Telemetry nurses work with medical equipment that’s used to monitor vital patient data, most often an electrocardiogram which monitors a patient’s heart rate and rhythm.
To effectively care for patients, telemetry nurses must have technical expertise and advanced medical knowledge of conditions that require a high level of monitoring like heart attacks, stroke, and cardiovascular issues. While telemetry nurses can work in progressive care units, the specialty is commonly paired with med-surg roles across various hospital units.
According to the National Telemetry Association, the demand for telemetry nurses is growing faster than that for nonspecialized registered nurses which is leading to higher salaries.
Telemetry nurse salary
According to PayScale, the average annual salary for telemetry nurses is $63,077, and the average hourly rate is $31.54. This translates to an average weekly salary between $1,213 to $1,261. In comparison, travel telemetry nurses earn a gross average weekly salary of $1,608 according to NurseFly data.
In addition to a base salary, which can include overtime pay, travel nurses may also receive tax-free stipends if they can claim a permanent tax home. These stipends often cover a housing allowance and per diems for meals or other incidentals. For this reason travel nurse compensation is frequently higher than equivalent staff positions.
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Telemetry Nurse FAQs
What are the best agencies for Telemetry Nurse jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most Telemetry Nurse jobs are TaleMed (1292), American Mobile Healthcare (1043), and trustaff (887).
How Much Do Telemetry Nurse Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Saturday, September 19th 2020, the average weekly pay for Telemetry Nurse jobs is $1,813, but can pay up to $3,497 per week. In 2020, Telemetry Nurses jobs on Nursefly paid a gross average weekly pay of $1,810 per week working an average of 36 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, and housing which add up to an average value of $1,326 per week.
- min - $750
- avg - $1,813
- max - $3,497
What skills make a good telemetry nurse?
Technical expertise, excellent assessment skills, and the ability to quickly respond to interpreted data and administer appropriate care are primary job requirements. Because telemetry nurses are typically responsible for multiple patients, they must have strong multitasking skills and the ability to coordinate well with multi-disciplinary teams. Compassion and interpersonal skills are also highly desirable.
What do telemetry nurses do?
Telemetry nurses use a variety of technical medical equipment, like an ECG, to monitor a patient’s heart rate/rhythm, blood pressure, respiration, oxygen saturation, and other vital data. The patients they work with are often at high risk of complications, so telemetry nurses must carefully review all data to detect any potential signs of distress. They also perform traditional nursing tasks, such as administering medications, dressing wounds, and admitting/discharging patients.
Some of the equipment that telemetry nurses use includes:
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
Respiratory rate monitor
Blood pressure monitor
Where do telemetry nurses work?
Telemetry nurses most often work at hospitals in a telemetry unit, which is essentially a med-surg floor where patients require heart monitors. Although it is less common, they may also work in a step-down unit where patients who’ve left the intensive care unit need their vital signs closely monitored in case critical care becomes necessary. They may also work in clinical, outpatient, and long-term care facilities.
How to become a telemetry travel nurse
Telemetry travel nurses must be registered nurses. This requires a two-year associate degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which can make candidates more competitive in the field. Nursing school graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed RNs, and for those looking to work as travel telemetry nurses, at least one year of experience is typically required, but two is preferred.
Many hospitals also require RNs to earn telemetry certification. One option is the Progressive Care Certified Nurse certification from the AACN, which can be earned after working with acutely ill patients for 1,750 hours over two years or 2,000 hours over five years. Another option is the National Telemetry Association certification after passing the Telemetry Certification in Cardiac Arrhythmia Interpretation exam.