An ambulatory care nurse refers to a nursing professional who treats patients in an outpatient care setting. This means treating non-emergency patients who need routine medical care in a health clinic, urgent care facility, medical office, or another healthcare setting that doesn't require overnight stays. Careers in ambulatory care nursing are often less stressful and not as fast-paced as nursing careers that require working inside of a hospital. Often, ambulatory care nurses carry out routine care, tend to injuries, and help to treat chronic or acute illnesses for specific kinds of patients. For example, they may be employed as a nurse at a women's health clinic or at pediatrician's private practice. Ambulatory care nurses should have a comprehensive clinical knowledge base which spans across multiple disciplines.
Because ambulatory care nurses have a remarkably diverse set of day-to-day tasks, the following list of duties are just a small snapshot of what they might perform:
Ambulatory care nurses enjoy a wide variety of employment settings due to the broad nature of their work. They can be found in just about any medical setting where patients come in and out the same day. Typical workplaces include:
Because the kind of care they provide is so broad, licensed registered nurses with any kind of nursing background can become ambulatory care nurses. Individuals who would rather not work during strange hours in fast-paced, high-stress environments would be well suited for ambulatory care nursing. After finishing an accredited RN degree program and then passing the NCLEX-RN exam, nurses can immediately work in entry-level ambulatory nursing care.
Ambulatory care nurses are nursing professionals who have earned either an ADN or BSN degree. Some employing organizations will require licensed RNs to have earned a BSN or higher. For recently graduated RNs, ambulatory nursing can be an excellent starting point to gain more experience and explore particular nursing fields and specialties.
Yes, ambulatory care nurses are licensed registered nurses (RNs) who work in some kind of outpatient healthcare setting (i.e. physician office, outpatient surgery center, urgent care clinic, community health clinic, etc.). Their duties encompass a wide range of tasks that fall in the scope of practice of a Registered Nurse.
Certification in ambulatory care nursing is accessible via the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which is a division of the American Nurses Association (ANA). To become eligible to take the Ambulatory Care Nurse Certification Exam, offered by The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, individuals must:
The field of ambulatory care nursing is extremely broad. Because the ambulatory care nursing specialty is so incredibly diverse, the employment outlook is particularly promising. Outpatient procedures are becoming more and more common across the healthcare industry, which in turn makes ambulatory care nurses more desirable. These nurses shouldn't have much trouble finding gainful employment in a wide variety of nursing employment sectors.
According to PayScale, ambulatory care nurses make an average hourly wage of $28.35. Annual salaries range between $44,102 and $124,157 and will depend upon the city and state the nurse is employed in, how much experience they have, their level of education, and the employing organization. The vast majority of ambulatory care nurses who are employed full-time will enjoy medical, dental, vision, and prescription insurance coverage in their employee benefits packages. Some will also have the chance to buy life insurance policies. A couple of weeks of paid time off is also common, although it will depend on the employing organization's policies.