Exploring the Advantages of a Telemetry Nurse Career

At the start of a nursing career, it’s a good idea to explore all sorts of options and the different types of nursing before making a decision. In this article, we’ll take a look at one specialty: telemetry nursing.

From education, certifications, and job responsibilities to the many benefits of choosing this nursing specialty, you’ll discover why telemetry is such an exciting career path for nurses. Tele nursing jobs have incredible opportunities for growth throughout your career and a chance to expand into other roles. 

A Quick Look at Telemetry Nursing

Understanding the roots of the word “telemetry” will help clue you in as to what telemetry nurses do. Tele means remote, and metron means to measure. 

A telemetry (tele) nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who specializes in cardiac monitoring. In other words, they remotely measure patients’ vital signs. Patients who are under electronic monitoring (such as those who have experienced heart attacks or strokes) need constant monitoring while they recover in the hospital. A tele nurse is the go-to specialist for this job. 

Telemetry nurses use a variety of equipment daily. For example, they may use oxygen saturation monitors, electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment, dialysis machines, and blood pressure monitors, which are all used to monitor patient progress (particularly in regard to their heart health.) Through training and working with these systems, telemetry nurses become experts at identifying dangerous heart rhythms and alert physicians immediately.

Education and Certifications Necessary to Become a Telemetry Nurse

At a minimum, you must earn an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to become a telemetry nurse, though most employers are looking for nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After passing the NCLEX-RN, you can start honing in on telemetry through on-the-job training and certifications through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. These certifications include:

  • Adult, Neonatal and Pediatric Acute/Critical Care Nursing certification
  • Tele-ICU Adult Acute/Critical Care Nursing Certification (CCRN-E)
  • Adult Progressive Care Nursing certification

You can expect to need a minimum of 1,750 hours in bedside progressive care.

You will also have to maintain Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certifications, which you can take through the National Telemetry Association. On top of that, it’s a smart choice to take an EKG course to help you identify abnormal heart rhythms, a task you will perform daily as a telemetry nurse. 

Job Responsibilities 

Telemetry nurses, in a nutshell, monitor patients’ heart conditions utilizing special equipment. Of course, your specific responsibilities will vary depending on where you work, but some common duties you can expect to perform are:

  • Monitoring patient vital signs using technology and specialized equipment. You’ll record and report any irregular readings or rhythms. 
  • Taking corrective action if symptoms worsen or adverse reactions arise that are life-threatening. 
  • Collaborating, coordinating, and communicating with other healthcare professionals to give each patient the care they need. Communication is key in this role. 
  • Giving prescribed medication intravenously (IV), orally, or subcutaneously. You’ll also be responsible for reporting any adverse reactions. 
  • Providing basic bedside care. 

How to Get into Tele Nursing

If you are already a registered nurse, let your supervisor know that you are interested in telemetry nursing. After 1,750 hours on the job as an RN, you can begin working towards your Progressive Care Nurse Certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Much of that training could be on the job with your current employer. Once you’ve completed this, you’re ready to begin your new specialty. 


If you’d like to specialize even further, there are several routes you can take as a telemetry nurse. These include:

  • Neonatal nursing
  • Cardiac care
  • Critical care
  • Neurological and sleep disorders

Perks of Working as a Telemetry Nurse

If you choose to become a telemetry nurse, you can expect a lot of perks to come with the position. While the high demands of being a healthcare professional don’t go away, there are numerous benefits that will help you get the most out of your nursing career. 

Here are a few of the perks current tele RNs have reported in the past several years:

  • High job satisfaction rates. Tele RNs work with many cardiac patients and “become accustomed to saving lives each and every day.” You’ll go home every day knowing you made a difference. 
  • Training in emergency response preparation. If you have dreams of working in the ER or ICU, telemetry nursing is a great stepping stone. Many of your patients will come from the ER and ICU when you work in a telemetry unit, so you’ll gain helpful experience on the job. And, sometimes telemetry nurses work directly in the ICU, giving you first-hand experience handling some of the most fragile patients. 
  • Advancement opportunities. There are many things to learn and an equal number of ways to advance. You can move through specialties, train other nurses, and continue gaining experience as an RN. 
  • Complete education credits easily. Telemetry nurses are constantly learning and often receive chances to take continuing education credits—a necessary part of maintaining your nursing license. 

Telemetry Nurse Demand and Compensation

As a telemetry nurse, you will enjoy high pay and other benefits as well as the ability to move up in your career easily and the flexibility when it comes to where you work. 

Telemetry Nurse Pay

The National Telemetry Association reported that telemetry nurses currently enjoy an average of $33 an hour. ZipRecruiter reports an average national salary of $87,048. As previously mentioned, there’s the opportunity for advancement with on-the-job training, increased experience, and specializations that can increase your salary, too. 

Where Do Telemetry Nurses Work?

Telemetry nurses are needed in all types of healthcare facilities, including:

  • Hospitals: Tele RNs employed at a hospital are generally found in ICUs, step-down, progressive care, or telemetry units where patients require constant care and monitoring. 
  • Clinics/outpatient care centers: Tele RNs assist by performing diagnostic procedures, running EKGs, and implementing other tests to understand a patient’s condition. The big difference here is that their conditions are usually lower risk. 

Where Are the Best States to Work in Telemetry?

While telemetry nurses are in demand everywhere, here are the top five states to live in if you work in telemetry:

  1. Pennsylvania: PA is a great place to get certified as a Tele RN and then you’ll enjoy some of the top telemetry RN salaries in the nation. 
  2. Virginia: Telemetry nurses are earning 46% more than the national average with a high quality of life in VA. 
  3. California: There’s a significant demand for telemetry nurses in California, which allows you to negotiate your salary and flexibility.
  4. Florida: Many of your patients will be 65 and older in Florida, as seniors tend to migrate toward warmer climates. This brings an increase in demand for tele RNs.
  5. Michigan: The state itself is growing like crazy, which means there is an abundance of opportunities to work in new hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

Career Prospects as a Telemetry Nurse

The great news is this: if you’re interested in being a tele RN, there are plenty of opportunities for you. Telemetry is a growing field in healthcare, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a 24% increase in roles between 2014 and 2024
If you’re ready to get started and build your career in nursing as a telemetry RN, now is the time. Here at Supplemental Health Care, we’re committed to helping you advance your career as a nurse and live your dreams. Whether you choose to be a travel telemetry nurse or find a stable position in your home state, our recruiters are ready to help you find your dream position.

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