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ICU Nurse: Education, Salary and Responsibilities

ICU Nurse: Education, Salary, Responsibilities ➤

ICU Nurse: Education, Salary, Responsibilities

The Occupation of ICU Nurse:

An ICU (Intensive Care Unit) nurse serves patients who have critical illnesses or injuries. Patients in the ICU require constant care and monitoring by medical staff. Someone who wants to be an ICU nurse must have the training and education to work with patients who need specialized care. In addition, an ICU nurse must be able to cope with the emotional aspect of working with these types of patients in a hospital. The following highlights some of the educational requirements and other factors involved in the work of an ICU nurse.

Education Requirements:

Someone who aspires to be an ICU nurse must first become a registered nurse. This can be accomplished by earning either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree with a focus on nursing. All registered nurses must take an exam to get their license to practice nursing. A registered nurse working in the ICU learns procedures and tasks while on-the-job.

ICU Nurse Salary:

An ICU nurse salary ranges from $64,000 to $93,000 a year. There are many things that can increase an ICU nurse's salary. For instance, as a nurse garners experience in the ICU, he or she has the opportunity to receive a pay raise each year. Additional training can also serve to increase an ICU nurse's salary. The professional may want to return to school for more education. The ICU nurse salary of someone with a master’s degree in nursing will likely be higher than a nurse with only a bachelor's or associate’s degree.

The Job Responsibilities of an ICU Nurse:

Like many other types of nurses, an ICU nurse has lots of responsibilities. ICU nurses dispense medication, keep physicians informed of any changes in a patient, monitor pain control, care for a patients’ wounds and change patients’ IV therapies. An ICU nurse must handle each case individually according to the physician’s orders and the condition of the patient. Along with caring for patients, an ICU nurse may also be asked to talk with the patient’s family to answer questions regarding care. An ICU nurse is a kind of advocate for a patient because he or she is with the patient for the bulk of the time. Consequently, an ICU nurse is more likely to see subtle changes (either positive or negative) in a patient’s condition.

What is a Typical Day Like for an ICU Nurse?

A typical day for an ICU nurse depends upon the patients staying in the ICU. A nurse may be assigned to care for two or three patients. One patient may need constant monitoring to help control his or her pain while another patient needs to be bathed. An ICU nurse must spend part of his or her shift updating patient files to make sure the physicians have all of the information they need regarding a patient’s progress. An ICU nurse must be focused and alert at all times in order to give patients the best possible care while they are recovering.