Critical Care Nursing

Facts on Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nurses make sure that critically ill or unstable patients get optimal care for their illnesses and injuries. Critical care nurses are found at the bedsides of patients needing immediate or constant medical attention 0r whose condition is very fragile. These patients are often at risk for severe complications and possibly death, so even small changes must be recorded and communicated to doctors and other healthcare providers. Critical care nurses can specialize in treating adults, children or babies. They work with the patients as well as their families, and they practice in settings where patients require high-intensity therapies and interventions and constant monitoring. Patient advocacy is also an important part of critical care nursing, since the nurses often act as mediators between the patient, the doctor and the patient’s family. Critical care nurses must be available to work at any time of the day and might be on call even when not scheduled for a normal shift.

Preparation Path

  • GET YOUR NURSING DIPLOMA, ASN OR BSN
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN
  • WORK AS AN RN FOR TWO YEARS IN CRITICAL CARE
  • EARN YOUR CRITICAL CARE NURSING CERTIFICATION

$60,000 - $90,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Administering medicines
  • Assisting with procedures and treatments
  • Comforting patients and families and answering their questions
  • Performing tests and interpreting results
  • Consulting with doctors and communicating information back to patients and their families
  • Maintaining the clinical record and medical history of the patient
  • Making important decisions on behalf of the patient as quickly as possible

Education Requirements

Nursing Diploma, ASN, or BSN

Employment Settings

  • Hospitals, especially Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Flight and medical evacuation/transport units
  • Accident units

 

Certification

RN, plus Critical Care Nursing Certification