201 Careers in NursingIn this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

BASIC DESCRIPTION
An ambulatory care nurse works as part of a multidisciplinary health care team to provide primary care to a specific population. Depending on the role the nurse plays within the ambulatory center, the work activities will differ. A triage nurse may primarily work in a walk-in area or on the telephone assessing the patients and making determinations on the priority with which they must be seen or referred. Working with a multidisciplinary team entails gathering a medical history and information about the chief complaint and checking vital signs. Once the practitioner has seen the patient, the nurse will perform follow-up treatment such as drawing labs and teaching the patient regarding the condition and discharge instructions.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Registered nurse preparation is required; certification is available from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

  • Knowledge of illnesses and symptoms including diagnosis and management
  • Experience with triage
  • Strong assessment and organizational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate and function as a member of a multidisciplinary team
  • Ability to function in a fast-paced environment
  • Interest in working with a diverse population

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS