Infusion nurses administer medications and insert intravenous (IV) devices in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. These highly skilled, trained professionals play an important role in healthcare facilities, offering patients services and support.
If you want to pursue a nursing specialty, earning an intravenous certification for nurses may be the right option. Read on to learn what an infusion nurse does, how to become an infusion nurse, and what licensure and certification may be necessary to practice.
IV Infusion Nurse Overview
Also called infusion specialist nurses or IV nurses, IV infusion nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in administering IV therapies. They are adept at pharmacology, interpreting laboratory tests, and using electronic equipment to monitor patients.
Infusion nurses work in any setting where patients receive IV therapy such as hospitals and skilled nursing centers. They can also be found in outpatient clinics, home healthcare agencies, and physicians' offices.
Successful IV nurses demonstrate strong nonclinical nursing skills like communication, empathy, attention to detail, emotional stability, and physical endurance. Job responsibilities include administering medications and fluids, monitoring patients, and inserting and maintaining IVs and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
For more information about a career as an IV nurse, check out our infusion nurse career page.
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Steps to Becoming an IV Infusion Nurse
There are several steps to becoming an infusion nurse. Prospective IV nurses must first become RNs by completing a two- or four-year nursing program, passing the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) to get state licensure, gaining experience and education as an infusion nurse, and earning an intravenous nursing certification.
It is important to note that nursing licensure guidelines vary by state, and the requirements for working as an infusion nurse may differ among employers and facilities.
Earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
After earning a high school diploma or GED certificate, you must complete a two-year ADN or four-year bachelor of science in nursing. While you may enter the workforce with an ADN, many employers prefer BSN-holders. A four-year degree may also lead to more opportunities for career advancement and professional development.
Pass the NCLEX to receive RN licensure
Candidates, whether they graduated with an ADN or a BSN, must take the NCLEX to apply for a state nursing license. Many use a NCLEX study plan to help pass the exam. While licensing requirements vary by state, most require a background check or fingerprinting. Check your state’s requirements at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website.
Gain experience in infusion therapy
New graduates must gain at least two years of bedside nursing experience before specializing as an infusion nurse. Clinical bedside experience helps nurses master the IV and infusion skills needed to pass the certification examination.
Become a certified infusion nurse (CRNI)
An intravenous certification for nurses is not mandatory, although some employers may require it. The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) administers the CRNI exam. Candidates who are eligible to take the exam must hold an active and unrestricted RN license in the U.S. and at least 1,600 hours of experience as an infusion nurse within the past two years.
IV Infusion Nurse Education
Infusion nurses must hold an ADN or a BSN. While you may seek RN licensure with either degree, BSN-holders typically have an advantage in the job market. RNs with a four-year degree face better opportunities for career advancement in administrative or clinical roles.
Candidates who are unable to attend a four-year school may earn an ADN and complete their bachelor's degree through an ADN-to-BSN online program.
An ADN is the minimum educational requirement to take the NCLEX-RN and get RN licensure. This degree may best suit students who are unable to complete a four-year program for financial or personal reasons, or who wish to enter the workforce quickly.
College students who want to change their career path can complete some ADN programs in as few as 15 months if they transfer in 32 credit hours.
- Admission Requirements: Admission requirements vary by school. Most require a high school diploma or GED certificate, pre-entrance examination, health assessment, and background check. Some also require drug screening.
- Program Curriculum: Attending an accredited program is essential. Most ADN courses include anatomy and physiology, English composition, psychology, and pharmacology. Sociology, leadership, and management are also taken. ADN students must also complete clinical hours.
- Time to Complete: ADN programs usually last 15-24 months depending on the number of transfer credits a student may possess.
- Skills Learned: Candidates learn to take patients' vital signs, perform full-body assessments, give injections, start an IV, and insert a foley catheter. They get more advanced skills, such as managing ventilators and providing dialysis therapy, on the job.
Four-year BSN degree programs are ideal for students who can commit additional time to their education. BSN-holders often enjoy better pay and improved employment opportunities, and BSN nursing means added responsibilities and leadership. Many hospitals seek nurses with a BSN for specialized roles like IV infusion nurse.
