Of the many specialty areas that nurses can focus on, becoming an endoscopy nurse brings benefits to the individual as well as the community he or she serves. The medical field is constantly advancing and opportunities to fill a need frequently arise. With an increase in doctors, who specialize in gastroenterology, comes the need for nurses who have a working knowledge and understanding of this highly focused area of medicine.
There are prerequisites to becoming an endoscopy nurse, and the process includes materials review and testing. Once the certification is obtained, though, the advantages can be realized immediately, benefiting the team of an existing employer or providing valuable credentials that can further a nursing career.
Before considering a career as an endoscopy nurse, one must first obtain a degree in nursing, whether it’ll be as an RN or an LVN/LPN. EndoNurse.com outlines the prerequisites for becoming an endoscopy nurse to include only nurses who are currently working (or who have worked in such a capacity in the past five years) in a gastroenterology practice, one either with or without an endoscopy center either full or part time. The verification process is strict but can be satisfied with the signatures of two physicians, supervisors or HR specialists who can vouch for the candidate’s work experience.
Becoming Endoscopy Certified
There is no degree for endoscopy nursing but rather a certification process. The bulk of the day-to-day medical knowledge necessary is obtained through the nursing program in which the nurse who wishes to become an endoscopy nurse received her degree. Certification courses can be done online and provide sections on such things as:
•Anatomy and physiology
•Equipment and use, cleaning and disinfection
•Emergencies and safety
Certifying entities such as the Certified board of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, inc., and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc., typically list when and where certification testing is held, typically at certain times of the year such as the spring and fall rather than ongoing throughout the year. Certifications for an endoscopy nurse are good for five years, at which time re-certification is necessary.
Value to Employers
Obtaining a certification to become an endoscopy nurse shows an employer commitment to excellence in vocation. Taking the time and making the effort necessary to obtain such a certification demonstrates that a nurse places priority on informed, quality patient care as well as being part of an efficient and skilled medical team, and partnering with physicians and employers to provide the community with current, progressive health care.
The current SGNA president Kathryn Miller, CGRN, writes that becoming endoscopy nursing certified proves accountability, growth and specialized knowledge to employers, current or prospective, and can influence pay. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an RN can expect an annual salary in the mid $60,000 range and an LPN/LVN in the $40,000 range, Kathryn Miller points out the added value having a certification will bring to a clinic or department, setting endoscopy nurses apart for increased pay.
On the personal front, becoming an endoscopy nurse brings with it a high rate of job satisfaction through challenge and continuing education. Certification focusing on endoscopy provides the knowledge and tools to give advanced, high-quality care to patients. When a nurse has the initiative and drive to go above and beyond to obtain such a certification, the independence and self-confidence that come with specialized job offers and increases in pay are improved.
Striving beyond the norm and taking an active role in personal growth and achievement to become a certified endoscopy nurse is an accomplishment that continues to drive the individual forward.