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10 Pros and Cons of Being a Respiratory Nurse + Salary + Steps to Become


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

As a respiratory nurse, you will be responsible for providing care to patients who are suffering from conditions that affect their breathing. This vital role as a respiratory nurse comes with pros and cons. What are the pros and cons of being a respiratory nurse? If you do not know, do not worry. Here, we will take a look at 10 of the biggest pros and cons of being a respiratory nurse. Plus, we also explore the salary range for this role and outline the steps you need to take to become a respiratory nurse yourself.

Read on to learn more about the top 10 pros and cons of being a respiratory nurse + salary + steps to become one.


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What Exactly Is A Respiratory Nurse?


Respiratory nurses are responsible for the care of patients with breathing difficulties. As a respiratory nurse, you will work in a variety of settings. Respiratory nurses must be able to assess and treat patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. As a result, respiratory nurses must be prepared to handle various challenges that they will be presented with during their work day.


What Does A Respiratory Nurse Do?


So, let's dive into what does a respiratory nurse do? Respiratory nurses are vital healthcare team members, providing respiratory care to patients with a wide range of conditions. Below you will find the most common duties of a respiratory nurse.

1. Planning, implementing, and assessing treatment plans:

As a respiratory nurse you will ensure that your patients receive the best care for their respiratory needs. This includes planning, implementing, and assessing treatment plans.

2. Educating patients and families:

Respiratory nurses are responsible for much more than administering oxygen and monitoring vital signs. You will also be tasked with educating patients and their families about their condition and how to best manage it.

3. Assist with respiratory care:

Respiratory nurses are responsible for assisting with respiratory care. This includes providing oxygen therapy, administering breathing treatments, and monitoring patients' vital signs.

4. Perform respiratory diagnostic tests:

Respiratory nurses are responsible for various diagnostic tests, including spirometry, lung function tests, and chest x-rays. Your responsibility is to administer and prepare the patient for these tests.

5. Manage medications:

As a respiratory nurse you are responsible for managing a patient's medication. This includes giving the correct medication dose, monitoring the medication's side effects, and ensuring that the patient takes the medication as prescribed.

6. Assess for symptoms of respiratory distress:

Respiratory nurses are responsible for assessing patients for signs of respiratory distress. Respiratory distress can be a sign of several severe medical conditions, and you as the respiratory nurse must identify and treat the condition promptly. You must have a keen eye for detail and be able to rapidly identify signs of respiratory distress.

7. Documentation of the patient's health record:

As a respiratory nurse, you are responsible for documenting the patient's health record. This is an essential task, as it helps to keep track of the patient's condition and progress.


Where Does A Respiratory Nurse Work?


1. Hospital:

Respiratory nurses can be found working in a variety of settings, but they are most commonly found in hospitals. This is because respiratory nurses are generally responsible for caring for patients with respiratory problems. Respiratory nurses typically work in hospital pulmonary departments. Their duties include caring for patients with breathing problems, administering breathing treatments, and monitoring patients' vital signs. Respiratory nurses also provide education to patients and their families about respiratory diseases and how to prevent them.

2. Long-term Care Facility:

Respiratory nurses can be found working in long-term care facilities. Often, these nurses are the only ones who have the training and expertise to properly care for residents with respiratory problems.

3. Rehabilitation Facility:

Respiratory nurses can be found working in rehabilitation facilities. They are often responsible for caring for patients with chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma or emphysema. Respiratory nurses also work closely with patients who have experienced a pulmonary embolism or other lung injuries. In addition to providing direct patient care, respiratory nurses also play an important role in educating patients and their families about respiratory health and safety.

4. Clinics and Private offices:

Respiratory nurses can be found working in clinics and private offices. They are responsible for caring for patients with breathing problems in these settings. Respiratory nurses work closely with other health care providers to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. However, respiratory nurses often face challenges when it comes to providing care.

5. Home Care:

Respiratory nurses are specially trained to care for patients with breathing problems. However, you will often find them working in home care settings, where they are responsible for caring for patients of all ages.


What Is The Typical Work Schedule Of A Respiratory Nurse?


As a respiratory nurse, your typical schedule will depend significantly on where you work. You may work twelve-hour shifts three to four days a week. You may also have a schedule that has you working four days a week, ten-hour shifts. Other facilities may have you working five days a week, eight-hour shifts.

