For anyone looking to play a part in changing healthcare for better, here’s a guide on how to become a critical care nurse. With this guide you will understand the role of a critical care nurse, their job responsibilities and salary

Critical Care Nurses give specialized care to patients who are severely sick or wounded. They are in charge of treating patients and managing their conditions in order to enhance their health and quality of life. As a result, they must have strong interpersonal communication skills and outstanding clinical skills to engage successfully with patients and other healthcare professionals.

CCU Nurses offer treatment in both normal ICUs and specialty units. Intensive care nurses may care for patients of various ages, although most of the time they care for adults or children. A critical care nurse at a small hospital is likely to offer care to patients of all ages. Still, in major medical institutions, intensive care units are likely to be divided into adult and pediatric sections. Critical care nurses provide medical and surgical treatment to patients in rural hospitals.

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Intensive care units in large medical centers are frequently split into specialty sections. Cardiovascular, medicinal, surgical, burn, and neurological intensive care units are examples of specialty critical care units.

Critical Care Nurse Responsibilities

Critical Care Nurses work in a variety of settings including intensive care units (ICUs), emergency departments (EDs), trauma centers, operating rooms (ORs), and post-anesthesia recovery areas (PAR).

 Their duties include;

  •  monitoring vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels;
  • administering medications;
  •  performing diagnostic tests;
  • providing emotional support to family members;
  •  collaborating with physicians on patient treatments plans;
  • overseeing respiratory therapy equipment usage ;
  • and educating families about end-of-life decisions when necessary.

How to become a critical care nurse

Critical care nurses are registered nurses who have received specific training to care for patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, injuries, or complicated medical difficulties.

  1. Gain +2 years of experience in general nursing

Typically, new graduate nurses are not employed immediately in critical care units. Prior to being considered for employment in intensive care, most companies need nurses applying to work in critical care areas to have a minimum of one to two years of general nursing experience.

  1. Get certified in advanced cardiac life support

Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification is necessary for intensive care nurses. ACLS training equips nurses and other healthcare personnel to deliver emergency treatment to patients experiencing cardiac arrest, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and other medical crises.

  1. Take the CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certification exam.

Becoming a fully certified critical care registered nurse in addition to the experience gained from working in the CCU ascertains proficiency and skills to practice

  1. Gain skills in EKG reading

Critical care nurses need to be proficient at performing and interpreting electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Critical Care Nurse Salary

CCN earn more than nurses in most other nursing specialties. Critical care nurses frequently earn bonus compensation in addition to their normal income for the several qualifications that they must have.

The job market for intensive care nurses is always good. The prospect for sustained expansion in the field of intensive care nursing is positive, owing to the growing complexity of medical technology and the need for the competence necessary to assist very sick patients to survive. The base salary for critical care nurse ranges from $71.200 to $94.100 with the average base salary of $81.300.

It should be noted that this specialty field does require long hours so those considering entering into this profession should weigh all factors before making any final decisions regarding career paths. 


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Abdullahi Suleiman a Certified Registered Nurse based in Nigeria, an Entrepreneur and Also a Blogger, passionate about Community Development and Cosmetic Nursing

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