- Admission Requirements: BSN program admission requirements differ among schools. Some expect students to complete their first two years outside the program and the final two years within it. High school students applying for direct admission to the BSN major must usually submit a personal statement, recommendation letters, volunteer and work experience, and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
- Program Curriculum: BSN candidates complete science, math, and English composition classes. Courses in nutrition, public health, statistics, nursing, and leadership are also included. All students must complete clinical hours. The number of hours varies among programs.
- Time to Complete: Students admitted directly from high school graduate in about four years. Some students may receive permission to take an accelerated track. Nurses enrolled in bridge programs like an ADN-to-BSN track may enjoy more flexible schedules.
- Skills Learned: BSN students get more classroom and clinical hours, leaving them better prepared to carry out patient treatment plans for improved patient outcomes. BSN students can gain valuable skills in critical thinking examples, health promotion, leadership, and case management through their program.
IV Infusion Nurse Licensure and Certification
Employers often prefer to hire BSN-holders, citing better patient outcomes and a desire to save money. Many employers also seek certified IV infusion nurses. Certification demonstrates that your knowledge of the field is current and you make specialized training and education a priority.
- Is RN licensure required? Yes, to work as an infusion nurse you must be licensed in the state where you practice. Infusion nurses practice as an RN with specialized knowledge and training.
- How do you get RN licensure? You must graduate from an accredited ADN or BSN program. After passing the NCLEX-RN, you may apply to your state for licensure as an RN.
- How is licensure maintained? The requirements to maintain your license can vary among states. This often includes contact hours of continuing education for nurses. Some states also require minimum hours of practice.
- Is CRNI certification required? Certification is not required to work.
- How do you earn certification? To take the CRNI exam, you must have an active and unrestricted RN license and 1,600 hours of experience in the last two years. You can register for the upcoming test and pay the certification fee on the INS website.
- How is certification maintained? You must recertify to maintain your certification. Nurses must hold an active, unrestricted RN license and complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience in the last three years. You can recertify by taking the exam or by completing 40 continuing education units over the past three years.
Working as an IV Infusion Nurse
Many nurses choose to work for two or more years as a bedside nurse before becoming an infusion nurse. This path provides a chance to master the skills IV nurses need to practice.
Nursing specialities are growing as the number of people with chronic diseases continues to expand. These patients require advanced care when hospitalized and are often treated with IV therapies.
IV nurses' salary outlook is similar to that of RNs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the field are projected to grow 9% by 2030 with a median annual salary of $75,330 or $36.22 per hour. PayScale data as of October 2021 identifies the average hourly salary as $34.02, although it is important to remember that PayScale figures come from online salary surveys.
Infusion nurses work in many settings:
Infusion nurses start and maintain IV lines. They monitor the patient for adverse reactions to medications and perform venous and arterial punctures when a blood gas is ordered.
IV specialists administer chemotherapy and monitor the patient and IV site for adverse reactions. They may also give blood products, educate patients and their families about medications, and train new nurses.
These IV nurses must develop caring relationships with their patients. They recognize when PICC or IV lines require medical attention and coordinate care with other professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an IV Infusion Nurse
How long does it take to become an IV infusion nurse?
The amount of time it takes to become an IV infusion nurse depends on whether you start your career as a nurse with an ADN or a BSN. After getting licensed, many work as a bedside nurse to gain the necessary skills before becoming an IV infusion nurse.
What online courses are available in IV infusion therapy?
There are different online classes about IV therapy. Topics include reducing medication errors, caring for a PICC line, and geriatric care. You can also take courses in total parenteral nutrition and the legal aspects of infusion therapy. Other courses cover antibiotics, central lines, immunotherapy, device access, and state-specific skill validation.
What career advancement opportunities are available for IV infusion nurses?
The job outlook for an infusion nurse is positive. Experience can affect your salary potential and may qualify you for temporary roles and travel nursing that offer more flexibility. Some types of nurses can open doors for career advancement in complementary areas like quality assurance and infection control. Infusion nurses may also decide to pursue a master's degree and become nurse practitioners.
How do you become a home IV infusion nurse?
