How to Become an IV Nurse

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IV nurses, also referred to an infusion or intravenous nurses, work with patients in a variety of settings who require infusion for disease or illness. They provide care by administering fluids, medication, or blood products through injections into patients' veins, or by maintaining arterial catheters, tubing and bandages. They also monitor patients for potential complications.

Things You'll Need

  • Nursing degree
  • License to practice nursing
  • Clinical infusion nursing experience
  • Infusion nurse certification

Become an IV Nurse

  • Obtain a minimum of an associate's degree in nursing (ASN). Although infusion certification does not require a bachelor's degree in nursing, it may increase the chances of finding a position with an infusion hospital department or infusion clinic. Obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) is recommended.

  • Obtain a nursing license to practice nursing. All states require a nurse to be licensed by their State Board of Nursing, who administers the nursing license exam. After passing the exam, the State Board of Nursing will award your license allowing you to practice as a registered nurse (RN). Renewal of a nursing license varies by state, but in most cases, it's renewed approximately every two years.

  • Apply for employment in hospitals, long-term care centers, clinics, and home health agencies that offer infusion or intravenous therapy. When applying for nursing opportunities related to IV therapy, express your interest in becoming an IV nurse. Certifications for IV nursing require experience in an IV therapy environment.

  • Obtain a minimum of 1,600 hours (40 full-time work days) of experience in an infusion therapy environment as a registered nurse. To obtain certification, nursing experience can include areas of nursing education, administration, research or clinical practice within the infusion specialty. Employment or education directly related to infusion therapy is required.

  • Obtain your Certified Registered nurse Intravenous (CRNI) certification. Certification can be obtained through the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation. To apply, requirements include the CRNI examination application form, CRNI examination clinical practice documentation and affirmation form, documentation of a current, active, unrestricted registered nurse license, and applicable fees. Exams are offered at 170 locations during the months of March and September. Certification sites can be found at the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation website.

Tips & Warnings

  • IV nurses who obtain their certification are more likely to be employed in this field. Because IV nursing requires specific infusion dosage and dedicated attention to their patients, certification ensures your ability to handle the responsibilities of the work. In April 2009, Salary.com reported an average salary of $68,808 per year for this occupation as compared to a general staff nurse average salary of $62,238 per year.
  • Consider all related costs which includes exam fees, certification fees, and continuing education. Also consider certification schedules and locations to incorporate your costs and scheduled goals to become an IV nurse.

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