Quick Facts :
Neuroscience Nurse

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Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses, May 2017

info-icon ADN or BSN
info-icon $73,550 Annual Wage
info-icon 15% Job Growth

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What Is a Neuroscience Nurse?

The nervous system is one of the most important and complex systems in the human body –  the network of nerve cells, fibers, and neurons play a vital part in every bodily function, including thoughts, sensations, and movements – just to name a few. Injury or illness to any part of the nervous system will often result in devastating consequences, which can range from paralysis to psychosis to death.

A neuroscience nurse is a nursing professional that helps patients suffering from neurological problems. This can include injuries, such as head and spinal trauma from accidents, or illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease, meningitis, encephalitis, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Neuroscience nurses also work with patients suffering from strokes and birth defects that have affected the nervous system.

Neuroscience is one of the most difficult specialties to master. If you’re looking to become a neuroscience nurse, you should have a firm grasp on how to nervous system works and how it affects that rest of the body. You should also have a knack for technology, as much of the equipment used in neuroscience is a product of today’s modern technological advances.

Because neurological problems can make some patients act erratically, you should also know that some patients you will encounter as a neuroscience nurse may be somewhat difficult to deal with. As a neuroscience nurse, you must have patience and extremely effective communication skills.

What Do Neuroscience Nurses Do?

Neuroscience nurses play a part in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients that are suffering from neurological problems. These nurses will often perform thorough physical examinations of patients as well as study their medical histories and discuss symptoms.

These nursing professionals are also often present during diagnostic tests as well. Some of these tests may include CT scans and MRI’s. Neurological nurses should also understand how to read and interpret these tests as well.

Neurological nurses will often have a hand in treating patients with neurological problems as well. For instance, they may help administer medications or even assist during surgery. These nurses will also help their patients manage and live with their disabilities.

Where Do Neuroscience Nurses Work?

Qualified neuroscience nurses can often find employment in neuroscience specialists’ offices. They can also usually find employment in hospitals, including operating rooms and brain injury units, as well as rehabilitation facilities and home care agencies.

How Do I Become a Neuroscience Nurse?

To become a neuroscience nurse, you will first need to become a registered nurse (RN) by obtaining your nursing diploma or degree and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Certification for neuroscience nurses can be obtained through the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN). To be eligible to sit for the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse examination, you must have at least two years of full-time experience with direct or indirect neuroscience nursing. Direct experience involves working directly with patients in a neuroscience setting. Indirect experience involves experience in research, consultation, or supervision in a neuroscience setting. This experience must have been obtained within the five years prior to taking the exam.

Additional Resources for Neuroscience Nurses