How to Become An Icu Nurse
Nurses are healthcare professionals with knowledge and skills to help the patients with different medical conditions. They also assist the physicians and other medical staff with various medical procedures. Different nurses have different job descriptions. An ICU nurse is specialized to provide nursing care to patients in critical conditions. Other than performing treatment procedures, these nurses keep patients informed of their condition. They are highly specialized nurses who know how to operate advanced medical equipment such as EKG machines, defibrillators and ventilators.
If you want to get into the field of ICU nursing, you will need to obtain the required degrees and licensure as required by your state.
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How to Become ICU Nurses
To become ICU nurses the first step is to obtain a RN degree. You can enroll in associates or bachelors program in nursing and become a registered nurse. These programs are offered by both regular and online schools. Once you become a registered nurse, you must obtain a license as well. An associate’s degree can be completed in 2 years while a bachelors program in nursing requires 4 years to complete. If you take the online route, you can earn these degrees at your own pace. Some of the courses you will cover in nursing programs include ethics, medical terminology, patient care and anatomy and physiology. Other than classroom lessons, you will also undergo clinical experience in these programs.
You can also enroll in MSN program in nursing with specialization in critical care as well. In this advanced program, you will learn about advanced cardiac life support, clinical pathophysiology and trauma nursing. In addition, you will also complete research courses and participate in clinical experiences.
RNs and nurse practitioners can also opt for certifications offered by The American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also offers Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification.
Career Prospects for Intensive Care Unit Nurses
Job opportunities for nurses are expected to grow by 22% over the next decade. This is why pursuing a career in the field of ICU nursing can lead you to promising career prospects within the healthcare industry. As an intensive care unit nurse, you will be able to work in hospitals within the ICU units and provide critical care to patients suffering from life threatening diseases and injuries.
On average, these nurses can earn about $65,000 per year. The salary of these professionals may vary by experience and job location.
There are a number of online schools that offer programs for aspiring ICU nurses. The online programs are highly suitable for students who reside in remote areas away from schools and colleges as well as working professionals who cannot attend regular classes due to their fixed work schedules. As the online programs are flexible, they allow students to earn a degree at their own pace. Students can enroll in them from any location and participate in group decisions online. They can also get in touch with the instructors over the internet and submit their assignments over the internet.