As a Respiratory nurse, you may have to work some weekends and holidays; again, this will depend on the facility you work in. With other respiratory nurse jobs, you may not have to work any holidays or weekends. You may find that some positions may require you to work evenings or nights, whereas other jobs may require you to work days.


What Are The Most Important Skills And Abilities Required To Successfully Work As A Respiratory Nurse?


Respiratory nurses care for patients with various respiratory conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as COPD and lung cancer. As such, they need to have a wide range of skills and abilities to succeed in their role.

1. Excellent communication skills:

First and foremost, as a respiratory nurse, you must be an excellent communicator, both verbally and non-verbally. You need to be able to build rapport with patients quickly, as well as be able to effectively communicate complex medical information.

2. Strong clinical skills:

As a respiratory nurse, you must also have strong clinical skills, as you will often be required to make decisions about patient care. These decisions will be based on your clinical assessments.

3. Work well under pressure:

Respiratory nurses are required to work well under pressure. This can be difficult as patients may be in critical condition and require immediate attention. Respiratory nurses must be able to remain calm in these situations and provide care that is both effective and efficient.

4. Compassion and empathy:

Respiratory nurses must have compassion and empathy for their patients. They must be able to understand their patient's emotional needs and provide them with the necessary support.

5. Time management skills:

Respiratory nurses must be able to effectively manage their time and resources, as you will often have to work with various patients with different needs.

6. Collaboration:

Respiratory nurses are an essential part of the healthcare team and you must be able to collaborate effectively with other healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible. Respiratory nurses often work closely with doctors, respiratory therapists, and other nurses to coordinate patient care.

7. Ability to educate:

Respiratory nurses have an essential role in patient care. You must be able to educate the patient and their families about their condition and how to manage it.


How Much Does A Respiratory Nurse Make?


Before you become a respiratory nurse, it is crucial to be able to answer the question, how much does a respiratory nurse make? Let's take a look at how much a respiratory nurse's average salary is. The average respiratory nurse's salary is $102,173 a year. This means you will be looking at a monthly income of $8,510 or $49.12 an hour.

The entry-level salary for a respiratory nurse is $68,200 a year. You can expect a monthly income of $5,680 or $32.79 an hour. A respiratory nurse who has gained a bit more experience than an entry-level, one to four years experience can expect an hourly salary of $37.84. This means your monthly income will increase to $6,560 or an annual salary of $78,700.

A respiratory nurse who has been working for five to nine years can expect an annual salary of $96,200. This will be an hourly wage of $46.25. You can expect a monthly income of $8,020. A respiratory nurse with ten to nineteen years of experience can expect to receive a monthly income of $9,960 or $57.46 an hour. This is an annual wage of $119,510.

Respiratory nurses who have twenty or more years of experience will see their monthly income increase to $12,370 or $71.36 an hour. Your annual income will be $148,430 a year.

Level of Experience HourlyMonthlyAnnual
Entry-Level $32.79$5,680$68,200
1-4 Years of Experience $37.84$6,560$78,700
5-9 Years of Experience $46.25$8,020$96,200
10-19 Years of Experience $57.46$9,960$119,510
20 Years or More Experience $71.36$12,370$148,430
Average Salary$49.12$8,510$102,173


Is There A Demand For Respiratory Nurses?


Respiratory nurses provide care for patients who have difficulty breathing. They work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home care agencies. While the demand for respiratory nurses is growing, the supply of qualified nurses is not keeping pace. Respiratory nurses are in high demand, but there are not enough respiratory nurses to meet the demand. Following are the 3 main reasons behind the high demand for respiratory nurses.

1. COVID-19 Pandemic:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a number of negative impacts on the healthcare industry. One of the most significant has been the sudden demand for respiratory nurses. These nurses are responsible for the care of patients with respiratory conditions, and they are in high demand due to the number of people who have contracted COVID-19. As a result, many hospitals struggle to meet the demand for these vital healthcare professionals.

2. Aging population:

Respiratory nurses are in high demand due to the aging population. The average age of a respiratory nurse is 55, and the demand for respiratory nurses is expected to increase as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Respiratory nurses care for aging patients with breathing difficulties, often the first line of defense against respiratory disease. Respiratory nurses are skilled in using oxygen therapy, ventilators, and other life-saving equipment. They also provide education and support to aging patients and their families. Respiratory nurses play an essential role in the health care system. They will continue to be in high demand as the population ages.

