Career Spotlight: Telemetry Nurse Nurse

Have you ever considered becoming a nurse in the ICU?

You probably have a specialty that interests you.

When you think of nursing careers, a telemetry nurse probably isn’t the first thing that came to your mind. But it is a highly rewarding career and can be a vital part of an ICU team.

Read on to find out more about telemetry nursing.

What Is a Telemetry Nurse and What Education Do They Have?

A telemetry nurse already has a nursing degree. Most often, telemetry nurses already have a Bachelor of Nursing or BSN. This is because this is the degree that helps them specialize in different aspects of nursing.

Some, however, may only have an associate degree but may have had extra training as a telemetry nurse. Most hospitals prefer to hire telemetry nurses who have a BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but it is not always a requirement.

A telemetry nurse is someone who works with high tech equipment to monitor patients. In many cases, they use this equipment to monitor patients who are critically ill.

They can also dispense medication and do other basic nursing skills.

This is a newer role within the field of nursing. As such, there is no cemented educational path for a telemetry nurse.

Where Does a Telemetry Nurse Work?

A telemetry nurse may work in an ICU ward and monitors critically ill or injured patients.

They may also work in a telemetry unit. Telemetry units are fairly new in the world of nursing. They are designed to help with the shortage of beds in the ICU that most hospitals have.

A telemetry unit is a step below the ICU, but isn’t quite the same as being in a regular ward. Within a telemetry unit, the patients will be monitored 24/7, but not as intensely as they are within an ICU ward.

How Do You Become a Telemetry Nurse?

As this field is still fairly new, there is no course you can take to help you become a telemetry nurse. Instead, you must become a registered nurse or RN.

Once you’ve become an RN and worked for a little bit in general nursing, you can start to train to become a telemetry nurse.

First, you should find a more senior telemetry nurse in the hospital. You will then shadow them to “learn the ropes.” Some hospitals may even have specific training programs to help you learn the necessary skills to become a telemetry nurse.

How Much Does a Telemetry Nurse Earn Each Year?

Most telemetry nurses earn around $107,000 a year. This is the national average.

Of course, the cost of living will play a factor. If you live in a city that has a higher cost of living, you will earn a little bit more than those that live in cities or towns with a lower cost of living.

It is rare, but it is possible for a telemetry nurse to take home around $68,000 per year. Even still, this provides a stable and reliable income.

Nursing Shortage

There is a nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to only become worse. Because of this, chances are that you’ll always have a job as a telemetry nurse.

No matter where you live, someone will be hiring nurses. As a result, you can help dictate your salary and what kind of work you will be doing.

Because there is a nursing shortage, you won’t need to ever fret about being out of a job for too long at any given time. There will always be someone hiring just around the corner.

What Special Skills Are Needed as a Telemetry Nurse?

A telemetry nurse should have an interest in the technical side of patient care. They should be adept at using these tool and understanding how they fit into a patient’s care.

A telemetry nurse should also be able to not only monitor patients closely but act quickly in an emergency. A telemetry nurse often works in critical care or emergency units.

Therefore, they should know the signs that someone is going into cardiac arrest and know who to call and what to do in order to help the patient.

These nurses may also work with patients to help them move from the hospital to their home. This is the case for those who will receive long-term care from home with a nurse coming in to help every so often or an individual who has left the hospital for hospice care.

They should also be able to advise the families on what to do to help an individual receive continuing care within the home. Telemetry nurses should know how to read EKGs and other readouts that monitor the heart and other vital systems of the body.

Are You Ready to Start Your Journey?

Are you ready to start your journey towards becoming a telemetry nurse?

If so, our website offers you a wide array of resources to help you start your journey today. Whether you’re still looking for the perfect BSN program or thinking of an associate’s degree, we have resources available to you.

Individuals who have a compassionate hand and heart but also a love for science should definitely consider a career in nursing. Because it is so short-staffed, talented individuals are needed to join the ranks as nurses immediately.

Visit our site to learn more about ICU nursing.