Home IV infusion nurses start their careers in the same way as other infusion nurses. After graduating from an accredited program and earning your state license, you must accumulate 1,600 hours of infusion experience to take the certification examination. Certification demonstrates to home health nurse agencies that you are knowledgeable and have the experience to work independently in someone's home.
An infusion nurse must be skilled in pharmacology, laboratory tests, and sometimes even telemetry to safely monitor patients throughout infusion therapy. They also have a steady hand, keen eye, and a lot of patience.How much do infusion nurses make in Arkansas? ›
How much does an Infusion Nurse make in Arkansas? As of Apr 28, 2023, the average annual pay for an Infusion Nurse in Arkansas is $69,037 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $33.19 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,327/week or $5,753/month.Who can start an IV in North Carolina? ›
Authorized prescribers include physicians, NP, PA, or other licensed health care practitioner with prescriptive authority acting within their legal scope of practice.Who can administer an IV in Georgia? ›
Who Can Administer Iv Therapy in Georgia? Persons authorized to initiate IV therapy include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses that have met competency requirements.Why do you want to work as an infusion nurse? ›
Working as an infusion nurse can allow you to help a medical facility improve its patient recovery rate, as specialized infusion professionals can help prevent complications during chemotherapy and other infusion procedures.What is the nurses responsibility in IV infusion? ›
When administering IV fluids to a patient, the nurse must continually monitor the patient's fluid and electrolyte status to evaluate the effectiveness of the infusion and to avoid potential complications of fluid overload and electrolyte imbalance. The most commonly used primary IV fluid bag contains 1,000 mL.What is the highest paying RN field? ›
The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.What is the highest paid RN nurse? ›
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) earn a nationwide average of $202,470 per year according to the BLS; this makes CRNAs the highest-paying type nursing job by a significant margin.What type of RN makes the most money? ›
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $202,000.
- Nursing Administrator – $120,000.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $120,000.
- General Nurse Practitioner – $118,000.
- Critical Care Nurse – $118,000.
- Certified Nurse Midwife – $114,000.
- Informatics Nurse – $102,000.
- Clinical Nurse Specialist – $95,000.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) may, under the supervision of a registered nurse, administer intravenous medications and fluids provided the LPN has had the appropriate practice and annual documented education.
In Arkansas, the laws state that a medical assistant cannot delegate any tasks to another healthcare provider and can't diagnose any illness or injury. They can administer medications and injections as long as an assessment of the patient has been completed by the licensed provider first.Can LPNS flush ports? ›
- Administer intermittent IV solutions through a central venous line, including a PICC line, central venous chest ports and central venous arm ports. An LPN MAY: - Administer ONLY saline and/or heparin flushes through a peripheral IV line by the direct IV push technique.Can an RN start an IV hydration business in Florida? ›
In Florida, you do not need any special certification to start an IV hydration business. However to administer IVs you do need to have an appropriately certified professional, someone who is trained in IV therapy.Who prescribes IV infusion? ›
Depending on the type of medication that is prescribed, the condition that is being treated and the duration of treatment, a doctor may prescribe intravenous therapy. Intravenous therapy is a method of delivering medications, nutritional support and hydration into the body via an infusion.Can LPN start IV in Georgia? ›
Persons authorized to initiate IV therapy, includes physicians, physician assistants nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses that have met competency requirements.What is the best answer to why do you want to be a nurse? ›
Directly caring for patients is the biggest part of nursing, and an excellent potential aspect of your answer to the question of “why” you want to be a nurse. If you love working with patients, it could be an ideal entry into your answer to this question. “Human connection has always been important to me.
As nurses, we have the opportunity to empower our patients and their families with knowledge. When I see that a patient understands their disease process and the plan of care, it is an awesome feeling. Nurses have the ability to bring understanding and peace during what can be a confusing or challenging time.What is an infusion center? ›
An infusion center is an outpatient clinic that is certified to administer infusion therapy. These medical facilities have advanced equipment and competent staff who specialize in infusions. Infusion therapy has traditionally been administered only in hospitals.Do you have to be a nurse to put in an IV? ›
You must be a current LPN or RN. Most states then require nurses to obtain certification in IV Therapy through a program such as the one at Cambridge. At Cambridge, nurses complete a 30-hour training course over the course of two weeks.What are the complications of IV infusion? ›
Complications of gaining I.V. may include infiltration, hematoma, an air embolism, phlebitis, extravascular drug administration, and intraarterial injection. Intraarterial injection is more rare, but as threatening.
