What does an Intensive Care Unit Nurse do?
Intensive Care Unit Nurses are typically employed at hospitals, emergency rooms and specialized care facilities to take care of medically fragile patients undergoing serious procedures or recovering from severe injuries. Intensive Care Unit Nurses take extra care to ensure that their environment and tools are sterile in order to protect patients with weakened immune systems. Their role is to monitor a patient’s ongoing care and recovery, communicating with doctors and surgeons about the status of their care plan. Intensive Care Unit Nurses also help disabled patients maintain their hygiene by bathing, feeding and dressing them.
Intensive Care Unit Nurse skills and qualifications
A successful Intensive Care Unit Nurse candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least five years of experience in a critical care unit. Communication skills are key in this role because of the sometimes hectic nature of treating medical emergencies. Many other soft skills nurses develop over the years will be essential for an Intensive Care Unit Nurse, including empathy, written communication skills, research and reporting abilities and more. Skills and qualifications of an Intensive Care Unit Nurse include:
- Bachelor’s degree in nursing
- Experience in a critical care unit
- Understanding of health information technology and structures
- Communication and empathy skills
- Availability to work 12-hour shifts, both day and night
Intensive Care Unit Nurse salary expectations
The average tenure for an Intensive Care Unit Nurse is one to three years. The average salary for an Intensive Care Unit Nurse is $1,530 per week, or $78,572 annually. This estimate is based on 54,447 salaries anonymously submitted to Indeed by Intensive Care Unit Nurses and collected from past and present job postings on Indeed over the last 36 months.
Intensive Care Unit Nurse education and training requirements
An Intensive Care Unit Nurse should have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field. Many colleges and universities now offer nursing programs where students can earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the end of the program. There are also standalone nursing programs that offer students a BSN at the end of their studies.
Intensive Care Unit Nurse experience requirements
To work in the intensive care unit, nurses should have some previous experience working in a critical care unit. The environment can be a hectic, stressful and emotional one, so having previous experience in an intensive care unit or emergency room environment is beneficial. It will be important that past experience has helped build soft skills like communication skills and the ability to empathize with others.
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