Travel ICU Nurse Jobs

ICU nursing is a rewarding career choice and not just because of the opportunity to help patients who are suffering from critical illness or are in a rapidly deteriorating condition.  To successfully navigate the ICU requires exceptional attention to detail, and expert knowledge regarding advanced technology and pathophysiology of disease processes, often leading nurses to seek out additional education, training, and certification.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't list nursing pay by every specialty, it does indicate that nurses who work in a hospital environment make more on average than those that work in doctor's offices, residential care facilities, or education. The average annual salary for RNs working in hospitals is around $75,030.

Qualified ICU nurses may be able to increase how much they make through overtime and other perks, and those who are willing to travel can often make more as a travel ICU nurse providing critical care in areas experiencing a shortage.

While ICU nursing can be incredibly physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, many nurses also find great satisfaction in caring for patients in their hours of greatest need.

ICU Nurse Salary

Critical care nurses made on average around $7,000 more per year than med-surg nurses, one of the most common nursing specialties. They also reported a higher mean income than nurses in specialties such as geriatrics, pediatrics, long-term care, rehab, public health, or ambulatory care.

In 2018 average yearly pay for RNs working in critical care environments was around $75,717. However, nurses that took steps to earn additional credentials made an average of around $92,314 working in critical care environments.

Browsing the job postings on Vivian indicates that travel nurses able to work in this specialty can make $1,900 to $3,000+ per week on assignment.

We currently have 14,466 matching ICU Nurse jobs.

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitLead Healthstaff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Fresno, California
Lead Healthstaff
24 days ago
We need a Critical Care - ICU Travel RN to make a positive impact on patient care! $9562.00 Estimated Gross Weekly! There are Travel Nurses and then there are Travel Lead-ers! Le ...
$9,562/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitLRS Healthcare - Travel Nursing
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Yreka, California
LRS Healthcare - Travel Nursing
6 days ago
$9,317/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitLead Healthstaff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Fresno, California
Lead Healthstaff
a month ago
We need a Critical Care - ICU Travel RN to make a positive impact on patient care! $8354.00 Estimated Gross Weekly! There are Travel Nurses and then there are Travel Lead-ers! Le ...
$8,354/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitLead Healthstaff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Fresno, California
Lead Healthstaff
a month ago
We need a Critical Care - ICU Travel RN to make a positive impact on patient care! $8354.00 Estimated Gross Weekly! There are Travel Nurses and then there are Travel Lead-ers! Le ...
$8,354/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitMedical Solutions
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Stockton, California
Medical Solutions
5 days ago
We’re seeking talented healthcare professionals whose adventure game is as strong as their clinical game. Those that want flexibility and high pay, we have the positions fo ...
$8,031/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Redwood, California
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$4,886/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Springfield, Illinois
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$4,295/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Asheville, North Carolina
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$4,114/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$4,093/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Walnut Creek, California
Focus Staff
3 hours ago
$4,016/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - CCU - Coronary CareAscend National Healthcare Staffing
Travel Nurse RN - CCU - Coronary Care
AdventHealth Heart of Florida
Davenport, Florida
Ascend National Healthcare Staffing
3 hours ago
$3,711/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Aurora, Illinois
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$3,482/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Barberton, Ohio
Focus Staff
5 hours ago
$3,037/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitOneStaff Medical
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Austin, Texas
OneStaff Medical
4 hours ago
$2,568/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitOneStaff Medical
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
San Jose, California
OneStaff Medical
4 hours ago
$2,528/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitOneStaff Medical
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Caldwell, Idaho
OneStaff Medical
4 hours ago
$2,209/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitAccountable Healthcare Staffing
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital
Redwood City, California
Accountable Healthcare Staffing
3 hours ago
$1,895/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitAccountable Healthcare Staffing
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital
Redwood City, California
Accountable Healthcare Staffing
3 hours ago
$1,895/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitAccountable Healthcare Staffing
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
Dallas, Texas
Accountable Healthcare Staffing
4 hours ago
$1,615/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care UnitAccountable Healthcare Staffing
Travel Nurse RN - ICU - Intensive Care Unit
Lifepoint Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital
Somerset, Kentucky
Accountable Healthcare Staffing
4 hours ago
$1,425/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested

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ICU Nurse FAQs

What hospitals currently have ICU Nurse job opportunities?

The hospitals on Vivian that currently have the most ICU Nurse jobs are Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center (40 jobs), Harborview Medical Center (37 jobs), and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (37 jobs).

