Critical Care

Critical Care Nursing


crdiOne of the top paid nursing careers in the industry is critical care. The demand for qualified, experienced critical care nursing professionals continues to grow. This rewarding career allows you to work in the intensive and critical care units of major hospitals.

Educational Requirements for Critical Care Nursing

Most critical care nurses have received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, but a few hold Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) credentials. Once you have completed the nursing program, you will need to take a licensing exam administered by the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). To gain entry into either nursing program, a student must have achieved good undergraduate or high school grades, an acceptable score on the ACT or SAT, and pass a physical examination. Some nursing schools also require TEAS testing.

Critical Care Nurse Certification

Certification in critical care nursing is offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Upon meeting all eligibility requirements, you will be awarded the title of Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). To take the examination, you must have an active RN license, practice for a minimum of 1,750 hours of acute or critical care, and pay an application fee. Areas of credentialing include: - Acute and Critical Care Nursing - Progressive Care Nursing - Nurse Manager - Tele-ICU Acute/Critical Care Nursing - Cardiac Medicine - Cardiac Surgery - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - Clinical Nurse Specialist and Acute Care

Critical Care Nursing Career Opportunities and Salaries

Critical care nurses work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Critical Care Unit (CCU). These professionals are registered nurses who help patients in life threatening situations. Critical care nurses must always make sure they closely monitor their patients, as they are on the front-line of life-saving measures. Most critical care nurses work in hospitals, but you can find them in facilities such as burn units, trauma centers, surgery recovery departments, emergency units. The annual salary for critical care nurses can range anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000, according to most web sources.

Job Duties of the Critical Care Nurse

The main job duty of a critical care nurse is to keep the patient alive. Quick assessments and fast acting responses are needed in this area. Some of the other job duties include assessing blood pressure, oxygen level, pulse, and heart rhythm; monitoring intracranial pressure; providing CPR; managing ventilators; and administering medications.


AACN (2013):

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