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Ambulatory Care Nurse

Ambulatory care nurses work in a variety of settings, including community health centers, call centers, outpatient medical clinics and physician’s offices, but their job title is defined by the fact that they do not work in an inpatient setting. They specialize in preventive care, or helping patients to take the steps necessary in order to live healthy lives, as well as treat certain injuries and illnesses in patients. Ambulatory care nurses are also known to work in telehealth, a relatively new area of health care in which nurses council patients over the phone, the Internet or via videoconference, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ambulatory nurses serve in such varying capacities that employers will have vastly different education requirements for these particular RNs and LPNs. A cursory search of online ambulatory care job postings reveals that most will at the very least require a nursing diploma, while others ask candidates to have attained an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In a few cases, a master’s degree is preferred. For instance, a nurse practitioner who works solely on an outpatient basis works in ambulatory care, but will need education suitable for an advanced practice nurse. However, a nurse working from a call center may only need a nursing diploma or an associate in nursing.

Salaries for ambulatory care nurses will vary greatly by education level, certification level and the demands of the outpatient setting. However, to give you an idea of possible earnings, the average RN earns about $27.59 an hour working in an ambulatory surgery center at a hospital, according to Payscale.com. An LPN earns $18.40 an hour in the same setting. Jobs in telehealth have posted entry-level salaries of about $58,500 for RNs, while LPN positions in telehealth have posted entry-level salaries of $37,500. These are just a few examples. Ambulatory nurses also enjoy the unique opportunity to respond quickly to a high volume of patients in a short period of time.