A career as a transplant nurse puts students on the cutting edge of technology and science. Thanks to breakthroughs in our understanding of organ transplantation, the field of transplants has expanded greatly in recent years. Transplant nurses are responsible for patient care and education throughout the transplant process. They coordinate closely with doctors to educate patients on the process of obtaining donor organs, proper preparation for transplant surgery, the transplantation operation and post-operative care in avoiding rejection. The transplant nurse works very closely with the patient throughout every step, evaluating patient health, safety, and awareness from beginning to end. Transplant nurses work with patients of all ages and a variety of conditions and collaborate with doctors and experts in many different fields of science.
In order to become a transplant nurse, a student must obtain a registered nurse (RN) certification through an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s of science in nursing. Once a nursing degree has been obtained, a transplant nurse must pass an examination in order to become a certified transplant nurse. The American Board for Transplant Certification administers the CCTN (certified clinical transplant nurse) examination and several other variations depending on what role the nurse wishes to fill in the clinic. To qualify for the exam, a nurse must have relevant experience and pay applicable fees in order to take the examination.
Transplant nurses, like all nurses, are in high demand and enjoy high median salaries and job stability. The median average salary for a transplant nurse, according to Salary.com, is $74,000 per year. Hospitals are the main area where transplant nurses find employment as they are usually the only facilities set up to handle the technology and coordination necessary for transplants. The excellent pay and stability a career in transplant nursing provides make it an attractive specialty for any nurse who wishes to meet a variety of different patients and get to know them personally over an extended period of time. As the field continues to expand, transplant nurses should continue to enjoy new opportunities and steady employment in the future.