Cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab) nurses work in the field of heart disease diagnosis. A nursing degree is the beginning of a cardiac cath lab nurse's career. A nurse wishing to improve credentials or increase job opportunities can get certified as a cath lab specialist.
Many programs prepare nurses for cardiac cath lab certification. Community colleges, such as Spokane Community College, offer these programs. The Mayo Clinic also offers a training program, and preparation courses are online as well.
RCIS certification is for nurses actively working in a cath lab. Cardiac Credentialing International (CCI) certifies Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists (RCIS). CCI also places nurses on a registry list upon completion of the required examination.
Basic requirements for the RCIS examination is a high school diploma or equivalent, according to CCI. You will need to hold a nursing degree and have supporting documentation, such as educational transcripts or the completion certificate from a cardiac cath lab program. CCI also requires that you send it a verification of your employment in a cath lab.
The CCI examination covers duties and tasks in the cath lab. You are tested on areas including pre-procedure, intra-procedure, diagnostic studies, interventional procedures and post-procedure functions. The cost, as of June 1, 2010, for certification is $350 and is valid for three years.