How to Become a Cardiac Nurse Specialist

Millions in the world are facing some heart problems. It is one of the most common causes of death the medical world is witnessing each year throughout the globe. Death is usually in the form of a heart attack, which occurs due to a failure in the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

Various problems pave the way for heart attack, which includes high blood pressure, stroke, angina, cholesterol levels, diabetes, hypertension, etc. Early care and treatment followed with regular checkups of these ailments are necessary to save heart attack.

Therefore, it is essential to have certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in every medical organization. CNA plays a vital role in this life-saving care and treatments.

Cardiac nurses who are registered nurses, provide cardiac care nursing. They work in intensive care and coronary care units of public and private hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers. They take care of patients suffering from cardiac problems and work according to the guidance and instruction of cardiologists. May heart disease cases are registered in hospitals and clinics each day, month, and year.

Therefore, the demand for cardiac care nurses is increasing. The best part of this job profile is that cardiac nurses are paid more as compared to the certified nursing assistant (CNA).

Eligibility Requirements

To become a cardiac care nurse, a registered nurse license is necessary. You must have worked continuously as a registered nurse for two years.

Also, within the last three years of your working, you must have at least worked for 2000 hours in a coronary care unit. There is also a need to testify that you have taken continuous education of a minimum of 30 hours in cardiac vascular nursing in this same period.

Qualification Required

When you meet the eligibility conditions, you can then decide which course to take to pursue a cardiac nursing career. The options are Associates’ Degree Program, Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, and a Diploma Course.

If you want to work for cardiac patients while studying, you can pick Associates’ Degree Program. Enrollment in this program will allow you to work at an entry-level position in a coronary ward in hospitals.

If you want to prepare yourself with complete knowledge of cardiac nursing care and treatments, a four-year Bachelor’s Program is for you. If you’re going to study while being in your position, you can pick a Diploma Course and complete it three to five years as a part-time course.

Further, you have an additional certification course offered by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA).

Any of these certifications will testify your specialty knowledge of cardiac nursing care. Moreover, it will help you in building your confidence as a professional care provider since you have met all the standards required to work in coronary care units.


Many nursing schools and colleges offer cardiac nursing care education. Like all other courses related to healthcare, it is compulsory to rectify the accreditation of the course by the state nursing board. The accreditation training programs end with an exam.

After graduating, you have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination so that you are employable as a registered nurse.

Since the examination procedures and methods of evaluation differ among states, doing a local exam is compulsory if you are planning to relocate to another state. If relocation is on the card, collect information on complete requirements from the state board of nursing.


Since registered nurses are only qualified candidates to take a cardiac nursing care career, you must have a valid RN license. To obtain certification, you can either pick the certification offered by the PCNA, American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC), or the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Certification from any of this reputed organization will testify your ability and skills to take responsibility for cardiac nurse care.

The validity period of certification is different for each state. Mostly, you will have to renew it every two or three years as expected by the state you are practicing in.


Cardiac care units are places where people with specialized training work. It needs additional skills and training. Since patients with heart disease are at high risk, it is essential to have training in basic and advanced cardiac life support.

Besides, the candidate interested in becoming a cardiac nurse must have good years of work experience as a registered nurse.

Nursing Schools, colleges, and universities offer the courses that prepare you for a cardiac nursing career. The best education provided in this life support category is by the American College of Cardiovascular Nurses. You can specialize either in rehabilitative cardiac nursing or cardiac emergency procedure.

Job Opportunities

The death toll due to heart diseases is rising each year. Millions of people are being admitted to hospitals and rehabilitation centers to cure the ailment. Every adult, kid, and an older person has to undergo a cure and treatments for this disease at least once in his/her life.

To provide cardiac nursing care to such a population, it will take more trained and qualified nurses. Once the training and examination are completed, a cardiac nurse can work in cardiac centers, hospitals, coronary care units, and in hospitals where they can be located in emergency units.

There will be a 29% rise in cardiac nurse jobs until 2020. Career advancement opportunities are also many if the cardiac nurse completes a master’s degree in cardiovascular nursing. Once you are qualified, you can also take teaching, consultancy, or work in some research activities.

Cardiac care nursing career needs specialization training and a registered nurse degree. Besides, it also requires years of experience and clinical practice in a coronary ward. The state nursing board also obligates candidates to have 30 hours of continuing education related to heart care.