Difference between Cardiac RN and Cardiovascular Technologist

Specialties Cardiac


Hello everyone ,

I was just doing some research into Health Science programs at VCC and had a couple questions. Was thinking about going into cardiac nursing, but didnt know whether I should start off into the Cardiovascular Technology program or RN program (cross train) first . What do you guys think ? Whats the difference between a Cardiac RN and a Cardiovascular Technologist anyways ?


99 Posts

Specializes in Cardiology.

CVT and RN are two completely different programs. Most CVT programs offer an invasive (cath lab) and noninvasive (echo and vascular ultrasound) track.

CVT school follows more of a medical model; cardiovascular techs' focus is on assisting the physician in diagnosing and treating heart disease. Basics of pharmacology, other organ systems, and patient care are covered, but classes and clinicals are focused on cardiovascular pathophysiology and instrumentation. It's a technical degree; most jobs do not entail a lot of hands-on care aside of performing specific procedures. Professional credentials include RDCS, RCS, and RVT (noninvasive) and RCIS (invasive); google these to get an idea of the content you can expect.

Nursing education is centered on the nursing process of assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. You will learn a lot of skills, but nursing is about much more than just performing a series of tasks. It's about applying a broad base of knowledge in the context of a given patient's level of health, age, learning cultural background, spiritual beliefs, family status -- the "whole person." It's broader-based and there are many more options than CVT in terms of specialization and advanced education.

Entry-level CVT and RN salaries are pretty close. With either, your earning potential will rise with experience, specialized training, and willingness to take call or work per diem. It's all a matter of what you're good at and what interests you.

HTH! :twocents:

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X