For the Love of the Cath Lab: A cath lab professional shares her journey and goals

Michelle Rigdon Dunn, RN, BSN
Michelle Rigdon Dunn, RN, BSN

I am a registered nurse (RN) of seventeen years and have spent the last fourteen working in the cardiac cath lab. Being the wife of a United States Marine Harrier pilot, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of cath lab settings, including diagnostic labs, teaching hospitals, and even mobile trailers. I recently graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program. This program opened my eyes to the importance of professional organizations. I am a member of the American Nurses Association; however, I came to the realization that I wanted to be a part of something that was closely related to my field of expertise, the cath lab. I love the cath lab almost as much as I love my three children, and decided it was time to give something back to the field of nursing that has given so much to me. I joined the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP), not just to be a member, but to offer my services in any way to further the growth and prosperity of the Society. Upon joining the SICP, I discovered no Virginia Chapter exists. I intend to work with the Society and fellow Virginia members to create a successful Chapter in our state. I strongly encourage all invasive cardiovascular professionals, whether RN, RT, CVT, or RCIS, to come on board. The rewards are not monetary, but rather a feeling of honor and pride from your contributions to the world of cardiology, and to the organization that is representing what we do. In addition to becoming actively involved with the SICP, I will be attending the MSN program at UVA, seeking a cath lab manager position, and preparing for the RCIS certification exam. The SICP endorses the RCIS certification for invasive cardiovascular professionals. In fact, as their website states, “The SICP believes that the RCIS examination represents the minimum knowledge base necessary for the allied health professional to effectively function in invasive cardiovascular laboratories” ( I am certain that this certification will enhance my fourteen years of experience and provide me strength as I transition into management.
About us. (2005-2006). The Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals. Available at Accessed July 20, 2009.