In 1980, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markly designated January 25th as National IV Nurse Day, which was observed for the first time on January 25th, 1981. National IV Nurse Day recognizes the accomplishments and the importance of Infusion Nurses, and the Infusion Nurses Society. January this year marks the 30th anniversary of National IV Nurse Day.
Specifically, an IV Nurse or IV Infusion Nurse specializes in intravenous (IV) therapy. While Infusion Nurses can specialize in different types of medicine, such as Oncology, Infusion Nurses will often perform:
- Blood transfusions
- Chemotherapy infusions
- Antibiotic infusions
- Steroid infusions
- Electrolyte infusions
- Vitamin infusions
In addition, Infusion Nurses perform a number of other tasks including but not limited to:
- Inserting and maintaining PICCs
- Inserting intravenous access
- Reviewing lab values and drug information prior to administering care
- Monitoring a patient’s response to treatment, including monitoring for infections
- Developing patient care plans
- Performing patient care and patient assessments
How is an IV Nurse different from a traditional RN?
One of the main differences between Infusion Nurses and Registered Nurses are their certifications. Firstly, a Registered Nurse is someone who has obtained an RN license through an accredited nursing program. However, an IV Nurse has an RN license and usually has a formal infusion certification through a CNRI program.
Secondly, the functions of IV nurses are different from typical Registered Nurses. Further, a typical RN will focus on the management of care, basic patient care, and comfort, prepping the patient for exams or treatments, recording the patient’s medical history, and administering medicine or treatment. These differ from the duties of IV Nurses listed in the previous section, who specialize in infusions and infusion-related care.
How Can You Support IV Nurses?
Above all, your medical practice can support IV Nurses in a number of ways. In addition, NursingCenter, a premier online resource for nurses, suggests posting informational or supportive IV Nurse Day posters around your medical facility, hosting a CRNI (Certified Registered Nurse Infusion) educational event, or wearing INS (Infusion Nurses Society) National IV Nurse Day apparel.