Critical Care Nurse Career

Career Description:

Care for patients who are critically ill, high risk or have life-threatening health issues are under the responsibility of a critical care nurse. The critical care nurse has a challenging task of monitoring life support equipment; track down and monitor changes in the patient’s condition; administer medication; and perform basic nursing tasks. He provides the necessary support to the patient and family members while coordinating with physicians and other medical staff.  The critical care nurse serves as an advocate of the patient.  While having his own knowledge and skills in handling critical situations, he is to respect and support the patient’s beliefs, values and rights.  He is to represent the patient based on the choice of the patient.

How to become a Critical Care Nurse

To become a critical care nurse, one has to earn a diploma, an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.  After completion of the degree program, one has to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.  This will help one gain a registered nurse license.  Gain relevant experience while working as a registered nurse in areas one is interested in.  Get into specialized or critical care training programs and obtain a certification.  A certification will allow a critical care nurse to advance and gain more skills.  To acquire a position as an advanced practice nurse, one must earn a master’s degree or doctoral degree in nursing.

Critical Care Nurse Courses, training, programs

Courses on critical care nursing cover theories and application of critical care nursing, diagnostic tests, nutrition, interventions and health assessment.

TOP 5 colleges/Universities

Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

University of Washington, Washington

University of California-San Francisco, California

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Critical Care Nurse Jobs, opportunities, salaries/pay

The critical care nurse can work in hospitals, surgery centers, nursing schools, clinics and other healthcare facilities.  Most critical care nurses are found in hospitals under different units or departments, such as intensive care units, cardiac care units, progressive care units, emergency rooms and recovery departments.  The average salary of a critical care nurse is $72,329 per year.

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