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

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads
Platt College

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing Program*
  • Degrees: Associate

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: RN to MS - Nursing Informatics, M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics, DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP), Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP), Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Master

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

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

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Online - RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

  • Programs: MSN - Informatics (Online), MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online), RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online), more...
  • Degrees: Master
Unitek College

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: Associate of Science in Nursing, Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Certificate
Brightwood College
Salida, 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: Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Diploma
National Career College
Panorama City, Van Nuys

Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.

  • Programs: Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • 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:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104