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What You Need to Know About Critical Care Nurse

Occupation Description Provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.

Life As a Critical Care Nurse: What Do They Do?

  • Ensure that equipment or devices are properly stored after use.
  • Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, interdisciplinary health care team members, or community members.
  • Identify patients’ age-specific needs and alter care plans as necessary to meet those needs.
  • Assist physicians with procedures such as bronchoscopy, endoscopy, endotracheal intubation, or elective cardioversion.
  • Prioritize nursing care for assigned critically ill patients, based on assessment data or identified needs.
  • Participate in the development, review, or evaluation of nursing practice protocols.

Things a Critical Care Nurse Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Critical Care Nurses say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Types of Critical Care Nurse

  • Step-Down Nurse
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Critical Care Nurse Specialist
  • ICU Staff Nurse (Intensive Care Unit Staff Nurse)
  • Staff Nurse

Critical Care Nurse Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 2,955,200 jobs in the United States for Critical Care Nurse. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 438,000 new jobs for Critical Care Nurse by 2026. The BLS estimates 203,700 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Critical Care Nurse are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Wisconsin, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Critical Care Nurse

The average yearly salary of a Critical Care Nurse ranges between $50,800 and $106,530.

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Critical Care Nurses who work in Hawaii, California, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Critical Care Nurses in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $59,470
Alaska $89,310
Arizona $77,000
Arkansas $60,780
California $106,950
Colorado $74,240
Connecticut $81,220
Delaware $74,800
District of Columbia $92,350
Florida $66,210
Georgia $68,950
Hawaii $98,080
Idaho $67,110
Illinois $73,890
Indiana $64,860
Iowa $59,130
Kansas $61,030
Kentucky $63,100
Louisiana $63,970
Maine $67,610
Maryland $76,820
Massachusetts $92,140
Michigan $71,330
Minnesota $78,920
Mississippi $58,490
Missouri $65,130
Montana $67,450
Nebraska $64,470
Nevada $85,620
New Hampshire $72,760
New Jersey $82,750
New Mexico $71,730
New York $85,610
North Carolina $64,850
North Dakota $65,740
Ohio $66,820
Oklahoma $63,080
Oregon $91,080
Pennsylvania $70,390
Rhode Island $78,420
South Carolina $64,940
South Dakota $58,340
Tennessee $61,320
Texas $72,890
Utah $65,670
Vermont $69,160
Virginia $69,790
Washington $82,670
West Virginia $61,780
Wisconsin $71,470
Wyoming $67,360

What Tools do Critical Care Nurses Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Critical Care Nurses may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • MEDITECH software
  • Google Drive
  • Epic Systems
  • Oracle Taleo
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • eClinicalWorks
  • e-MDs software
  • Allscripts Professional EHR
  • SOAPware EMR
  • ChartWare EMR
  • NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR
  • SynaMed EMR
  • Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR
  • MicroFour PracticeStudio.NET EMR
  • Cerner Millennium
  • StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite

How to Become a Critical Care Nurse

Learn what Critical Care Nurse education requirements there are.

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What work experience do I need to become a Critical Care Nurse?

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Where Critical Care Nurses Work

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The table below shows the approximate number of Critical Care Nurses employed by various industries.

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Are you already one of the many Critical Care Nurse in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Aleksahgabrielle via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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