Ambulatory Care Nurse

Job Description

An ambulatory care nurse assesses patients for long-term care. They develop relationships with patients and their families. Generally, they teach and translate prescriptions for care into sustainable activities for patients and their care givers.

Ambulatory care nurses work in outpatient settings and respond to high volumes of patients in short-term time spans. They deal with issues that are sometimes unpredictable. They work with all populations of patients, and their care ranges from wellness/prevention methods to illness and support of terminal patients.

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Education Requirements

Ambulatory Care nurses must first achieve RN status. Also, they must have a minimum of two years experience working as a registered nurse. Following the aforementioned requirements, there is no additional training required to work as an ambulatory care nurse; however, certification is available. In most states, certification is preferred. Certification can be accomplished by documenting 2,000 hours, which equates to one year of full time work as an ambulatory care nurse. Additionally, certified ambulatory care nurses must have completed at least 30 hours of ambulatory care nursing continuing education within the last three years.

Work Locations

Ambulatory care nurses can work in ambulances, day surgery units, physicians’ offices, schools, community centers, home health care, and clinics. Some ambulatory care nurses work for health insurance companies or for the government providing health care advice through telephone calls or the Internet.

A typical day for an ambulatory nurse will require reasonable and astute clinical judgments in order to expedite the appropriate care and treatment of patients. They may be interacting with patients in person or through a variety of telecommunication strategies, often establishing long-term relationships. Typically, they focus on patient safety and quality of nursing care by applying appropriate nursing interventions. They identify and clarify patient needs, perform procedures, conduct health education, promote patient advocacy, assist patients to navigate the health care system, and they evaluate patient outcomes.

Average Salary

The national average salary of an ambulatory care nurse is $50,000. This figure may be slightly lower or slightly higher depending on where the job is located, and how much previous experience a potential candidate may have.

Job Outlook

Ambulatory care nursing jobs have a positive outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 22 percent growth in this field between 2011 and 2018. This is much faster than the national average of all other occupations. The demand will be due to a rising elderly population, and an emphasis on preemptive health care.

Similar Types of Nurses

Similar types of nurses are case management nurses, home health care nurses, pediatric nurses, and psychiatric nurses.