Critical Care Nurse, Critical Care Nursing Schools, Training, Jobs, and Careers

What is Critical Care Nurse?
Critical care nurses or CCN's specialize in giving care to persons with life threatening medical conditions. They ensure both the patient and their family receive optimal care and training. CCNs are often found in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of hospitals. The nature of the work of a critical care nurse demands that they be highly skilled and have a broad knowledge on different areas of healthcare including pediatric, neonatal and adult nursing.

The specific job description of a CCN includes:

• Providing nursing care for patients in the ICU and training their families on things they need to be aware of.
• Continuous monitoring of the patient which includes regularly checking the patient's vital signs.
• Performing or overseeing therapy as well as administering intravenous medicine to the patient.
• Regularly updating emergency resuscitation skills including familiarization with equipment and medication required and when to use them.

Even though critical care nursing is a relatively later bloomer when compared to other nursing niches that have existed for much longer, its demand continues to be on the rise as doctor's increasingly rely on critical care nurses. Aside from the intensive care, CCN's are also found in:

• Pediatric care with some specializing in new born care
• Cardiac care or catheter labs
• Emergency and operating rooms
• Progressive care units
• Patient recovery departments

They can function in a variety of roles such as:

• Nursing researchers
• Nurse clinicians
• Nurse managers and
• Specialists in clinical nursing

Critical care nurses must be familiar with the different types of medical equipment present not just in the intensive care unit but other departments of a hospital.

How to Become a Critical Care Nurse:
In order to become a critical care nurse you must fulfill a number of requirements:

• Possess a two year associate's degree, a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or a hospital training program that lasted no less than three years.
• Sat for and passed the National Council Licensure Examination and subsequently received state licensing to practice as a registered nurse. Certification by the American Association of Certified Nurses though not mandatory is sometimes considered an added advantage.
• At least 1,750 hours of experience as a registered nurse. This must be backed by a reference letter from your employer that confirms you have met the required experience level.

After meeting these requirements, you can then apply to become a critical care nurse which will require you to sit for the critical care registered nurse (CCRN) examination. To prepare for this test, the American Association of Certified Nurses (AACN) provides:

• Samples of the test
• An SAE (self assessment exam) to gauge your level of preparedness
• Exam references

Due to the ever changing nature of the healthcare industry, a CCN must be aware of new developments in emergency care practice and procedure. As a result, even after attaining certification, one must engage in continuous education, pay license fees and meet the requisite practical experience requirements to ensure their license is not revoked. In short, a CCRN license may be revoked if a critical care nurse:

• Fails to meet deadlines, pay tuition or meet requirements
• Fails an audit
• Is convicted of a felony
• Falsifies their critical care registered nurse application

Critical Care Nurse Salary:
CC nursing pays very well. The average salary for these nurses is $77,000 pr year. We’ve seen some of these nurses that make as much as $88,000 per year. Just think about that for a minute.

Critical Care Nursing School:
If you are looking for schools that offer critical care nursing programs, visit the advanced nursing training website. There, you will find schools in our area or online. You should request for the free information offered. You can go there by clicking this link.

Return from Critical Care Nurse to Medical Assistants Schools and Careers

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