3. The rise in chronic illnesses:

The chronic illness epidemic has caused an increase in demand for respiratory nurses. Respiratory nurses are responsible for the care of patients with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis. They often work in collaboration with pulmonologists and other specialists to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

However, the rising demand for respiratory nurses has led to a shortage of qualified candidates. This shortage has put immense pressure on those who are already working in the field and has made it difficult for patients to receive the care they need. As the chronic illness epidemic continues to grow, it is evident that more needs to be done to address the shortage of respiratory nurses.


What Is The Step-By-Step Process To Become A Respiratory Nurse?


1. The first step to becoming a Respiratory nurse is to earn your bachelor's degree in Nursing. You must be a Graduate of a school of nursing accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Some people are under the impression that they can begin working with an associate's degree. However, a Bachelor's degree is becoming the national standard for nurses. Many health care institutions have made it a standard to only hire bachelor-prepared nurses.

2. Next, you must pass the National Certification Licensure Exam (NCLEX). You will not be able to work without passing this exam.

3. You must apply to the state you intend to work in for your license. Each state will require that you hold a valid license.

4. The certifications you will be required to earn will be based upon the type of facility and unit you plan on working in. These certifications may include, Basic Life support (BLS), Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

5. There is no specific certification for a respiratory nurse, but earning your Critical care nurse certification (CCRN) is a nice compliment to the profession of respiratory nurse.



TOP CONS OF BEING A RESPIRATORY NURSE


(The following are the top 10 disadvantages of being a Respiratory Nurse.)

1. You will have complex patients.

Nurses who work in respiratory care must not only be able to assess patients and give them oxygen but also educate the person about their condition. This can frequently prove to be difficult and one of the cons of being a respiratory nurse, as people are resistant or unwilling to change- even when it is for themselves! This can make your job very difficult.

2. You will be exposed to x-rays

Respiratory nurses are an important part of the healthcare team, providing care and support to patients with respiratory conditions. However, one potential downside to this career is exposure to x-rays. As a respiratory nurse, you frequently work with x-ray machines, which can emit harmful radiation. This radiation can increase your risk of developing cancer, and it can also damage your DNA.

3. You will be exposed to contagious diseases.

Respiratory nurses are on the front line of treating patients with contagious diseases. While this can be very rewarding, it is also one of the top cons of being a respiratory nurse. Respiratory nurses are constantly exposed to dangerous diseases and bacteria. This means that they are at a higher risk of getting sick themselves.

4. Your job can be stressful.

Respiratory nurses deal with some of the most critical patients in the hospital. They are responsible for ensuring that patients with respiratory problems get the care they need. This can be a very stressful job, as respiratory nurses often have to deal with life and death situations. It is a lot to think that somebody’s life depends on you.

5. You will witness suffering.

One of the biggest disadvantages of being a respiratory nurse is that you will witness suffering on a regular basis. Respiratory conditions can be harrowing and debilitating and watching patients struggle can be emotionally draining.

6. You may have a less-than-ideal schedule.

Respiratory nurses often work nights, weekends, or holidays to provide around-the-clock care for their patients. This can be a big downside of the job, as it can make it challenging to spend time with family and friends. Respiratory nurses may also miss essential memories, like birthdays and holidays.

7. Your job is physically demanding.

One of the biggest disadvantages of being a respiratory nurse is the physical demand of the job. Respiratory nurses are often required to lift and move patients and transport equipment. This can be taxing on the body, primarily if the nurse works long hours or has to do a lot of lifting. You can become injured more easily when constantly lifting and moving patients, so it's important to be aware of your limitations.

8. Your job can be gross.

One of the most significant drawbacks is that the job can be quite gross. Respiratory nurses deal with mucous and blood regularly and often have to suction patients' lungs to remove fluids. This can be highly unpleasant, especially when dealing with large or stubborn clots.

9. You may have to go into people's homes.

Respiratory nurses may have to go into people's homes as part of their job. This can be one of the top cons of being a respiratory nurse for several reasons.

First, getting to know a patient can be challenging when you only see them in their home environment. You may not get to know them as well as you would if you saw them in a hospital setting.

Second, respiratory nurses may have to deal with challenging home environments. This can include everything from dusty homes to homes with pets that trigger allergies.

Finally, going into patients' homes can disrupt your personal life. You may have to work odd hours or be on call, which can make it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

10. Some of the medications you will administer can be toxic.

Respiratory nurses play an essential role in caring for patients with respiratory conditions. They administer medications and provide other treatments that can improve the quality of life of their patients.

