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Ophthalmic Nurse: Education and Career Information

Every specialized medical area needs nurses, including those in eye care. This is a very detailed and intense area that requires a lot of training and education to be successful. An ophthalmic nurse assists in making sure patients are taken care of who need general eye care, and other conditions dealing with eye disease and injury. This includes astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, cataracts, glaucoma, eye trauma and scratched corneas to name a few. An ophthalmic nurse helps individuals from birth through adulthood, but there are also specialized areas within this profession that could assist in career advancement.

What does an Opthalmic Nurse do?

An ophthalmic nurse works to help assess, diagnose, and treat patients with eye injuries and various diseases. This means they must be able to check the vision of a patient and work with the opthamologist in performing the physical exam to detect other possible illnesses that may have an impact on what is going on with their eyes. They also administer medication, demonstrate how to use certain medications, and educate patients on how to care for their eyes and recognize when something is wrong. They also assist in making sure the patient’s glasses or other corrective lenses fit property. They assist with eye surgeries and patient care. You will find ophthalmic nurses in private offices, eye care centers, hospitals and clinics.

How much does an Opthalmic Nurse earn?

This is a specialty career where you can make a lucrative salary. On average, they make around $84,000 annually to start depending on the level of experience, education and location. Working for a private office can garner much more money per year, and additional specialties will exponentially increase salary potential.

What skills are needed to be successful as an Opthalmic Nurse?

There are a number of skills needed to be successful in this area:

Communication: Communication is key, with both patients, families and healthcare professionals. They must be able to understand what the patient is saying, and get that information to the treating physician. They must also be able to explain any procedures and treatments to patients.

In-depth care: The nurse must be knowledgeable about in-depth care procedures, including surgery, pre-operative care, assessment of the patient and postoperative treatment. This requires an extensive knowledge of the human body.

Technology: This position uses a variety of high-tech equipment. The nurse must be well-informed and adjusted to using these machines and instruments to conduct the proper assessment and treatment procedures.

Management: The nurse must be able to juggle a number of things at one time, including their administrative work. Effectively maintaining patient records, and being able to work well with and manage others is key. They must be highly organized and able to meet the needs of the patient and healthcare professionals.

Compassion: The nurse must be sensitive to the needs of the patient and their families. Operating in a caring and patient manner is a must. Depending on the level of work that must be done, the patient can be very emotional. Being able to assist in their time of need is crucial to the successful treatment of patients.

Patience: One of the main things a nurse must possess is patience. They deal with a number of healthcare professionals, patients and their families. Things may become very stressful at times, and they must be able to handle each situation with poise.

Internship Requirements

Every nursing program has clinical requirements in order to obtain hands-on experience. This varies depending on the type of program the student is in. For the advanced specialization, the nurse must complete two years, or 4,000 hours of experience in ophthalmic registered nursing.

Education Requirements

An ophthalmic nurse must attend nursing school and obtain the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Although the path to obtaining a nursing certification can be done through an associate’s degree and diploma program, a bachelor’s degree will properly position the student for advancement and growth. They must study human anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, physiology, microbiology and nursing. The initial path to a nursing degree under a bachelor’s program is four years.

Once the student has obtained the degree, they must obtain a license to practice as a registered nurse. They must sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which tests the knowledge of patient care, safety and infection control, pharmacology and patient management. There are various requirements for maintaining the license.

Once the license has been obtained, a nurse wanting to go into ophthalmology must obtain their National Certifying Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses certification. Although voluntary, this certification will demonstrate the commitment to the career and will open the doors to other opportunities and career advancement. To obtain this specialization, nurses must have a valid license, take the exam and have the necessary internship requirements.

Many nurses go on to receive their Master’s degree, which is an additional 2 years, and Ph.D. degree, which is another 2 years to advance both professionally and financially. These additional degrees can assist in becoming nursing directors, instructors and more.

If you are looking for a rewarding career path that could make a difference in the lives of patient eye care, this is an excellent career choice. Becoming a nurse is a tedious process that requires extensive knowledge of the human body, but once the criteria has been met, this is a profession that is consistently growing and can be very lucrative. Obtaining a specialization is smart and will quickly help the student stand out in their profession. Nurses are in high demand, and having a specialty in place will give the nurse access to standard general procedures, and operating in other areas where additional education and certifications are required. Being proactive in making the decision to prepare for these additional requirements should be made once the specialty has been determined. For those who believe in the power of good eyesight, this is the right choice.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Colorado Technical University Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
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Grand Canyon University

Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
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South University

Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)

Medical Careers Institute

Medical Career Institute

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
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Baker College Online

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

Programs:

  • Nursing (Post-licensure) - Bachelor
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Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
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Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
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Kaplan University - KHE

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
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Wilkes University

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

Programs:

  • RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
  • M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics
  • DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice
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West Coast University

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

Programs:

  • MSN - Informatics (Online)
  • MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • And more...

Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Nursing - Master's

Fortis Institute

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
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South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

Miller-Motte Technical College

Miller-Motte Technical College (MMTC) can help get you from here to a new career!

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Associate of Occupational Science

Centura College

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Programs:

  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Clinical Support
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Management

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