IV therapy nurse(?)


Hi all!

I am looking for per diem work after a 12 year recess, (home schooling kids; still doing that). I want a good low stress job; can anyone tell me about being an IV therapy nurse? I have literally never started an IV but I used to be good at blood draws and did bolus IV's on cardiothoracic stepdown unit years ago....


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

That's a pretty plum job for those nurses experienced in IV.

What refresher course do you plan to take? I would make sure it includes IV/Phleb.


15 Posts

I already took the refresher course; it was on a rehab floor with no IV/phleb. Do you think it is a waste of time for me to apply?

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

Honestly...You have to be highly skilled at IV starts in all types of patients.You are called for the starts no one else can get or even want to try.Also many do not realize it is more than just starting IVs.There is a vast amount of knowledge required to deliver care based on evidence and you must know the current standard of care. Vascular access nurses are now placing many types of central lines and must be able to identify and work with all of them.You must also know all about extravastions and the current treatment for each type. Many believe it's an easy job but when I take a nurse with me for a day they are shocked at all the calls I get and what it entails.Its exhausting running around all day, backed up with calls and the nurses always want you right away because a med is due, surgery or cat lab ot CT is waiting. You also are placing PICCS and IJs. Depending upon how the team sets it up you may be doing all of these things in a shift or you can divide the work load by type of job. You are getting new requests constantly so you are constantly having to decide to stick to your current plan of attack or refuge it

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

I don't want to discourage you if you have an interest and love the thought of it. I just want you to realize it will require a lot more than you think of both clinical time and studying.You should buy a good IV book such as the one INS sells or Plumbers Principles and Practices and prepare to read.Then take a 2 day introductory PICC COURSE


15 Posts

Oh no; I'm so glad that you told me all of that. I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet. I will keep it in mind for the future though. Thank you!

RNperdiem, RN

4,572 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

I'll second what the above posters have said.

Maybe you can look at per diem at the last place you worked? Getting back into nursing after a long break is not easy.

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.


I am a per-diem IV nurse, but I had 12 years of IV experience prior to starting that role. I would definitely suggest you work in an area that puts a lot of IVs in before you get on a team. As others have said its more than doing IVs and it would not be a good job for someone with no PIV insertion experience!!

I would not bother watching PICC training videos, unless they are free. Most IV teams will not train you to insert PICCs until they know you are staying for the long hall!

I enjoy it, but I am looking for another full time job in an ICU or other critical care setting, ideally in a pediatric setting. I am getting bored already and I have only been doing it for a year once a week, although I will say it is low stress most of the time, but as someone else said not when you have back to back pages waiting! My team is pretty good at helping each other out and during the day there are three on, and two in the evening (we do not do any PICCs or Midlines in evening) Good luck.


TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
I have literally never started an IV
As others have mentioned, you'd need to be very proficient at starting IVs if you wished to accept a position as an IV nurse. It is not an appropriate job for one who has never successfully started an IV line because you'll be the resource for those nurses who cannot start the IV. It would be like the blind leading the blind.

Good luck to you!