However, some of the medications that respiratory nurses administer can harm their health. When cleaning respiratory equipment, respiratory therapists may be exposed to harmful chemicals, such as bleach. You will also be exposed to medications such as iloprost and ribavirin, which are toxic to you.


TOP PROS OF BEING A RESPIRATORY NURSE


(The following are the top 10 advantages of being a Respiratory Nurse.)

1. You will make a fantastic living.

Respiratory nurses are well-compensated. In addition to the intrinsic rewards of the job, respiratory nurses also enjoy competitive salaries and benefits packages. This is one of the pros of being a respiratory nurse and a reason to consider a career in respiratory nursing!

2. You will always have a job.

Respiratory nurses are always in demand. With the rising incidence of respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD, there is a growing need for qualified respiratory nurses. This means that you will never find yourself out of a job.

3. You will be helping people.

One of the advantages of being a respiratory nurse is that you will get to help people every day. Respiratory nursing is a rewarding career that allows you to directly improve the lives of your patients. You will see the difference you make daily, which can be immensely satisfying. Respiratory nurses provide care and support when it is needed most, and they help patients manage their condition on a day-to-day basis.

4. You will get to work with the latest technology.

You can work with some of the most technologically advanced equipment available. Respiratory nursing is an exciting and ever-changing field, with continuously developing new treatments and technologies.

5. You are an expert.

Respiratory nurses are highly skilled professionals. You will possess a deep knowledge of respiratory anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and therapeutics. Another one of the top pros of being a respiratory nurse is that you will be considered an expert in your field.

6. You can work in a variety of settings.

Respiratory nurses have the opportunity to work in a variety of clinical settings, from hospitals to outpatient clinics to home care. This gives them a unique perspective on patient care and allows them to provide comprehensive care for their patients.

7. You could travel for work.

One of the top pros of being a respiratory nurse is that you could travel for work as a travel respiratory nurse. Travel respiratory nurses typically work in short-term positions in various settings around the country. This can be a great way to see new places and meet new people while still doing the vital work of helping people breathe easier. Suppose you're interested in a career that offers the opportunity to travel. In that case, being a respiratory nurse might be the right choice.

8. You will never be bored.

Respiratory nurses are the Jacks and Jills of the nursing world. You must be comfortable working with a wide range of patients, from those with minor colds to those with life-threatening diseases. No two days are ever the same, and respiratory nurses must be able to think on their feet and adapt to whatever comes their way.

That is not to say that every day is a walk in the park. You will see firsthand the toll that illnesses can take on patients and their families. But you will also witness the human body's power as patients fight their way back to health. For all these reasons and more, respiratory nursing is a demanding but rewarding career.

9. You can save a life.

Respiratory nurses are often the unsung heroes of the medical world. They work tirelessly to care for patients with all respiratory problems, from the common cold to chronic lung disease. And while they may not always get the credit they deserve, respiratory nurses know that they make a real difference in the lives of their patients. One of the biggest advantages of being a respiratory nurse is that you can save a life.

In fact, respiratory nurses are often the first responders in emergencies, and their quick thinking and skilled hands can mean the difference between life and death. So, if you are looking for a challenging and gratifying career, consider becoming a respiratory nurse. You just might save a life.

10. You may be able to make your own schedule.

Respiratory nurses often work in hospital settings, but there is an increasing demand for them in home care settings as well. One of the pros of being a respiratory nurse is that you may be able to design your own schedule if you work at homecare. You can also choose to work part-time or full-time, and you can take on as many or as few patients as you like.



BREAKING DOWN THE SALARY OF A RESPIRATORY NURSE


What Is The Starting Salary Of A Respiratory Nurse?


The starting salary of a respiratory nurse is an annual salary of $68,200. These will break down to $5,680 monthly or weekly earnings of $1,312. Your hourly rate will be $32.79.

Hourly$32.79
Weekly $1,312
Monthly$5,680
Annual$68,200


What Is The Average Salary Of A Respiratory Nurse?


The average respiratory nurse's salary is $49.12 an hour. This is a weekly income of $1,965 or $8,510 a month. Your annual earnings will equate to $102,173.

Hourly$49.12
Weekly $1,965
Monthly$8,510
Annual$102,173
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)


What Is The Average Respiratory Nurse Salary In Your State?


