Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Salary by State [2023]

The nursing field offers a wide range of specialties, each with unique requirements and demands. Cardiac cath lab nursing is one such specialization that involves caring for patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures related to the heart and blood vessels.

As with any career, earning potential is one of the most critical factors to consider. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the cardiac cath lab nurse salary, including factors that impact earnings, job prospects, and opportunities for career advancement and salary increase. 

Whether you’re already a cardiac cath lab nurse or a student considering a career in this field, this guide will provide valuable information to assist you in making informed decisions about your future. Let’s get started!

What Is a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse?

A cardiac catheterization lab, also known as a cath lab, is a specialized area within a hospital or medical center where diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are performed on patients with heart and blood vessel conditions. A cardiac cath lab nurse is a registered nurse (RN) specializing in this area and works alongside cardiologists, interventional radiologists, and other healthcare professionals. 

Cardiac cath lab nurse responsibilities

Cardiac cath lab nurses are specialized healthcare professionals who work in a hospital’s catheterization laboratory. They play an essential role in ensuring the safety and well-being of patients undergoing cardiac procedures in the cath lab. 

Here are some of the main responsibilities of a cardiac cath lab nurse:

  • Preparing patients for procedures, including explaining the procedure and obtaining consent
  • Monitoring patients before, during, and after procedures
  • Administering medications and anesthesia as needed
  • Assisting physicians during procedures, including handing them instruments and monitoring patients’ vital signs
  • Monitoring patients for complications, such as bleeding or infection, and taking appropriate action if needed
  • Educating patients and their families about the procedure, post-procedure care, and any necessary lifestyle changes
  • Ensuring that equipment and supplies are properly sterilized and maintained
  • Documenting patient care accurately and thoroughly
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, technologists, and other nurses, to provide comprehensive patient care

Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Salary 

In general, cardiac cath lab nursing can be a lucrative career path for registered nurses interested in working in a specialized and rewarding area of healthcare. However, the cardiac cath lab nurse salaries vary depending on factors such as location and years of experience.

Cardiac cath lab salary by state 

The salary of a cardiac cath lab nurse can greatly differ depending on the state they work in. To get an idea of the median wages in different states, refer to the map below. It displays the average salary for cardiac cath lab nurses in all 50 states.

Cardiac cath lab salary by years of experience

Cardiac cath lab nurses can expect their salaries to increase as they gain more experience in their field. According to SalaryExpert, a cardiac cath lab nurse’s salary can range from $53,460 up to $93,344 based on years of experience. Here are the expected salaries for cardiac cath lab nurses at different levels of experience: 


Cardiac cath lab career outlook

The career outlook for registered nurses, which also includes cardiac cath lab nurses, is promising. According to projections, this field is expected to experience a growth rate of 6% from 2021 to 2031. This is attributed to an aging population and an increased emphasis on preventative healthcare. As a result, there will be a higher demand for skilled professionals to perform cardiac catheterization procedures and assist in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases. This presents a great opportunity for nurses interested in pursuing a career in this field to gain valuable experience and contribute to improving patient outcomes.

How To Increase Your Salary as a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse 


As a cardiac cath lab nurse, there are several ways to increase your salary and advance your career. The following are some strategies that you can use to achieve this:

  1. Pursue additional education and certification: Obtaining an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing or specialty certification, can help you stand out in a competitive job market and may qualify you for higher-paying positions.
  2. Gain experience and expertise: As you gain more experience and develop specialized skills in cardiac catheterization procedures, you may become eligible for higher-paying positions with greater responsibilities, such as a charge nurse or a nurse manager.
  3. Negotiate for higher pay: Before accepting a job offer, it’s essential to research the industry standard for your position and negotiate for a competitive salary. You can use online resources or consult recruiters to determine the appropriate salary range.
  4. Work in a high-demand area: In some regions, there may be a shortage of cardiac cath lab nurses, leading to higher salaries and more job opportunities. Consider relocating to an area with a higher demand for your skills.
  5. Seek additional responsibilities: Taking on other duties, such as training new nurses, coordinating patient care, or managing quality-control initiatives, can demonstrate your value to your employer and may lead to a promotion or salary increase.

How To Become a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse?

To become a cardiac cath lab nurse, you must first complete a nursing program and become a registered nurse. Typically, this involves obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

After gaining experience as a registered nurse, you can then pursue additional education and training in cardiac catheterization procedures, such as through a certification program or on-the-job training in a cardiac cath lab. 

In addition to specialized training, you also need to have strong critical thinking and decision-making skills, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.

Ongoing professional development, such as continuing education and participation in professional organizations, can help you stay up-to-date on the latest advances in the field and advance your career.

Should You Become a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse?

Deciding whether to become a cardiac cath lab nurse is a personal choice that depends on an individual’s interests, skills, and career goals. Cardiac cath lab nursing can be an excellent career for those who enjoy working in a high-tech, fast-paced environment and are passionate about cardiac care. 

However, it also requires close attention to detail, critical thinking, and handling high-stress situations. Cardiac cath lab nurses must be comfortable working with patients who may be critically ill and have complex medical needs.

The benefits of becoming a cardiac cath lab nurse include the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, develop specialized skills, and significantly impact patients’ lives. Cardiac cath lab nurses also enjoy a competitive salary and job security due to the ongoing need for cardiac care. 

So, if you have a strong interest in cardiology and wish to provide compassionate care to patients with heart disease, a cardiac cath lab nursing career may be the right path for you.

What’s the Bottom Line?

With the demand for cardiac care professionals on the rise, job prospects for cath lab nurses are strong, and the potential for growth and advancement within the field is high. 

If you are considering nursing as a future career and are interested in cardiology, becoming a cardiac cath lab nurse may be an excellent option. With the opportunity to earn a competitive salary and make a difference in patients’ lives, it is a career that can offer both personal and professional satisfaction.

Want to learn more about different nursing specialties and their salaries? Check out our nursing salary and career guides by clicking here.

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