Pulmonary Nursing

How to Become a Pulmonary Nurse

Pulmonary nurses may also be referred to as respiratory nurses. These nurses work in hospitals or critical care units to care for patients with respiratory system disorders and lung impediments, such as pneumonia, asthma or lung cancer. Pulmonary nurses are responsible for tending to respiratory distressed patients and performing tests such as arterial blood gas tests (ABGs), caring for patients dependent on ventilators, providing tracheostomy care, and monitoring oxygen use, to name a few tasks. Pulmonary nurses also work with patients and their families to educate them on respiratory illnesses and preventative measures, like teaching the dangerous effects of smoking and explaining why routine exercise is so important in pulmonary health.

Preparation Path

  • GET YOUR NURSING DIPLOMA, ASN OR BSN
  • (IF LPN, MUST WORK UNDER A REGISTERED NURSE)
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN
  • GAIN 1,750 HOURS OF EXPERIENCE
  • PASS THE CERTIFIED CRITICAL CARE EXAM TO BECOME A CERTIFIED PULMONARY FUNCTION TECHNICIAN (CPFT)

$30,000 - $75,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Monitor and treat patients with respiratory and lung disorders
  • Perform tests and assess action after interpreting the results
  • Provide tracheostomy care
  • Treat patients dependent on ventilators
  • Provide treatments such as suctioning or assisted breathing
  • Monitor patient’s comfort and manage pain
  • Educate patient and family members about prevention and healthy habits to avoid respiratory disorders

Education Requirements

RN Diploma, ASN or BSN

Employment Settings

  • Hospitals
  • Intensive care units
  • Critical care facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Home health services
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing homes
  • Physicians’ offices

Certification

Certified Pulmonary Function Technician (CPFT), RN, Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC)