Neuroscience Nurse

What Is a Neuroscience Nurse?

The nervous system is perhaps the most complex and important system in the human body. Injury or dysfunction to this system can have devasting consequences for the afflicted. Neuroscience nurses are nursing professionals who care for patients who have problems related to the nervous system. These nurses play an integral role in assessing, diagnosing, and managing the disease process in patients who are experiencing a wide variety of neurological issues. Common illness that neuroscience nurses my encounter in the nursing practice include Parkinson's disease, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, strokes and other brain injuries, dementia, spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, birth defects that have affected the nervous system, and others.

What Are Some Neuroscience Nurse Duties?

Some of the duties carried out by neuroscience nurses include:

  • Assist in the administration of medication
  • Evaluate and identify the needs of the patient
  • Take comprehensive patient history
  • Assess the patient's response to various treatments
  • Communicate and collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team
  • Assist patients with physical rehabilitation
  • Carry out physical and neurological examinations
  • Comfort family and loved ones of the patient
  • Assist physicians during diagnostic procedures like CT scans and MRIs
  • Educate and provide informative resources to patients and their loved ones
  • Come up with strategies to help patients manage and live with their disabilities
  • Document treatment processes

Where Do Neuroscience Nurses Work?

Neuroscience nurses often find employment in the following settings:

  • Neuro-imaging centers
  • Stroke rehabilitation clinics
  • Hospitals (stroke units)
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Neurology centers
  • Elder care facilities
  • Private practice

H2: How to Become a Neuroscience Nurse

Neuroscience is one of the most complex and difficult to learn disciplines in the biomedical science field. Those who are considering becoming a neuroscience nurse should have an exceptional understanding of the inner workings of the nervous system as well as the potential pathologies that may arise from it. Technological capability is also important in neuroscience nursing since most of the equipment used in the field of neuroscience has come about due to recent advances in technology.

Step 1: Educational Requirements

Individuals who are considering a career as a neuroscience nurse should be prepared to first earn an ADN or BSN degree, with the BSN strongly preferred. After completing an accredited nursing program, the next step is to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain licensure. After this, some experience in the field will be required. Once everything has been completed, you will then be permitted to sit for the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse examination.

Do Neuroscience Nurses Need an RN Degree?

Neuroscience nurses will need to hold an unencumbered RN license and have some experience in the field in order to obtain a specialty certification as a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN). The complexity of the specialty means that a BSN at minimum will be preferred, though ADN-educated nurses may work in the role on occasion.

Step 2: Required Neuroscience Nurse Certifications/Credentials

Those looking to become certified as neuroscience nurses can do so through the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) or the American Board of Neuroscience Nurses.

If you opt for certification through the AANN, in order to be eligible to take the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) exam, you will need to have two years of full-time experience with direct or indirect neuroscience nursing at a minimum. Direct experience involves working in a clinical setting directly with patients, whereas indirect experience can be defined as administrative, research, or consultations within some kind of neuroscience setting.

To be eligible for The American Board of Neuroscience Nurses certification in neuroscience nursing you must have the following:

  • Have a current and unencumbered RN license
  • Have two years of indirect or direct nursing experience in the field of stroke care or neuroscience within the previous five years before applying for certification

Neuroscience Nursing Jobs, Salary & Employment

Because of modern technology, the discipline of neuroscience is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the biomedical sciences. Individuals who are interested in a career as a neuroscience nurse should have an intense interest in the functionality of the human nervous system (i.e. the brain, spinal cord, and nerve cells). Neuroscience nurses should also have a vast nursing science knowledge base and should be well skilled in a number of different areas. Because the field of neuroscience is dynamic and everchanging, neuroscience nurses will need to be constantly continuing their education in the field to stay current on all emerging trends and developments.

Job Description & Information

  • Essential Skills Needed - Strong research skills, technical capability, attention to detail, empathy, compassion, patience, excellent interpersonal communication skills, and a penchant for learning
  • Job Outlook - The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated employment rates for RNs to rise by 16% between 2014 and 2024. Due to the rapid advances in neuroscientific technology and an aging population, the neuroscience nursing field is quite likely to grow at a faster rate than this

What Is the Average Salary of a Neuroscience Nurse?

According to PayScale, Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurses (CNRN) make an average yearly salary of about $123,000. Of course, this figure will vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the number years of clinical experience the nurse has, the city or state they are employed in, their education levels and certifications, and their employer. The same factors will also determine the benefits that a CNRN receives. Full-time CNRNs can expect to receive dental, medical, vision, prescription and sometimes life insurance coverage in their employment packages. A couple to a few weeks of paid time off every year is also normal for this professional, although this will also depend on the employer.

How Much Do Neuroscience Nurses Make per Year?

  • $61,000 – $135,000 annually

How Much Do Neuroscience Nurses Make per Hour?

  • $35.34 average hourly wage

Neuroscience Nurse Resources