Infusion Nurse

What Is an Infusion Nurse?

In short, infusion nurses focus their efforts on the administration of medications and fluids via an intravenous (IV) line, central line, or venous access port. Ensuring patients receive the appropriate IV for the treatment ordered, selecting and managing the appropriate equipment, maintaining arterial catheters, assessing the patient's response to intravenous therapy, and observing for potential drug complications are all central duties of the infusion nurse. In order to be effective at their job, these nurses must be skilled in performing venipuncture, possess extensive pharmacological knowledge, have meticulous documentation skills, be aware of proper infection control protocol, and have steady hands.

What Are Some Infusion Nurse Duties?

Common duties that infusion nurses are tasked with are likely to include the following:

  • Teach other nurses about intravenous access and periphery central line insertion
  • Educate patients and their loved ones about tubing and catheter management
  • Develop care plans with physicians and other members of the healthcare team
  • Perform blood transfusions, steroid infusions, intermittent chemotherapy infusions, electrolyte infusions, antibiotic infusions, and vitamin infusions
  • Provide education on the possible adverse effects that may occur because of therapy
  • Insert and maintain midlines or PICC lines
  • Administer fluid therapy and medication
  • Keep infection control and prevention a top priority
  • Monitor patients' IV lines and medication
  • Review pertinent lab data
  • Collaborate and communicate with ordering doctor throughout therapy
  • Perform line maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Prevent and control infection by keeping a close watch on the insertion area

Where Do Infusion Nurses Work?

Infusion nurses can be found in several medical environments, including:

  • Home health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory infusion centers
  • Private clinics and infusion centers
  • Long-term care agencies
  • Nursing homes

How to Become an Infusion Nurse

Infusion nursing starts by earning a nursing degree and becoming licensed. Once this has been accomplished, you will need to gain some experience - generally at least a year - in the realm of infusion nursing before you can gain the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) credential. Areas of medicine which will give nurses increased access to intravenous experience are geriatrics, oncology, pre- and post-operative surgical units, pediatrics, and intensive care units.

Step 1: Educational Requirements

To become an infusion nurse, the following educational requirements must be met:

  • Hold an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited college or university
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN examination
  • Hold an active, unrestricted RN license

Do Infusion Nurses Need an RN Degree?

Yes, to be an infusion nurse one must hold a valid and unrestricted RN license. An ADN or BSN degree is typically required for this role, with preference given to BSN-educated RNs.

Step 2: Required Infusion Nurse Certifications/Credentials

Registered nurses can acquire the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) credential through the nationally recognized Infusion Nurses Society. To be eligible to obtain this certification, you'll need to have fulfilled the following requirements prior to submitting your application:

  • Hold an active and unencumbered RN license
  • Have at least 1,600 hours of clinical experience in infusion therapy within the previous two years

Infusion Nurse Jobs, Salary & Employment

Rapid technological advances, an aging population, and an increasing amount of responsibilities falling onto RNs' shoulders all suggest that the high demand for infusion nurses will continue on into the foreseeable future.

Job Description & Information

  • Essential Skills Needed - Strong assessment abilities and monitoring skills, extensive knowledge of pharmacology & telemetry, excellent interpersonal communication skills, steady hands, ability to follow strict protocol, competency in working with different vascular devices, teamwork, patience, and excellent venipuncture skills
  • Job Outlook - The number of available job opportunities for RNs is projected to increase by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics - a rate that's substantially higher than growth rates for other professions. Because infusion nurses are RNs, they're likely to see job opportunities in their specialty field grow as well.

What Is the Average Salary of an Infusion Nurse?

According to PayScale, the average annual salary for an infusion nurse is approximately $71,565. In addition to their base salaries, it's common for infusion nurses to receive benefits packages from their employers which typically include medical insurance coverage, paid vacation/sick leave, and more. Factors that will contribute to the infusion nurse's earning potential and benefits packages include things like location, experience, and education level, amongst others.

How Much Do Infusion Nurses Make per Year?

  • $53,000 – $100,000 annually

How Much Do Infusion Nurses Make per Hour?

  • $34.02 average hourly wage

Infusion Nurse Resources