How to Become a Radiology Nurse

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Radiology is a medical specialty that focuses the study and application of a variety of imaging technologies to diagnose and treat many different conditions. Radiology nurses are registered nurses that provide care to patients that are undergoing many different diagnostic radiation procedures.

What does a radiology nurse do?

Radiology nurses care for patients that go through a variety of radiation therapy procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, and radiation therapy for cancerous conditions. They are responsible for performing patient assessments, monitoring vital signs, recording observations, and managing the recovery of patients after procedures. The prepare patients for procedures by providing education to help them understand the process and what to expect. They also help radiologists during procedures and monitor patients. Radiology nurses provide emotional care to patients and work with them and their families to make sure the essential medical needs are properly met. Many radiology nurses specialize in a certain area such as radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology, and chemotherapy.

Requirements: What kind of training & skills does a radiology nurse need?

Radiology nurses must become registered nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, and bachelor degree program in nursing. All nursing programs provide intensive classroom and laboratory instruction and supervised clinical experiences. Many prospective radiology nurses complete radiology specialty programs that typically take about a year after completion of the nursing program. All registered nurses must become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most radiology nurses also gain the Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN) designation from the American Association of Radiology Nurses. Certification requirements include minimum radiology related experience and passing a written and practical examination. Radiology nurses must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications and stay abreast on advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a radiology nurse? Job outlook

Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% through 2016. The growing and aging population and increased need for radiology services will drive job growth of radiology nurses.

The job outlook is expected to be excellent, especially for radiology nurses with professional certifications and extensive experience. Many job openings will stem from the need replace radiology nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

Radiology Nurse Salary: How much do radiology nurses make?

As of 2015, the average annual radiology nurse salary is $56,000; the average annual radiology nurse salary varies greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits.

A career as a radiology nurse is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in radiology and providing care to many different patients. Radiology nurses must have a solid understanding of radiology practices and the ability to help patients feel at ease when undergoing procedures. Patience, determination, critical thinking, and good problem solving are essential characteristics. Radiology nurses must have excellent communication and the ability to work as part of a team. Those interested in being a radiology nurse may also like to become an X-Ray technician or be an ultrasound technician.

Becoming a Radiology Nurse Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Radiology Nurse? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Also, check out our list of the 10 top nursing schools & best nursing colleges. If you already have a nursing degree, find out what to do with a nursing degree and what kind of jobs you can get after you’ve graduated from nursing school. Check out our list of the best paying nursing jobs if you’re still not sure you want to be a nurse!


Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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