Career Story: Nurse Practitioner In A Cardiac Unit

Nurse Practitioner In A Cardiac Unit

Job Title: Nurse Practitioner

Type of Company: A large urban hospital.

Education: BSN, Niagara University •• MS, Boston College •• Nurse Practitioner Certificate, University of Massachusetts

Previous Experience: I was a staff nurse for seven years, a nursing supervisor for three and I've been an advanced practice nurse for the past 15 years.

Job Tasks: I take care of people who have end-stage heart failure. Most of them are waiting for a heart transplant. Since the waiting time can range from months to more than a year, we often implant a heart pump -- a left ventricular assist device or "LVAD" -- to supplement the work of the enfeebled tissue. There are short-term pumps, used for weeks to months, and long-term pumps which will work a few years. Some are internal, others are external, and the device we choose for any given patient depends on several factors. My role is to brief the patients and their families on the surgery involved and the difficulties afterwards of living on a heart pump. Most people are able to go home on the LVAD. I meet them before the surgery, see them while they are in the hospital and continue to care for them after they go home. It is challenging and very rewarding work.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I get to know the people and their families very well. We develop a close working relationship while they are going through the process.

The worst part of the job is some of my patients have serious complications, like a stroke and some don't survive.

Job Tips: I would recommend working for a few years before going back to school for an advanced degree. The clinical experience gives you a foundation to draw from.

Additional Thoughts: The great part of nursing is that it gives you so many opportunities to work in different environments, with a wide variety of work schedules, and many different areas in which to broaden and shape your experience. You can have jobs with lots of patient contact or work in an area that is more procedure-based, like the operating room.

The most important personal qualities for success are an ability to work well under pressure, to deal with many different types of people and develop long-term relationships with them.

Popular Schools offering Rn Registered Nursing Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing Online
  • Degrees: Master
UEI College
Chula Vista

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Nursing , Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Degrees: Doctorate
Brightwood College
San Diego, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Nursing , Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

  • Programs: M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics, RN to BS, RN to MS - Nursing Informatics, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Doctorate
Unitek College
Concord, Fremont, Hayward, Sacramento, San Jose, South San Francisco

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Certificate

Get the hands-on training you need to succeed at Blake Austin College.

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Registered Nurses

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including:

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104