Ringer's lactate IV fluid is preferred. If not available, use normal saline or dextrose solution.What is the lowest paid RN? ›
For example, according to the BLS, the bottom 10% of registered nurses report a median annual salary of $59,450. The top 10% of registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $120,250.What is the hardest type of nursing? ›
Possibly one of the most difficult nurse practitioner specialties, a critical care nurse practitioner has to learn to deal with life and death situations daily due to treating the most acutely ill or traumatized patients.What are the lowest paid RN jobs? ›
Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are some of the lowest-paid nursing roles, but that is due to the fact that the educational requirements are less than most other types of nurses.How to make 7 figures as a nurse? ›
- Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
- Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
- Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
- Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
- Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
- Change Nursing specialties. ...
- Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
- Make sacrifices.
- Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) ...
- Neonatal Nurse. ...
- Cardiac Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Oncology Nurse. ...
- Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner. ...
- General Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Family Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Nurse Midwife.
- Complete your BSN degree. ...
- Pursue experience in a nursing specialty. ...
- Volunteer to work overtime on occasion. ...
- Get an advanced nursing degree. ...
- Get creative with nursing side jobs. ...
- Become a travel nurse.
Very. Results from a 2020 survey indicate that almost two-thirds of nurses (62%) experience burnout. It's especially common among younger nurses, with 69% of nurses under 25 reporting burnout.What state pays nurses the most? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).What is better than a RN? ›
NPs tend to earn more than RNs, mostly because their positions require a higher level of education, additional clinical hours and certifications, and often work in private settings.
RNs have a more expanded scope of practice than LPNs, in that they can perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and educate patients on how to manage their health after treatment. RNs also oversee LPNs, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), and home health aides.What can LPNs not do Nclex? ›
An LPN cannot administer IV push medications; therefore, the LPN cannot care for the patient with the PICC and multiple IV push medications. That assignment would be appropriate for the nurse from the med/surg floor. The LPN should be assigned the patient with an NG tube who requires tube feeding and medications.Can an LPN pull a PICC line? ›
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation No Requires advanced training and assessment Peripherally inserted central catheter removal by an LPN who has completed an approved IV therapy course Yes An LPN who has completed an approved IV therapy course with a facility policy in place may discontinue a PICC or Midline ...How much does a certified medical assistant get paid in Arkansas? ›
How much does a Medical Assistant make in Arkansas? The average Medical Assistant salary in Arkansas is $35,544 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $32,766 and $38,378.Can a medical assistant insert an IV? ›
Medical assistants cannot start or disconnect IV's or administer injections or medication into an IV. These procedures are considered invasive, and therefore, not within the medical assistant's scope of practice.Can LPNs give IV meds in Arkansas? ›
Some LPNs are hired as treatment nurses to promote skin integrity and healing of wounds; the pressure ulcers that bedridden patients sometimes present with are considered a form of wound. Arkansas LPNs may have some IV duties delegated to them if they have had additional training.Can LPNs do anything with a PICC line? ›
It is within the scope of practice for a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to provide line and site care including cap and dressing changes; blood draws, and to administer, monitor and discontinue approved medications*, including routine flushes via a PICC.Can a LPN insert a catheter? ›
They are qualified to perform nursing tasks that require licensure such as: medication administration, wound care, tracheostomy care, Foley catheter insertion and other nursing tasks as directed by the Registered Nurse.Can LPNs hang blood? ›
An LPN may participate in any phase of blood component administration after satisfactory completion of a training program that includes didactic instruction, supervised clinical experiences that incorporate each phase of the transfusion process for each of the types of components for which the LPN will be authorized to ...How profitable is an IV hydration business? ›
Remember that your revenue potential will depend on your investment, sales, service demand, and business size. On average, a single IV hydration session costs $280. If you schedule four to five sessions per day, you could make $400,000 in annual revenue.
