Bone marrow transplant (BMT) nurses are specialized oncology nurses that offer exceptional patient care. BMT nurses work on the front lines of health care. Beyond the typical nursing duties, their roles as specialized nurses bring another layer of challenges, complexity, and demands that set the stage for an exciting nursing career.
What is a BMT Nurse?
A BMT nurse or oncology nurse provides pre-and post-care transplant care to patients whose bone marrow has been damaged. They work with patients that need a bone marrow transplant to help with leukemia, anemia, juvenile osteoporosis, and Hodgkin’s disease.
National average salary: $93,904 per year
Job outlook: 12% increase by 2028
Where Do BMT Nurses Work?
Most BMT nurses work in hospitals as part of their cancer care team. They work alongside surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, bone marrow physicians, and others in the oncology unit. However, some nurses may also find themselves working for outpatient facilities that treat patients with specialized cancer treatments. Sometimes, BMT nurses work in physicians’ offices, hospice centers, and in-home care.
What Kind of Patients Are In a BMT Unit?
The BMT unit is usually part of the oncology unit. Most patients in this room are waiting for a bone marrow transplant or are recovering from one. It takes about six months for someone to recover from a bone marrow transplant, so it’s common for them to spend quite some time in the BMT unit.
What Does a Blood and Marrow Transplant Nurse Do?
Blood and marrow transplant nurses work with patients suffering from cancer and undergoing cancer treatments. They educate and provide specialized care to high-risk patients. BMT nurses monitor conditions, track symptoms, assist in treatments, and provide medications.
However, they also do typical nursing duties like maintaining patient records, checking vital signs, dressing wounds, and assisting patients with everyday tasks like bathing and dressing.
BMT nurses also offer support to family members providing educational resources and emotional support. Some specialize in pain management care, providing hospice and home care.
Most responsibilities include:
- Ensuring patients and family members understand the risks and potential complications of a transplant or treatment.
- Supervise patient safety
- Implement quality care assessments
- Perform daily administrative tasks
- Prescribe medication
- Support the oncology care team
How Do You Become a BMT Nurse?
The first step to becoming a BMT nurse is to complete either an associate degree in nursing (ASN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). You must then obtain a state license and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some institutions ask for experience working in the intensive care unit, completing chemotherapy courses, and other specifications. Many BMT nurse requirements also include advanced education in nursing oncology.
- Oncology Nursing Certification
- ONS Chemotherapy & Biotherapy Certification
- ONS Chemotherapy & Immunology Certificate
- BLS Certification
What Skills Do You Need to Be a BMT Nurse?
To become a BMT nurse, you need to possess a unique set of skills. Patient care skills, including checking blood pressure, placing IVs, and taking blood samples, are essential. BMT nurses are known for their exceptional attention to detail to precisely follow physician orders and follow-up care.
Additionally, oncology nurses need to demonstrate compassion and understanding. They often work with patients suffering the emotional and physical tolls of their disease. Nurses need to offer support and assess the progress in patients’ conditions.
Most common skills for AntePartum nurses include:
- Excellent problem-solving and organizational skills
- Extensive knowledge of disease processes
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to demonstrate compassion and understanding
- Ability to deploy comprehensive and complex plans of care
- High standard of communication, respect, and privacy
Starting Your BMT Nursing Career
A BMT nursing career can easily be an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s also a highly gratifying and rewarding job. If you find this career path interesting, BMT travel nurses are in high demand. On most occasions, hospitals are willing to give out sign-in bonuses to bring high-quality registered nurses like you on board. At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States. You’ll earn high compensation, premium health benefits, PTO, guaranteed stipends, 401(k), paid compliance, and more. Search for your next placement and set up an interview today!