: Intensive Care Nurse, Intensive Care Nursing Schools, Training, Jobs, and Careers

What is Intensive Care Nurse?
No matter whether you call them intensive care unit nurses, commonly known as ICU nurses or critical care nurses, these individuals serve a vital function in hospitals. These nurses comprise over 1/3 of the nurses that work in hospitals. They have the responsibility of helping badly injured or dangerously ill people to get the necessary care they need by working along with the patients, doctors and the families.

Here are some of the responsibilities that an intensive care nurse is involved with:

1. Monitoring life support equipment
2. Responding to different changes in the patient's condition and managing the changes appropriately
3. Attending to both simple and complex wound dressings
4. Monitoring, utilizing and verifying data by bedside computers
5. Provide advanced life support measures as part of a team environment
6. Administer medications and monitor effects
7. Perform basic nursing care functions

Becoming an Intensive Care Nurse:
The first step on your way to reaching your final goal as an intensive care nurse is to attend high school and take such courses as biology, chemistry, psychology, algebra and computer courses. You should also plan to take the ACT or SAT in order to get into a good accredited nursing school. Since most students are opting to get their BS degree, it would be suggested that you should plan to do that.

Some of the courses that you will focus on studying at nursing school will be the following:

a. Biology
b. Anatomy
c. Physiology
d. Psychology
e. Behavioral Sciences
f. Chemistry
g. Nutrition
h. Microbiology
i. Nursing

After you have completed nursing school, you will be required to take the NCLEX, which all prospective nurses have to pass before they can practice.

Certification in Critical Care Nursing:
Although it is not mandatory that an intensive care nurse obtain certification, many are choosing to pursue it. This may help the intensive care nurse advance her career in this competitive field by improving care-giving skills. If one wishes to become certified, then she will have to take the CCRN credential that is issued by the "AACN Certification Corporation".

In order to be eligible for this, you must show that you have current valid licensure as a registered nurse and that you have an additional 1,750 hours of experience working in a hospital setting with the critically ill. After all of these qualifications have been demonstrated, you then have to take an examination that analyzes your expertise as an intensive care nurse when caring for a certain group of patients: newborns, children or adults.

Your CCRN credentials will expire after three years. You will then have to get your certification renewed by taking continuing education courses.

The intense care nurse can usually be found working in such places as intensive care units, neonatal ICUs, pediatric ICUs and cardiac ICUs to care for patients who have life-threatening problems.

Intensive Care Nurse Salary:
ICU nurses make decent income. The national average pay is $76,000 per year. We know some that make as much as $88,000 per year. Of course, this depends on your location and years of experience. Also keep in mind that your pay will continue to increase as you gain more experience and years of service.

Intensive Care Nursing School:
ICU nursing schools calls for a certain level of specialization. You can attend a school that offers LPN/LVN or RN to become one.

One such school is University of Phoenix. They have campus and online programs. In fact, they are the leading innovators in online education. Follow this link to visit and get their free information.

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