So can a registered nurse (RN) open a med spa? The general answer is no — legal regulations tell us that a med spa owner must be a qualified aesthetic practitioner or medical doctor who specializes in aesthetic medicine.How much does an IV hydration nurse get paid in Florida? ›
As of May 5, 2023, the average annual pay for an IV Therapy Nurse in Florida is $51,657 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $24.84 an hour. This is the equivalent of $993/week or $4,304/month.What are the three types of infusions? ›
- Intravenous (IV). IV therapy is the most common type and delivers medication through your veins, directly into the bloodstream. ...
- Epidural. ...
- Subcutaneous. ...
One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time.Who is allowed to start an IV? ›
Because starting IVs is part of the nursing standard of care in most states, many hospitals train registered nurses on the job on IV insertion.
Only licensed practical nurses who have received additional training and permission under the direction of a registered nurse or physician may initiate intravenous therapy, with certain exceptions. They cannot initiate blood-related products, IV push medications, or mix IV solutions.Who can insert IV in Georgia? ›
Who Can Administer Iv Therapy in Georgia? Persons authorized to initiate IV therapy include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses that have met competency requirements.Which state is easiest to get LPN license? ›
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
Adept at inserting IVs while retaining patient comfort in the process. Committed to observing patient conditions and ensuring the proper balance of IV fluids. Maintained updated records of patient medical histories to avoid drug interactions. Inserted maintained and removed IVs according to physician's instructions.What are two essential skills you need to become a nurse? ›
- listening and communication.
- teaching and advising.
To be successful as a dialysis nurse, you should be compassionate toward patients and able to handle stressful situations. Ultimately, an exceptional dialysis nurse should have an excellent bedside manner, and demonstrate outstanding communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills.What hard skills do you need to be a nurse? ›
- Patient Assessment. ...
- CPR and BLS Skills. ...
- Medication Management. ...
- IV-Line Placement and Infusions. ...
- Patient Safety and Infection Control. ...
- Charting on the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) ...
- Communication. ...
- Communication. Nurses need excellent written and verbal communication skills. ...
- Empathy. A nurse also needs empathy when interacting with patients. ...
- Flexibility. Nurses should be flexible. ...
- Attention to detail. ...
- Endurance. ...
- Problem solving. ...
- Keep up with changing technology. ...
- Have a mentor.
Educate patients and family members on plan of care, medication effects, scheduled infusion appointments, and medical contact telephone numbers. Initiated, monitor, and discontinued intravenous infusions such as peripheral, PICC and Port lines. Administered medications by mouth and injections.What does an infusion nurse do on a resume? ›
Resourceful Infusion Nurse specializing in providing patients with necessary medicine and fluids through injection. Adept at monitoring fluid tubes checking infusions reviewing lab tests and meticulously monitoring the overall condition of patients.What are the 6 C's of nursing? ›
The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.What are the 5 types of nursing knowledge? ›
Five discrete types of nursing knowledge that nurses use in practice emerged: personal practice knowledge, theoretical knowledge, procedural knowl- edge, ward cultural knowledge and reflexive knowledge.What is the highest paid dialysis nurse? ›
While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $100,861 and as low as $30,846, the majority of Dialysis Nurse salaries currently range between $68,546 (25th percentile) to $83,724 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $92,047 annually in California.How long is a dialysis nurse shift? ›
A “Typical” Day for an Acute Dialysis Nurse:
During a 12-hour shift, you might round on a patient in intensive care to ensure the CRRT treatment is going well, then provide a three-hour long hemodialysis treatment to a patient with acute kidney injury.
The work of a dialysis nurse can be emotionally taxing. Some people experience depression or other mental health issues due to caring for very ill patients.
Examples of common nursing weaknesses our experts say they hear include: Paying too much attention to detail. Wanting to do everything at once. Spending too long on paperwork.What is the hardest type of nurse to be? ›
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses. ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
- Emergency Department nurses. ...
- Neonatal ICU. ...
- OR nursing. ...
- Oncology Nursing. ...
- Psychiatric Nursing.
Seeing the death of their patients.
"Seeing those patients you took care of die and how devastating it is to the family" is the hardest part of being a nurse, said Melissa, a nurse from Oklahoma city.