Urology nursing is a specialty that focuses on conditions of the urinary tract, including a patient’s bladder, kidney, and urethra. A urology nurse cares for both men and women who are have urologic issues or preparing for surgery like vasectomy, prostate surgery, or bladder surgery. The urology nurse performs urinary health exams, assists with catheterization for problems like bladder incontinence or to obtain sterile samples, administers or educates about medication, and educates patients how to maintain and promote urinary health. They also educate patients and family members who have questions and concerns. Urology nurses are well versed in educating patients on the risks and complications of urologic treatment and surgery.
Urology nurses work in clinical facilities like hospitals, offices, and outpatient care clinics. Urology nurses work with a wide range of patients, but generally adults. There are pediatric urologists who may work with pediatric urology nurses. In that case, urology nurses work with all age ranges, including babies to the elderly. They also must be familiar with a large variety of urology conditions, medications, and operations. Urology nurses work a variety of shifts dependent on their facility. Office and outpatient nurses will work during the day, but urology nurses on hospital inpatient units have the ability to work either day or night shift. Urology nurses are present to assess and educate those with health conditions and urologic complications. They are able to assist with office, outpatient, and inpatient procedures. Urology nurses share a meaningful role with patients during a time where they assistance, support, and education.
A urology nurse must be compassionate when dealing with private and personal issues. A urology nurse must be an excellent educator and provide patients with extensive and detailed information.A urology nurse must have excellent communication skills to be aware of the needs of the healthcare provider and the patient and facilitate any recommendations for follow-up care. Some urology nurses take care of post-operative urology patients. Urology nursing is a challenging career with valuable skills and important skills.
To pursue a career as a urology nurse, the first step involves obtaining a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. You must either become a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) by following an appropriate school program. An LPN will take a program that takes one to two years of schooling. A Registered Nurse can attend an Associate Degree program or choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After receiving your nursing degree, you will take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed as a nurse. Finally, you will apply to the Board of Nursing in your state to become an RN, LPN or LVN. Urology nurses will undergo specific training in urology at their facility of employment.
Urology nurses who are at the peak of their experience in the urology field often choose to pursue certification in their specialty. Urology nurses must have appropriate experience before they can sit for the Certified Urologic Registered Nurse (CURN) Certification Examination, which is offered through the Certification Board of Urologic Nurses and Associates. By completing your CBUNA certification, you will demonstrate your impeccable level of competence and your expansive knowledge in the field of urology.
To sit for the CURN exam, you must have:
- Completion of an accredit nursing education program,
- A current and unencumbered RN license,
- Two years experience as a registered nurse,
- 800 clinical practice hours providing direct care to urologic patients.
The exam is 175 questions and they are taken from all areas of urology. Typically, urology nurse certification is valid for three years. A CURN passes the exam by getting a 70% or higher.
Job Description & Duties
The following basic duties are usually required of a urology nurse can expect to perform. The description of job duties varies substantially based on your facility, the patient population, and your geographical location.
- Obtain and review patient vital signs, report any abnormal vital signs to the healthcare provider.
- Be discrete and supportive when dealing with patient issues of a sensitive nature.
- Engage in a number of important nursing skills, such as:
- Perform sterile catheterizations on both men and women
- Collects sterile midstream urine samples, draws blood work, prepares blood, urine, and tissue samples appropriately to send for laboratory analysis.
- Perform a urine analysis
- Use the bladder scanner
- Provide care for patients with kidney conditions and renal stones
- Interpret diagnostic studies, such as imaging and laboratory studies.
- Recognize medication dosage, complications, contraindications, and interactions.
- Perform head to toe assessments as an RN
- Report any complications or issues to the physician
- Perform extensive patient and family education regarding a variety of bladder, kidney, and other urinary tract disorders.
- Be familiar with signs and symptoms of infection and be comfortable dressing wounds and assessing long-term catheters.
- Collaborate closely with the physician, medical assistants, family members and patient to ensure medications, lifestyle changes, and therapy services are suitable.
Job Outlook and Salary
The median salary for a urology nurse is $57,000 annually, but the range is from $41,000 to $89,000 per year. Wages for Urology nurses vary significantly based on the type of nursing licensure you obtain (LPN, ADN or BSN), the amount of responsibility undertaken in your position, your length of nursing experience, and your geographical location. The career outlook for urology nursing is excellent and increasing approximately 38% by 2022 as predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This nation's need for urology healthcare services is growing as the population grows older and requires focused urologic care for issues like benign prostatic hyperplasia that plague the elderly population.
References and Further Reading
Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates Certification
Society of Urology Nurses and Associates