Name, Professional Title:

Stephanie Chavet,  Registered Nurse, MSN/ IDE, PACU RN /ICU/CCU RN

Educational Background:

Diplome d’Etat ( France);  DeAnza College (California); and the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County

The only way to be a nurse in France via the  4 years degree, plus 40 hours a week; 45000 hours of training total.  I gained my training at IFSI F. Widal/ Lariboisiere, Paris Xieme France, and the  Assistance Publique (APHP), the public hospital system in Paris. It is the number one healthcare system in France and an extremely difficult program to gain entry to.  When I arrived in the US, I then went for an OB/GYN rotation at De Anza College in California,  and an RN degree at UWMC.

What is your current position and why did you pick this field?  Also, What does your advancement or career path look like?

I backed into the nursing field.  I wanted to be a pharmacist but did not score very well on the entry test. I was presented another opportunity via the IFSI test; my score on the entrance exam was above board, so I was offered a full scholarship and also a contract (paid during 3 years and housing, very rare in France for students) in exchange of working 3 years for the APHP after getting my diploma.

As I progress in my career,  I can see becoming an administrator or possibly a chief nursing officer in a hospital. Being a certified nurse assistant helped me see that I have a passion for the discipline.

Name a past profession that you feel helped get you to where you are professionally and why?

During my youth, I was a camp counselor, which I enjoyed it showed me that I could help others, and still have a career.

Advice for students/people thinking of choosing your education path and/or your professional path:

I would advise a prospective nursing student to work as a CNA first, to really see what working in nursing is about. Yes, it is hard and does not always offer excellent conditions — and you better be OK with this, teamwork is really important, being able to care for anyone — but the opportunity to learn is invaluable.   I have seen too many recent college graduates, armed with a brand new nursing degree, who did not understand the ins and outs of the job.  The CNA, while not glamorous, is a great training ground for the nursing discipline.

Being an ICU nurse comes with a constant state of movement and commotion when dealing with trauma patients. Learn more about this rewarding career.Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses are in a state of perpetual motion. On the ICU floor, circumstances change from moment to moment. Acutely ill patients and their families are vulnerable and scared. Being an ICU nurse means you are their caregiver, clinician, researcher, and friend.

Not all people can successfully wear so many hats. Not all people can take the good with the bad- and keep coming back for more. Just remember, the most trying careers are often the most rewarding.

What is it like to be a nurse? ICU and registered nurse duties range from delivering bad news to comforting patients in the hospital.

Being an ICU Nurse: What You Need

An effective ICU nurse possesses strong interpersonal skills, is organized, knows how to follow protocol, has the stamina of a marathon runner, is a genuinely kind and caring person, operates well under pressure and has the ability to think critically on his or her feet.

Some clinical responsibilities of an ICU nurse include patient monitoring, treatment administration, medication management, ventilation support provision and the delivery of frequent status updates. An ICU nurse’s less tangible contributions are equally significant. 

The Challenges of Being an ICU Nurse

  • Emotional Response to Loss

ICU nurses treat critically ill patients suffering from life-threatening conditions. One benefit of working as an ICU nurse is a smaller caseload. You will typically assist one or two patients at a time.

That arrangement, however, creates other challenges. Uniquely personal connections are developed while working closely with your patients and their families. You will empathize with their circumstances, be a shoulder to cry on and some days you’ll catch the brunt of their frustration and fear.

You must be simultaneously caring and guarded. Striking a balance between compassion and professionalism is no easy feat.

  • You are Always “On”

There are no coffee breaks on the ICU floor. Your patients require around the clock care. You can rest after your shift is completed.

  • Potential Conflicts with Physicians

Everyone has their good and bad days, doctors and nurses alike. In the ICU, the stakes are high and tensions rise accordingly. If a physician demeans you, for whatever reason, you may be hesitant to defend yourself. Running away from the issue will not help your patients. To do your job well you must be resilient.

The Tremendous Rewards of Being an ICU Nurse

  • High Demand

The need for critical care nurses is growing. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16 percent growth rate for all types of registered nurses, including ICU nurses. This surpasses the anticipated growth rate for other occupations.

This surpasses the anticipated growth rate for other occupations.

