Nursing Careers at the Heart Institute

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The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is an exciting organization for nurses who care about excellence in practise, innovation, teaching and research. Our singular focus on cardiac patients allows nurses to develop expertise as they work with other clinicians whose sole focus is the care of patients and families with heart disease.

We believe that our patients come first and care must be organized around patients and families. As a result the organization offers a full spectrum of services from prevention to treatment to rehabilitation. You have the opportunity to work in outpatient settings, cardiology or cardiac surgery floors, critical care, operating rooms, catheterization and electrophysiology labs or prevention and rehabilitation areas. Each of these areas offers a unique opportunity to try a new area of nursing while still focusing on cardiac services. We offer provincial programs in cardiac CT, cardiac PET, artificial hearts and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy for those looking for something new and exciting.

In addition to a variety of clinical settings, nurses at the Heart Institute can chose from a number of nursing roles. Front line nurses working at the bedside are the foundation providing care to our patients. They are supported by a team of clinical managers, educators, advanced practise nurses, nursing coordinators and triage coordinators.

Please see Clinical Services for more information about our nursing organization.

Education

Education is key as nurses move from area to area. The Heart Institute has extensive orientation programs to ensure nurses have sufficient training to allow them to make a smooth transition between services. In addition ongoing unit based specialty training is provided year round. Funding is available for staff to attend local, provincial and national conferences. As a major teaching facility, nurses have access to a myriad of Grand Rounds presented by internationally renowned clinicians and scientists. Our affiliation with the University of Ottawa provides us with a variety of nursing students, allowing mentorship and clinical teaching opportunities for experienced staff.

Research

Research remains essential to excellence in clinical practise. Innovation and the dissemination of knowledge continue to keep Heart Institute nurses at the forefront of cardiac nursing. At the Institute, nurses can be involved in research in a variety of ways from identifying clinical problems amenable to research to being primary investigators. Staff are encouraged to present and publish the results of their academic and research activities at national and international meetings.

Education and Professional Practise

Working in a complex, highly technical environment requires excellence in nursing practise. At the Heart Institute, we are committed to providing nurses with a myriad of educational opportunities. We offer:

Advanced Academic Preparation

Working with our academic partners, the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and La College Cite (check spelling) we offer access to Masters programs in Nursing, Health Administration and Education. A PhD program in Nursing is also available through the University of Ottawa.

The Heart Institute has a number of educational programs on site to support ongoing education:

  • Orientation: All new staff receive a competency based unit orientation. These programs are tailored to the needs of the RN and the nursing unit, and range from several weeks to months.
  • On-unit Inservices: Each unit has unit based skills training and nursing practise discussions. Classes are available for specialized skills such as intra-aortic balloons; artificial hearts and CRRT.
  • Elearning: Staff have access to elearning programs which allow nurses to advance their practise though disease based education modules and self assessment testing.
  • Cardiac Nursing Series: This program provides an eight module course on cardiac nursing care featuring cardiac surgery; interventional procedures; heart failure, ECG interpretation and device management.
  • New Graduate Initiative: This initiative provides 12 weeks of education and clinical practise to new graduates. The program is designed to provide a smooth transition for new graduates.
  • Preceptor-Mentor Workshops: Staff can attend workshops to develop preceptor-mentor skills to support students and new staff.
  • Clinical Placements for Students: The Heart Institute offers a variety of clinical placements for students including general wards, critical care, outpatients and nurse practioner placements.
  • Rounds: The Heart Institute provides a comprehensive rounds program featuring internationally known speakers on cardiovascular care and science.
  • Funding Support: Funding support is available for CNA certification, local and national conferences and specialty training

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