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Master's Degree Programs in Cardiac Nursing

A master's degree in cardiac nursing can teach you the skills needed to help patients with heart disorders. Learn about courses found in these programs and find out if they're offered online. You can also explore the job duties of advanced practice nurses working in this field.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Cardiac Nursing?

A master's degree in cardiac nursing is more often called a cardiovascular nursing degree; one example is a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in cardiology. If you already have a B.S.N., this graduate degree is a perfect opportunity to further your education and specialize in one area of the medical field. This degree program prepares you for leadership roles in nursing, as well as employment in cardiac departments. Upon completion of this degree, you'll be able to work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, testing center or a lipid clinic.

Available Programs Nursing master's degree with a specialization in cardiology
Common Subjects Cardiovascular diseases, echocardiogram reading, communication and patient skills
Online Availability Hybrid programs are available
Job Duties Helping patients recover from heart surgery and cope with heart disease
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% growth (for registered nurses)*
Median Salary (2018)$71,730 (for registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

You'll learn about both acute and chronic cardiac ailments. Some of the subjects you may study during your cardiac care program are pharmacology, cardiovascular diseases, medical ethics, community health, stress physiology, echocardiogram reading, patient care and medical financing.

You'll learn how to work with patients and doctors to provide care for cardiac and vascular disorders and diseases. You'll learn communication and patient skills that will aid you in promoting habits for healthy lifestyles and longer lives. Most colleges require a clinical practicum that provides hands-on experience with patients and job duties.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

While online nursing degrees at many levels are common, a master's degree in cardiovascular nursing online is unavailable due to the hands-on nature of the job and the need for a clinical practicum. However, hybrid programs offering online courses for flexibility for working nurses are available. It is highly recommended that you do not work full-time if you intend on full-time enrollment.

What Is a Clinical Nursing Specialist (C.N.S.)?

A clinical nursing specialist is a nurse who has gained training in a specific medical field, such as community health, rehabilitation, pediatrics, mental health, oncology or cardiac health. As a cardiac nurse specialist, you'll help patients who suffer from heart disease or other heart ailments. A large part of your job will be to aid in the rehabilitation of patients who have undergone surgery - such as a valve replacement, angioplasty or placement of a pacemaker - for their heart condition.