  • Patient Connection

There are so many rewards to being an ICU nurse. Think this career path is for you? Read more. #icunursingcareersNurses on other floors may care for as many as 12 patients at a time, while you will likely focus on one or two. As stated earlier, this can be viewed as a benefit or drawback. However, most ICU nurses see this as an advantage.

By spending copious amounts time with your patients, you will notice things others cannot-and your observations could save lives. Also, strong personal connections make positive outcomes infinitely more meaningful.

  • An Impressive Level of Responsibility

In the ICU there is no time to waste. Certain decisions need to be made in the moment, and a physician may not always be present.

Your ability to think critically is imperative.

  • You will Never Stop Learning

Medicine is a fluid profession. Advances are made each day and each advance facilitates a new learning experience. Also, no two patients are alike. Everyone’s body reacts differently to trauma.

ICU nurses never stop learning. It just isn’t an option.

As a newly minted ICU nurse, you may feel anxious – even scared.

There are challenges and benefits to being an ICU nurse. Learn if this would be the right career for you. #icunursingcareersTake heed; the other nurses on your floor have been in your position and want to help you learn.

High stakes environments breed teamwork and comradery.

You will be surrounded by compassionate men and women united by a common purpose, to heal and comfort those who need it most.

For more ICU careers, visit our careers page.

Considering furthering your nursing career with a bachelor's degree in nursing? Read about one nurse's journey going back to school.Deciding to Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

Just making the decision to go back to school for a Bachelor’s degree in nursing was the hardest part of the process for me.

When I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 2003, I went to work as an RN on the postpartum floor at one of the largest women and children’s hospitals in the country.

At that time, I had no desire to go back to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, let alone my master’s degree.

I was working my dream job. I was happy with an Associate’s Degree being my highest education level. I was an RN!

I convinced myself there really wasn’t any reason to get my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. I wasn’t interested in management and had no desire to teach at a college level.

I would have to put in a lot of time and money and I wouldn’t get any more compensation for the extra duties and responsibilities that came along with the degree.

I already had a great career and family and couldn’t have been happier or more content.

Thinking about going back to school? Continuing your education with an online nursing degree and follow these 4 steps to success.

When Life Happens

Then in one surreal moment in time, my world came crashing down. I was faced with a divorce and was now a single mom to three little boys, ages 2, 1, and newborn.

My perspective began to change and I began looking at my education as security for my future.

Furthering my nursing career was a way I could influence my family tree.

I was raising future men, husbands, and fathers, and I wanted them to have a solid education and strive to accomplish more than they imagined possible.

I quickly realized that in order for them to think that way, the thought process needed to start within me. I needed to set the example and go back to school.

Second Guessing Myself

Once I decided on the direction, several stumbling blocks to executing my new plan quickly got in the way. The biggest stumbling block: my own insecurities.

I wasn’t confident that I could accomplish my education goals.

I worried I wasn’t smart enough, was concerned I wouldn’t have enough time, and that I would be taking precious time away from my children.

Considering going back to school to get your bachelor's degree in nursing? Read one nurses experience and what made her decide to go back to school.Along with the personal feelings, the financial commitment/risk was almost crippling.

I had successfully cared for high-risk postpartum moms and their newborns, critical care patients in the emergency department and ICU but yet I was having a hard time believing I could go back to school.

The goal of completing my degree seemed so far away and it was nearly impossible to imagine. I had a great support system in my family and friends and everyone encouraged me to go for it.

So I did. I was scared and nervous not knowing what to expect.

Finally Going Back, For Myself

I had everything set to start my first class and 3 days in but I got very overwhelmed and scared. I decided that the timing wasn’t the best.

Bachelor's degree in nursing: find out why I went back. #icunursingcareersMy kids were young. My kids needed me. I don’t have time. The same thoughts as before were playing through my mind again.

I waited a whole year before I was ready to start again.

However, days before my first class started, another crisis hit my little family, one even more devastating than before and I thought about postponing my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing program for the second time.

It was then that I realized that I could always come up with an excuse not to start my classes and that I needed to just do it.

I just needed to take that first step – just start.

Now when I look back I think about how hard that first step was and how long it took for me to take it.

I Wish I Would Have Started Sooner

Ultimately, I wish I hadn’t been so scared. I wish I had believed in myself, my abilities based on my experience and my natural inclination to want to learn. I wish I’d started sooner.

