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.

We currently have 1,346 matching ICU Nurse jobs.

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ICU Nurse FAQs

What hospitals currently have the most ICU Nurse job opportunities?

The hospitals on Vivian that currently have the most ICU Nurse jobs are The Hospitals of Providence East Campus (39 jobs), Baylor Scott and White Medical Center - Sunnyvale (33 jobs), and SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital (22 jobs).

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.

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.

What certifications are commonly held by Intensive Care Unit nurses?

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…

Recently filled jobs

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • ICU RN, 12 hr. PM shift
  • Boston, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (perm or temp to perm float pool position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexibl ...
Permanent
10 days ago

$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • ICU RN, 12 hr. PM shift
  • Boston, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (perm or temp to perm float pool position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexibl ...
Permanent
10 days ago

$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • ICU RN, 12 hr. PM shift
  • Brockton, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (perm or temp to perm float pool position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexible ...
Permanent
10 days ago

$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Critical Care RN, 12 hr. PM Shift
  • Brockton, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (perm or temp to perm float pool position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexible ...
Permanent
10 days ago

$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Critical Care RN, 12 hr. PM shift
  • Boston, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (perm or temp to perm float pool position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexibl ...
Permanent
10 days ago

$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Critical Care RN 12 hr. PM shift
  • Methuen, MA
    • 3x12 hrs
Cross Country Healthcare – Exclusive Massachusetts Resource Pool (Resource Pool Position) *** Massachusetts License Required *** Real flexibility with flexible weekend shift opt ...
Permanent
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$60-66/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Medford, OR
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Flexible
  • Relocation Bonus
Able to relocate to Oregon within 3 months. 1 year of inpatient nursing experience required
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Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Boise, ID
    • Nights
  • Referral Bonus
Overview St. Luke’s Health System in Meridian is seeking an experienced ICU or ER Trauma Level 2 RN to join our Crisis team.   Unit/Position Summary The Crisis Nurse works under o ...
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$33-57/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Boise, ID
    • Nights
  • Referral Bonus
Overview St. Luke’s Health System in Meridian is seeking an experienced ICU or ER Trauma Level 2 RN to join our Crisis team.   Unit/Position Summary The Crisis Nurse works under o ...
Permanent

$33-57/hr

Registered Nurse (RN) - ICU - Intensive Care Unit

  • Boise, ID
    • Nights
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Overview St. Luke’s Health System in the Treasure Valley is seeking a night shift RN to join our Clinical Support Unit (Float Pool)-Critical Care service line.   Unit/Position Sum ...
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$33-57/hr