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Masters in Nursing Cardiac Clinical Nurse

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, but its advance in the ranks of lethal diseases has been matched by new treatments, new technology, new prevention techniques and other resources designed to manage and reduce the condition. A clinical nurse specialist with specialization in cardiac treatment will be eligible for employment in one of hundreds of heart treatment centers across the nation along with the offices of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. The training for cardiovascular treatment can be complex and the practicum requirement is extensive but the result is a very high level of medical expertise. A Masters in Nursing Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist will be a valued employee in any hospital that offers inpatient or outpatient heart procedures.

The curriculum for this degree addresses cardiovascular disease from the treatment side and from the prevention side. One program has classes in cardiovascular epidemiology, a study of the population that is at risk for heart disease - even though it is not a contagious condition. Another offers a class in genomics that explains the nature of heart disease as a condition passed through generations of a family. A third has courses in clinical prevention and population health that address the preventive education used to reduce the risk of heart disease. Some programs include practicum hours in the first year to expose students to the preventive aspect of working in cardiovascular medicine.

The core of this program however is the care and treatment of cardiovascular patients. Heart related incidents such as stroke, heart attack or congestive heart failure require a thorough understanding of symptoms for the onset of these conditions and the signs associated with treatment problems once a patient has been stabilized and placed in a cardiac treatment unit. Some Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialists may develop a working relationship with a cardiovascular surgeon and become a surgical nurse for heart procedures, but most work in a senior or supervisory role in a treatment facility. That may be a post operative recovery unit or a cardiologist's office where patients who have been diagnosed with heart disease are seen and treated by a physician and in many cases, tested with computerized imaging equipment.

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