck!

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