- 3 new this week
- up to $100/hr
- $82/hr avg
- 7 facilities
- 5 agencies
24 Matching Results
Do you want to know when new jobs matching your interests are posted?
Local Contract ICU Nurse FAQs
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.
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.
Take and pass the NCLEX-RN and take the steps to obtain your RN license in the appropriate state (or your nurse compact license).
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.