I wish I’d started sooner.

Looking back, I can say it has been worth the challenge. It was worth the sacrifices. I have grown tremendously professionally and personally.

There are many reasons to consider getting your bachelor's degree in nursing. Think it might be a right fit? Read why you should go back to school. #icunursingcareersIt was worth accomplishing something that my sons, now school age, see me balance home, work, school, church, baseball, football, and all life throws at us.

When it’s all said and done, it will have been a family effort.

Without a doubt, my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing has been worth it! It can be done, even when it’s terribly hard and even scary.

It can be accomplished – one step at a time. Just start by taking that first step.

If you’re considering furthering your education, view our BSN programs.

A mother shares a heartwarming letter from her experience of having her child in the PICU, being looked after by a very special PICU nurse.A Mom’s Experience with an Amazing PICU Nurse

After watching her eight-year-old son go through bypass surgery marked by several complications this concerned mother found comfort in a special PICU nurse named Chris. In this letter, she shares her experience and sheds light on what it’s like to have a child in the pediatric intensive care unit and the differences nurses make:

To whom it may concern,

Back in October of 2015, my eight-year-old son spent five days at the University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital after having an aorta to femoral bypass surgery of a blocked iliac artery, an extremely unusual condition in a child. Chances are he was born with that condition, but we will never know for sure.

The procedure and recovery became a bit complicated to manage on a logistics level since Shands is a three-hour drive away from our house. The complications were worth it because I knew he was in the best of hands, which meant the world to me.

We spent the first four days after surgery in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of the hospital. Each PICU nurse was amazing, but there was one particular nurse that stood out from all others. His name was Chris, he was one of the most seasoned nurses and my son really gravitated towards him. We were lucky enough to have Chris for a few days.

His name was Chris, he was one of the most seasoned nurses and my son really gravitated towards him.

As if my eight-year-old having a bypass surgery wasn’t scary enough, his bad reaction to medication just about drove me to a mental breakdown. He went into an acute state of psychosis. The head of the PICU said he went “mad hatter crazy”. Let’s call it the worst 24 hours of my life.

It started off kind of funny where my son saw marshmallows and unicorns. Then after several hours, it transformed where he thought he was playing sports and his entire body would move as he thought he was going up for a catch. Imagine the pain trying to jump out of bed for an imaginary pass after having a huge incision going down his abdomen. He would then scream in pain. Chris was there every step of the way with us.

Chris was there every step of the way with us.

Things started getting even worse where my son became very scared and physical. He thought there was a guy with a gun in his school and I guess in his mind he was trying to escape. They had to pad his bed so he wouldn’t hurt himself. He couldn’t be left alone.

After about 20 hours of this, I was at my breaking point and beyond exhausted. It was so hard to watch him be petrified and in pain hour after hour. They were administering drugs to sedate him but it still wasn’t working. He had to let the initial medicine work its way through his system. My husband was with our other children and we had no family nearby.

Chris got someone to come sit with my son so I could try to sleep for a couple hours. Chris was there to lift my son back into bed and care for him. And eventually, when his psychosis broke he helped him get up and walk around to start the healing process. He had a tough love attitude that worked well with my son.

Let’s call it the worst 24 hours of my life

Thankfully my son’s recovery started to improve. I remember Chris coming in for his shift and seeing my son back to normal after sleeping for almost an entire day. I was a bit more relaxed and got a chance to ask Chris some questions about himself as I was so intrigued by him.

Chris had been working as a PICU nurse for over 10 years. But he told me he was going back to school to get his RN-BSN because the hospital was beginning to require all of their nurses have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). Chris was married with a child and I can only imagine how busy life would be to be working full time as a PICU nurse and then go back to school and have a family. But he told me he wouldn’t want to do anything else.

He said any other job would just be boring to him. He liked the action and the adrenaline from working in the PICU. He also liked working with kids, so it seemed like the perfect fit for him.

We have to take my son back to Shand’s every few months for check-ups and at some point, he will have to have another bypass surgery. I hope Chris is still around to care for him.


A grateful mom of a PICU patient