Intake nurses -- sometimes also called admission nurses -- are the first caregiver a patient will encounter during a hospital stay. Although not every hospital uses an intake nurse, those that do provide the patient and the clinical team with a dedicated professional who handles basic triage and acclimates the patient to the medical center.
Intake nurses evaluate incoming patients to determine the severity of their illnesses and the intensity of services they will require while in the hospital. Most often, an intake nurse is associated with a patient-placement department or a dedicated admissions unit. The nurse will be the first caregiver that spends a significant amount of time with the patient, collecting medical-history information and discussing medication histories and a likely plan of care. The intake nurse will also give the patient information about what to expect during her stay.
An intake nurse requires a minimum of a nursing license. However, given the more complex decision-making that an intake nurse must exercise, many hospitals require intake nurses to have either a bachelor's degree in nursing or a minimum of five years' experience as a bedside RN.
Skills and Experience
A successful admission nurse will be skilled at "processing" patients -- that is, working with one patient and then sending her off to another nurse's care. Intake areas are often fast-paced and require good judgment to determine the initial course of the patient's care. For that reason, intake nurses in inpatient settings are usually more experienced; new nursing graduates may not have the skills needed to be successful in an intake role.
Although workloads vary according to the hospital's volume, a normal intake nurse should expect to see three or more patients per hour during a normal shift, for comprehensive admission reviews, and six or more patients per hour for basic triage and evaluation.
Compensation and Outlook
Many hospitals pay intake nurses slightly more than a normal bedside nurse, because of the mix of skills the role requires and the experience level of the average intake nurse. Although nursing in general is an in-demand job, intake nursing is highly dependent on the culture of a specific hospital--not all hospitals use intake nurses, and some hospitals have closed their admission units in recent years.
- Angela Hospice: Admission Nurse Job Description
- Siehoff, Alice, RN, et al.; "Improving Patient Admissions with Dedicated Admission Nurses;" Journal of Nursing Administration; 2008.
- Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, may work in a hospital, a clinic, a nursing home or even in the patient's home....
Liaison Nurse Job Description
A liaison nurse, or nurse liaison, is a position that requires a diverse skill set and is often found in rehabilitation, hospice...
What Is an Intake Coordinator's Job Description?
Whether in health care, housing, insurance or another field, an intake coordinator helps people gain access to services. The actual job duties...
Admissions Coordinator Job Description
A college admissions coordinator plays an integral role in reviewing student applications and deciding who gets accepted to a school. Primary duties...
Hospice Nurse Job Description
A hospice nurse has obtained some type of nursing certification and then pursued a career in a hospice center or as a...
Triage Nurse Job Description
Triage nurses are most often found in the emergency room of a hospital dealing directly with patient care. Triage nurses are the...
Intake Assistant Job Description
Intake assistants work in a variety of fields, from healthcare and social services to retail, helping to streamline the flow of new...
Skilled Nursing Job Descriptions
A nurse provides care for injured or ill individuals. Nurses do everything from take a patient's blood pressure to helping a patient...
The Average Salary of an Admissions Coordinator
Admissions coordinators are responsible for screening and admitting patients into assisted living, independent living, hospice care and other nursing home facilities. These...
The Duties of a Clinic Nurse
A clinical nurse is a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) that provides inpatient care at hospitals or health care...
Nursing Home Admission Coordinator Duties
Placing a loved one in a long-term facility such as a nursing home is a difficult decision. In some cases, the patient...
Job Duties at a Pre-Admission Clinic
A pre-admission clinic is a medical facility that patients are sent to prior to surgery to make sure that the patients are...