What are the best agencies for ICU Nurse jobs?

The agencies on Vivian that currently have the most ICU Nurse jobs are Stability Healthcare (1596), OneStaff Medical (1474), and Accountable Healthcare Staffing (1255).

How Much Do ICU Nurse Jobs Pay?

For jobs available on Vivian as of Tuesday, September 28th 2021, the average weekly salary for a Intensive Care Unit Nurse is $3,012, but can pay up to $9,562 per week.

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  • min - $468
  • avg - $3,012
  • max - $9,562

What does an Intensive Care Unit Nurse do?

ICU nurses typically work in the various specialty  intensive care units of hospitals. They treat patients  that are admitted with a critical illness, but also care for patients that are rapidly deteriorating in other areas of the hospital. ICU RNs work with other healthcare team members to help return patients to a more stable state so that they can be treated in less critical areas of the facility and progress towards recovery.

ICU nurses may work with post-op surgical patients who need special treatments during recovery. They also work with patients who are suffering from highly acute conditions and may need special life sustaining equipment, such as respirators, continuous dialysis, and ECMO. Because of this, ICU RNs must be extremely proficient in technical nursing skills, and must be comfortable  using, monitoring, and troubleshooting medical devices and machinery. In the ICU, nurses are constantly evaluating any minor change in patient conditions in order to make real time decisions about care.

 Because ICU nurses work so closely with doctors and other medical team members, they must be able to employ excellent communication skills. Intensive care unit nurses  may work with patients that can't speak for themselves and they  have to act as advocates for their patients.  ICU nurses also help families communicate with impaired patients and help them navigate the overwhelming world of ICU care.

Where do ICU Nurses Work?

ICU mostly work inside closed units at acute care facilities. However, someone who is qualified to work as an ICU nurse has typically demonstrated the experience and knowledge needed to work in a wide variety of environments, such as emergency departments, operating rooms,. cath labs, outpatient procedural areas,  and even outpatient clinics. Critical care nurses may also be able to work  for specialty organizations, such as non-profit relief agencies, where their skills may be called upon during emergency situations or disasters.

How to Become an Intensive Care Unit Nurse?

While some organizations do hire RNs without certifications or specific experience and train them in ICU nursing, many hospitals look to hire professionals with degrees, certifications and relevant experience. A common path to working in the intensive care unit might follow the steps below.

  1. Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from an accredited school or from a program that appropriately prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN.

  2. Take and pass the NCLEX-RN and take the steps to obtain your RN license in the appropriate state (or your nurse compact license).

  3. Begin working as a nurse to obtain clinical experience, especially with critically ill patients. You may need 2-5 years worth of experience before you can become certified.

Decide what type of critical care certificate you need to continue working in the ICU. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses offers a number of certifications, including options for specializing in adult, pediatric or neonatal care.

Discover our ICU Nurse Community Hub

Delta Variant and How It’s Impacting ICU Nurse Demands

Posted on Aug 23, 2021
COVID-19 numbers are on the rise again, largely fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy, and ICUs across the nation are filling up fast. Many healthcare systems are still recovering from previous surges, but ICU nurses are bracing themselves for yet another spike in COVID-19 patients and wondering whether the pandemic will ever end….

Interview with an ICU Nurse: Bedside Nursing & Upcoming Challenges in Healthcare

Posted on Jul 19, 2021
This week we interviewed an ICU nurse from the Denver area to get their thoughts on the course of the pandemic and opinions about trends in nursing and healthcare employment.  They were very eager to speak their mind, but they opted to remain anonymous.  Vivian: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have…

How Much Do ICU Travel Nurses Make?

Posted on Jan 16, 2021
ICU travel nurses are detail-oriented nurses that specialize in critical thinking. Their clinical skills with high acuity patients and complex technology sets them apart from some of the other nursing specialties. ICU nurses are constantly evaluating their patients and processing data related to their care. For these reasons, among others, ICU travel nurses can routinely…

Demand for ICU nurses is up 281% as hot spots surge across the country

Posted on Nov 16, 2020
    Heroes they don’t always wear capes these days they mainly wear ppe right they are the doctors and nurses on the front lines of this fight and as covet spreads they’re spread thin the demand for icu nurses is off the charts right now up nearly 300 percent from last year nationwide that’s…

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Los Angeles, California
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Los Angeles, California
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a month ago
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Los Angeles, California
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a month ago
$5,806/wk
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