When deciding if becoming a respiratory nurse is the right career, it is essential to know your earning potential. Your salary will not be uniform depending on what state you practice in as a Respiratory nurse. For example, in Alaska, you will earn $121,600 a year. In Mississippi, you will earn $78,200. That is quite a difference in your salary based on your geographic location. What is even more mind-blowing is that in these different states, your salary is different for doing the same job.

State Hourly Monthly Annual
Alabama $36.98 $6,410 $76,910
Alaska $58.49 $10,140 $121,660
Arizona $49.35 $8,550 $102,650
Arkansas $39.07 $6,770 $81,270
California $74.02 $12,830 $153,960
Colorado $47.80 $8,290 $99,430
Connecticut $52.09 $9,030 $108,350
Delaware $45.63 $7,910 $94,920
Florida $42.67 $7,400 $88,760
Georgia $43.90 $7,610 $91,320
Hawaii $64.36 $11,160 $133,870
Idaho $43.98 $7,620 $91,480
Illinois $45.77 $7,930 $95,210
Indiana $41.43 $7,180 $86,180
Iowa $38.41 $6,660 $79,900
Kansas $39.41 $6,830 $81,980
Kentucky $39.74 $6,890 $82,660
Louisiana $41.75 $7,240 $86,850
Maine $43.62 $7,560 $90,720
Maryland $50.09 $8,680 $104,190
Massachusetts $59.09 $10,240 $122,910
Michigan $45.42 $7,870 $94,470
Minnesota $49.71 $8,620 $103,390
Mississippi $37.61 $6,520 $78,220
Missouri $40.46 $7,010 $84,150
Montana $43.30 $7,510 $90,070
Nebraska $42.66 $7,390 $88,730
Nevada $55.10 $9,550 $114,610
New Hampshire $46.64 $8,080 $97,010
New Jersey $52.63 $9,120 $109,460
New Mexico $46.48 $8,060 $96,670
New York $55.11 $9,550 $114,620
North Carolina $42.33 $7,340 $88,050
North Dakota $42.75 $7,410 $88,920
Ohio $42.82 $7,420 $89,070
Oklahoma $40.89 $7,090 $85,050
Oregon $59.08 $10,240 $122,890
Pennsylvania $45.54 $7,890 $94,720
Rhode Island $50.83 $8,810 $105,720
South Carolina $41.22 $7,150 $85,740
South Dakota $37.43 $6,490 $77,850
Tennessee $39.37 $6,820 $81,880
Texas $47.15 $8,170 $98,070
Utah $43.20 $7,490 $89,860
Vermont $44.29 $7,680 $92,120
Virginia $45.66 $7,920 $94,980
Washington $56.06 $9,720 $116,600
West Virginia $39.99 $6,930 $83,170
Wisconsin $45.90 $7,960 $95,470
Wyoming $44.57 $7,730 $92,710



HIGHEST PAID RESPIRATORY NURSES IN THE NATION


What Are The 10 Highest Paying States For Respiratory Nurses?


So, let's now look at the highest paying states for respiratory nurses. California is the highest paying state for respiratory nurses. Here you will earn an average annual salary of $153,960. In Hawaii, you will be making an average yearly wage of $133,870. Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, New York, and Nevada will all have you earning an average annual salary ranging from $114,000 to $123,000. New Jersey and Connecticut will have you earning a salary in the low $100,000 range.

Rank State Average
Annual Salary
1 California $153,960
2 Hawaii $133,870
3 Massachusetts $122,910
4 Oregon $122,890
5 Alaska $121,660
6 Washington $116,600
7 New York $114,620
8 Nevada $114,610
9 New Jersey $109,460
10 Connecticut $108,350


What Are The 10 Highest Paying Metros For Respiratory Nurses?


The highest paying metros for respiratory nurses are all in California. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, is the highest paying metro in California for respiratory nurses. In this metro, you will be earning $190,530 a year. Redding, CA, is the lowest paying metro out of the top 10 highest paying metros for respiratory nurses. In this metro of California, you will earn $142,850 a year.

Rank Metro Average
Annual Salary
1 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $190,530
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $187,550
3 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $181,510
4 Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $171,570
5 Salinas, CA $168,770
6 Santa Rosa, CA $159,420
7 Modesto, CA $154,630
8 Stockton-Lodi, CA $147,950
9 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $144,450
10 Redding, CA $142,850



Top Organizations And Associations For Respiratory Nurses


Respiratory Nursing Society: The Respiratory Nursing Association (RNA) is a professional organization representing respiratory nurses across the United States. The RNA provides resources and support for respiratory nurses, including educational opportunities and advocacy efforts.

