Endoscopy registered nurse salary & career outlook

Endoscopy nurse

Nursing will contribute more jobs to the economy than any other occupation between 2008 and 2018, reports the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). An aging population and increasing demand for medical services will drive this trend, which promises to put 581,500 new registered nurses in hospitals and clinics in the 2008-2018 period. Endoscopy registered nurses are among the specialty caregivers to benefit from historic demand.

A look at endoscopy registered nurse careers

Endoscopy registered nurses assist in endoscopy procedures, enabling the visual examination of gastro-intestinal organs for diagnostic purposes. The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) defines endoscopy nursing as "the nursing care of patients with known or suspected GI problems who are undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic endoscopic procedures." Some of the conditions for which endoscopy is useful are colon cancer, food allergies, celiac disease and ulcers.

Caring for patients undergoing endoscopy takes a specialized skill set. Endoscopy registered nurses work together with doctors, endoscopy technicians and instrument technicians on a GI surgery team. Their role ranges from advanced tasks, such as performing an endoscopic screening to managing the equipment. Endoscopy nurses may help:

  • Obtain biopsy samples
  • Remove polyps (polypectomy)
  • Provide hemostasis
  • Inject medicines
  • Band or sclerose varices
  • Place a PEG tube
  • Maintain endoscopy equipment

Registered nurses train for the career by pursuing a registered nursing diploma or an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. To specialize in gastroenterological nursing, students can attend endoscopy registered nurse schools or take elective coursework in endoscopy nursing.

Registered nurse career outlook

Endoscopy registered nurses can expect excellent career prospects, according to the Mayo Clinic. The BLS backs up this forecast with general data for registered nurses. Between 2008 and 2018, registered nurses can expect 22 percent job growth, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth rate will be highest in physicians' offices (48 percent). Nurses trained in a nursing specialty will experience especially high demand, reports the BLS.

The Department of Labor identifies the cities with the highest concentration of nursing jobs:

  • Rochester, Minnesota: 67 per 1000 workers
  • Gainesville, Florida: 43 per 1000
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: 40 per 1000

Endoscopy registered nurse salary: 2010 and beyond

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned an average annual salary of $66,530 in 2009. Salary.com confirms this figure, reporting a 2011 median salary of $67,720. The place of employment affects the salary expectation, according to BLS; medical and surgical hospitals pay the best, at $68,610, while nursing care facilities offer a lower salary of $59,990. Endoscopy registered nurses may command a higher salary than non-specialist RNs.

Geographical location influences earning power. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the top-paying states for registered nursing, citing 2010 average salary data:

  • California, $87,480
  • Massachusetts, $84,990
  • Hawaii, $82,130

The most economically advantageous places for an endoscopy registered nursing career boast both high salaries and a low cost of living. Some of the best cities for nursing are:

  • Visalia, CA: $111,030; Jan 2011 cost of living (ACCRA), 86.8
  • Baltimore, MD: $76,330; Jan 2011 cost of living, 106
  • Ann Arbor, MI: $66,570; Jan 2011 cost of living, 96.2

Professional development training can also boost salary. The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates reports that RNs with CGRN (Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse) certification earn a premium salary: "the average full-time annual income of a certified nurse is almost $10,000 higher than a non-certified nurse." PayScale confirms this claim, listing a median salary of $80,240 for CGRN-certified endoscopy nurses. Endoscopy registered nurse training online can help RNs achieve specialist certification. Another course to higher earnings for endoscopy nurses is to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialty in endoscopy. This degree is available online or on campus through endoscopy registered nurse schools.

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