Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine which focuses on ocular (eye) health. Ophthalmic nurses assist in preventing, diagnosing, and treating patients who are suffering from eye injuries or diseases like blindness, cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, macular degeneration, scratched corneas, and more. These nurses work directly with ophthalmologists to treat infants, children, and adult patients. Generally, however, because our eyes are more susceptible to disorders and degenerative diseases as we age, most of the patients that ophthalmic nurses work with are elderly individuals. Some ophthalmic nurses will choose to work in a sub-specialty like pediatric ophthalmology.
Some duties carried out by ophthalmic nurses include:
Ophthalmic nurses treat patients with eye issues in a variety of settings, to include:
As of today, ophthalmic nursing isn't the most popular of specializations among nursing professionals. However, this means that the demand for ophthalmic nurses is higher than other specializations in the field. Those who aspire to become ophthalmic nursing professionals should obtain the necessary education as the primary step toward reaching their career goals.
Ophthalmic nurses begin their careers by first becoming registered nurses. In order to gain your license as a registered nurse, the first obstacle you must tackle is to earn a nursing degree from an accredited university or college. This can be either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN), although the latter is typically preferred by employers. While in school, if you're looking to specialize in ophthalmology, think about concentrating your studies on the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the eyes. When you have earned your degree and passed the NCLEX exam, you then are eligible to become a fully licensed RN. The last step before you can obtain your Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO) is to gain at least two years or 4,000 hours of hands-on clinical experience of nursing in an ophthalmology setting. After you have accumulated these hours, you're ready to go.
Ophthalmic nurses will need to hold an unencumbered RN license and have some experience in the field in order to obtain a specialty Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO).
Aspiring ophthalmic nurses will eventually need gain the Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO) via the National Certification Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (NCBORN), which is an independently incorporated agency that's supported by the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses.
In order to be eligible for Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO) you will need to have the following:
As the elderly population grows, ophthalmic nurses and other professionals in the field are expected to be in high demand. Furthermore, because the ophthalmic nursing specialty isn't quite as popular as many of the other specialties in the nursing field, chances are that once you have the education and credentials, you won't have much trouble finding a position as an ophthalmic nurse.
ZipRecruiter reports that ophthalmic nurses make an average annual salary of about $50,996. The salaries of ophthalmic nurses will vary widely and depend on the following factors: amount of clinical experience as an RN in the field, employing organization, location of employment (i.e. city and state), education levels, credentials, and certifications. Ophthalmic nurses who are employed full-time will enjoy benefits packages which normally will include medical, dental, vision, prescription, and in some cases life insurance coverage. Again, depending on the employer, ophthalmic nurses should also receive a few weeks of annual paid time off.