American Association for Respiratory Care: The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is a national professional organization for respiratory therapists and other health care professionals who treat patients with breathing problems. The AARC provides educational resources, advocates for patients, and promotes research.

American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation: The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, also known as AACVPR, is a not-for-profit professional organization that promotes excellence in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. AACVPR strives to improve the quality of life for patients and families by reducing morbidity and mortality, improving functional status, and promoting participation in physical activity. Respiratory nurses are an essential part of the team at AACVPR. AACVPR is committed to helping respiratory nurses improve the quality of life of their patients.


My Final Thoughts


So, there you have it – the top 10 pros and cons of being a respiratory nurse. What do you think? Is this the career for you? Many respiratory nurses enjoy their careers and find them to be very rewarding. However, like any job, there are also some downsides. When considering a career in this field, it is crucial to be aware of both the pros and cons before deciding.

I hope this article “top 10 pros and cons of being a respiratory nurse + salary + steps to become one” has provided you with the formation you need to make a sound decision. The bottom line? If you are passionate about helping people breathe and have the drive to work hard, this may be the perfect career for you!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Is Respiratory Nursing A Good Career?

Respiratory nursing is a good career because of the autonomy, variety, and opportunity to work with a wide range of patients. You will also earn a solid income, have job security, and have the potential for growth within your career.


2. On Average, How Much Does A Respiratory Nurse Make Per Hour?

The average respiratory nurse salary per hour is $49.12

$49.12


3. How Many Hours A Week Does A Respiratory Nurse Work?

The number of hours you will work a week as a respiratory nurse will depend on your job type. If you work part-time, you will work around 20 hours a week. If you work full-time, you will work approximately 40 hours a week. If you are per diem, your hours will vary. The setting you work in will also affect the number of hours you will work. You may have a Monday thru Friday job, or you could have a job that requires you to work weekends.


4. Is Being A Respiratory Nurse Stressful?

Respiratory nurses have one of the most important jobs in the medical field. They are responsible for the care of patients with respiratory problems, such as asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. This can be very stressful, as respiratory nurses must constantly monitor their patients' breathing and ensure they receive the proper treatment. Respiratory nurses must also quickly identify when a patient is in distress and needs emergency care.

In addition to the stress of the job itself, respiratory nurses often have to work long hours and deal with complex patients. As a result, it is not surprising that many respiratory nurses experience high-stress levels.


5. Do I Need To Be Certified To Work As A Respiratory Nurse?

You do not need to be certified to be a respiratory nurse. There is currently no specific certification for a respiratory nurse.


6. What Certifications Are Required Or Recommended For A Respiratory Nurse?

Mandatory certifications for a respiratory nurse will include one or all of the following. The certifications you will be required to earn will be based upon the type of facility and unit you are hired into. These certifications may include, Basic Life support (BLS), Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

As mentioned prior, there is no specific certification for a respiratory nurse, but earning your Critical care nurse certification (CCRN) is a nice compliment to the profession of respiratory nurse.


7. What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Get Your CCRN Certification?

1) A current, unencumbered U.S. RN or APRN license
2) Practice Requirements

Two-Year Option

• Practice as an RN or APRN for 1,750 hours in direct care of acutely/critically ill adult patients during the previous two years, with 875 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding your application

Five-Year Option

• Practice as an RN or APRN for at least five years with a minimum of 2,000 hours in direct care of acutely/critically ill adult patients, with 144 hours accrued in the most recent year preceding your application.



8. How Long Does It Take To Become A Respiratory Nurse?

The length of time it takes to become a respiratory nurse will depend on the type of degree you plan on pursuing. If you plan to earn your nursing associate's degree, you will need two years to earn the degree. Suppose you plan on earning your Bachelor's degree in nursing. In that case, you are looking at four years to become a respiratory nurse.


9. How Much Does It Cost To Become A Respiratory Nurse?

When deciding if you want to become a respiratory nurse, you will want to know how much it will cost you to become one. An associate's degree in nursing will cost anywhere from $6,000 to $150,000. If you choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing, you will be spending anywhere from $20,000 - $200,000


10. What Kind Of Career Advancement Opportunities Are There For Respiratory Nurses?

Respiratory nurses have few opportunities for career advancement. Most respiratory nurse positions are entry-level, and many higher-level positions require additional education and training. Respiratory nurses may be able to advance to positions such as head nurse or nursing supervisor. Still, these positions typically require several years of experience. Respiratory nurses who want to advance their careers may need to return to school to earn a higher degree or complete a specialty certification program.


