People who have ever been seriously ill or visited someone admitted to the hospital might have encountered a critical care nurse. Also known as ICU nurses, these healthcare professionals work in ICU units and are responsible for taking care of seriously ill patients. These days, over 500,000 critical care nurses are working in the US. People looking forward to establishing their careers as critical care nurses should consider enrolling in the best critical care training course and earning the necessary certification. This article will guide individuals through the role of critical care nurse and educational requirements.
What are the Responsibilities of a Critical Care Nurse?
The primary responsibility of a critical care nurse is to assist doctors and specialists in assessing, treating, and monitoring people of all ages who are critically ill or recovering from life-threatening injuries. Here given are the day-to-day responsibilities of a critical care nurse:
- Assessing and treating critically ill patient’s condition
- Ordering diagnostic tests, like x-rays, CT scans, or EKGs
- Communicating with patients and their families
- Monitoring medical equipment
The following listed points will explain the educational requirements for becoming a critical care nurse:
- Become a Registered Nurse
First, a candidate must complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered critical care nurse. Moreover, students who’ve already graduated with an associate nursing degree can apply to RN-to-BSN programs to earn a bachelor’s degree in less time.
- Earn the Critical Care Nursing License
After earning a degree, the candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam- a computer-generated exam undertaken by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN). Furthermore, the candidate must meet his state’s requirements to be eligible for a critical care nursing license.
- Earn the Critical Care Nursing Certification
Nurses will need the CCRN certification from the AACCN to establish their knowledge of nursing critically injured or ill patients. Candidates need to meet one of the following listed requirements to be eligible for this specific exam:
- Practicing as an RN or APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) in the direct care of critically ill patients for 1,750 hours in two years. A candidate should complete 875 of these hours in the year preceding the application.
- Practicing as an RN or APRN in the direct care of critically ill patients for 2,000 hours in five years. A candidate should complete 144 hours in the year preceding the application.
- Exploring Additional Certifications
After working as a critical care nurse, one can pursue a master’s degree or enroll in a critical care training course to earn specialty certifications, depending on the type of patients they want to serve. CMC, ACNPC-AG, CSC, etc., are some additional nursing certifications.
Recently, there has been registered that there is a shortage of critical nurses, resulting in a higher demand for critical care careers in the US. Now that critical care nurses directly serve and treat critically ill or injured patients while dealing with a large amount of technology, they must be trained appropriately. Therefore, candidates aspiring to become highly efficient critical care nurses should consider enrolling in the AACCN-approved critical care training course to sharpen their knowledge and skills.