How much does a Surgical ICU Nurse make in the United States?
Average Surgical ICU Nurse Salary
This is 7% higher than the travel nursing US average of $3,177.
Estimate based on 98139 active jobs in the last 90 days.
What is a Surgical Intensive Care Unit RN?
Surgical intensive care unit nurses, also called SICU nurses, work in a fast-paced, high acuity critical care environment. SICU RNs primarily work in hospitals, but they may also work in surgical centers, especially those that have an ICU. Good SICU nurses have advanced critical care skills and technical ICU nursing skills that help boost their wages, but numerous other elements factor into the salary of surgical ICU RNs.
SICU nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for critically ill surgical patients throughout the perioperative period, including preoperative, postoperative, and post-trauma injury management. They receive specialized education and training to provide intensive care to unstable patients who may be on mechanical ventilation or recovering from major cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or transplant surgery.
The minimum education requirement to become a SICU nurse is an Associate Degree in Nursing, but some facilities prefer ICU nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. All nursing programs must be accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
How a Surgical Intensive Care Unit RN salary is based
Graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, which is the only license required to become a SICU nurse. Many facilities want new RNs to gain some nursing experience before transferring to the SICU. Once you have sufficient experience to transition to SICU nursing, your base salary will be lower than experienced SICU nurses. Only time on the job will boost your salary based on experience level.
SICU nurses undergo specific on-the-job training to enhance their education and effectively handle the critical needs of their patients. This specialized training and the overall nature of the work may result in SICU nurses having higher base salaries than nurses in non-critical care settings, even relatively new SICU nurses.
Certifications can help increase your knowledge and growth as a SICU nurse and should also increase your salary. All RNs must complete Basic Life Support certification and SICU nurses must also complete Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification. Mandatory certifications generally don’t affect base salary but voluntary certification usually will and it’s a good career move overall.
Work setting can affect base pay for SICU nurses. Large med surg hospitals may have more funds for salaries than smaller outpatient clinics, even those with ICUs. Geographical location also plays a big role. Urban medical facilities usually have much more funding than rural ones, which can translate into higher base salaries for all nurses. Salaries also tend to be higher in certain states, but so are the costs of living in these areas.
How to increase your Surgical Intensive Care Unit RN salary
SICU nurses benefit from pursuing professional certifications. The additional study required to pass certification exams often translates into higher salaries for SICU nurses compared to uncertified RNs in similar positions.
There aren’t any certifications specifically for SICU nursing, but Critical Care Registered Nurse certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses works. CCRN certification is available to RNs providing direct care to critically ill adult patients no matter their location. Sitting for the CCRN exam requires RNs to complete 1,750 hours in the direct care of critically ill patients within the last two years or 2,000 hours during at least five years of nursing practice.
Furthering your education also heightens your career advancement and salary potential by putting you on the path to an advanced practice role. A SICU RN could become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. You must complete a Master of Science in Nursing with an NP focus, a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner program, or a postgraduate certificate if you already possess your MSN or NP qualifications in another specialty. An ACNP program can take two to three years depending on the program and whether you attend full-time or part-time.
The AACN offers the ACNPC-AG exam, which is an entry-level advanced practice board certification for ACNPs educated at the graduate level to provide care to acutely ill patients from young adults through gerontology. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also offers the Adult-Gerontology ACNP Certification (AGACNP-BC) exam for nurses who hold a master’s, post-graduate certificate, or DNP from an accredited AGACNP program that includes at least 500 hours of faculty-supervised clinical hours and advanced physiology/pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology coursework.
Where do Surgical ICU Nurses get paid the most?
|State||Average Weekly Salary||Max Weekly Salary|
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What cities pay the most for Surgical ICU Nurse?
|City||Average Weekly Salary||Max Weekly Salary|
|Sleepy Hollow, New York||$6,658||$6,658|
|Orangeburg, New York||$6,502||$6,502|
|Cottage Grove, Oregon||$5,989||$5,989|
|Friday Harbor, Washington||$5,989||$5,989|
|Laguna Beach, California||$5,880||$5,880|
|Manhasset, New York||$5,784||$7,185|
Top Surgical ICU Nurse Jobs
What are the highest paying Agencies for Surgical ICU Nurse jobs?
|Average Weekly Salary||Max Weekly Salary|
|LRS Healthcare - Travel Nursing||$7,700||$9,317|
|MedWave Healthcare Staffing||$6,467||$7,585|
|Rock Medical Group||$6,285||$6,285|
|NuWest Travel Nursing||$6,171||$6,285|
|Marshall Healthcare Staffing||$5,789||$7,500|