11. What Are The 5 Most Common Respiratory Nurse Interview Questions?

1. What experience do you have in caring for patients with respiratory conditions?
2. Describe when you had to deal with a difficult patient.
3. What is the most crucial aspect of respiratory care?
4. Why did you choose to specialize in respiratory care?
5. What do you think sets your skills apart from other respiratory nurses?



12. Can I Go From Being A Respiratory Therapist To A Respiratory Nurse?

The short answer to this question is yes. However, you will need to complete a nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-RN to become a respiratory nurse.


13. What Is The Difference Between A Respiratory Therapist And A Respiratory Nurse?

Respiratory therapists and respiratory nurses care for patients with breathing difficulties. Still, there are some important differences between the two professions.

Respiratory therapists typically have more extensive training in medical equipment, such as ventilators and oxygen tanks. They also often play a more significant role in developing treatment plans for their patients.

On the other hand, respiratory nurses typically have a more holistic focus. Respiratory nurses usually have more exposure to different types of illnesses and treatments. They are better equipped to provide direct patient care. In addition to providing natural care, they also educate patients and families about respiratory health. They may also provide emotional support to patients dealing with severe respiratory illnesses.


14. Is Respiratory Therapy Harder Than Respiratory Nursing?

Respiratory therapists and respiratory nurses both have equally challenging jobs. Respiratory therapists are responsible for assessing and treating patients with respiratory disorders. Respiratory nurses also evaluate and treat patients with respiratory disorders.

Although both jobs deal with the respiratory system, they each have different responsibilities, which make them hard in their own way.


15. Do Respiratory Nurses Make More Than Respiratory Therapists?

A respiratory nurse makes $31,672 more than a respiratory therapist. This is 44.92% higher. As a respiratory nurse, you can expect an average annual salary of $102,173. A respiratory therapist, on the other hand, can expect an annual average wage of $70,501/year.

Respiratory
Nurse
Average
Annual Salary
Respiratory Therapist
Average Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
$102,173 $70,501 +$31,672 +44.92%
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)


16. Can An LPN Become A Respiratory Nurse?

An LPN cannot become a respiratory nurse since the position is for a registered nurse.


17. What Does A Community Respiratory Nurse Do?

A community respiratory nurse will work closely with patients and their families in the community to ensure they receive the best possible care. They also work to educate the public about respiratory health and promote prevention and early intervention strategies.

Community respiratory nurses play a vital role in managing chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis. They provide patient education, support respiratory therapy, and coordinate care with other healthcare providers.


18. What Is The Role Of A Respiratory Nurse In Respiratory Rehabilitation?

Respiratory nurses play a vital role in respiratory rehabilitation. Respiratory rehabilitation is the process of helping patients relearn how to breathe properly after an injury or illness. Respiratory nurses work with patients to help them regain their strength and independence. They also teach patients how to manage their condition and prevent future complications.

In addition, respiratory nurses provide support and guidance to patients' families. Respiratory nurses are an essential part of the healthcare team and play a vital role in helping patients recover from respiratory disorders.


19. What Patients Do Respiratory Nurses Work With?

Respiratory nurses work with patients of all ages who have breathing difficulties. This can be due to a range of conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis. Respiratory nurses also work with patients who have respiratory failure or are on mechanical ventilation.

In addition to providing direct patient care, respiratory nurses also play an essential role in education and prevention. They may provide instruction on how to properly use inhalers and nebulizers and implement lifestyle changes that can improve lung health. Whether caring for infants with bronchiolitis or helping adults quit smoking, respiratory nurses make a vital contribution to the health of their patients.


20. Why Are Respiratory Nurses Important?

Respiratory nurses are essential because they help people breathe. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is a huge deal when you can't breathe. Respiratory nurses help people with chronic lung conditions, such as asthma and COPD, manage their condition and breathe easier.

Respiratory nurses also work with people who have acute respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Respiratory nurses are skilled in assessing and managing respiratory status, performing chest physiotherapy, and providing oxygen therapy. They also educate patients and families on how to manage respiratory conditions.

In short, respiratory nurses play a vital role in keeping people breathing easy.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.