Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

ICU Nurse Job Description and Salary Expectations

Job Descriptions October 17, 2013

Overview

A nurse working in the Intensive Care Unit, or ICU, provides total patient care for critically ill patients, including medications, orders and treatments. An ICU nurse assists physicians in performing special procedures, closely monitors the patient for changes in his condition, and assists in emergency nursing procedures as necessary. ICU nurses provide the highest level of care to critical care patients and their families.

Work Environment and Job Duties

Intensive care units are clean and quiet. ICU nurses usually work indoors in temperature-controlled environments. These nurses enjoy the company of other medical professionals while caring for a wide variety of patients and their families.

ICU nurses generally work with fewer patients than do nurses in other hospital units, but ICU patients are usually sicker and require constant monitoring and assessment. ICU nurses monitor life support equipment and provide advanced life support to critically ill patients. These nurses also attend to wounds and quickly respond to changing patient conditions. ICU nurses document changes to the patient’s condition and all interactions accurately to give the attending physician an accurate picture of patient health.

ICU nursing requires an analytical mind, but it also requires physical strength and a great deal of human compassion. An ICU nurse spends much of his day on his feet, walking from room to room, pulling patients up in bed or sliding patients onto gurneys. An ICU nurse also acts as a patient advocate, protecting patient dignity and offering accurate, timely information to patients and family members.

Requirements and Education

Some hospitals allow registered nurses to work in critical care units. A registered nurse may pursue certification to verify that she meets professional standards for working in an intensive care setting. These certification programs typically require work experience in a critical care setting, passing a rigorous written exam, and engaging in continuing education courses.

Many ICU nurses have advanced degrees and specialty certifications, such as a master’s or a doctoral degree in acute care settings. Some become clinical nurse specialists or acute-care practitioners, positions that require a high degree of proficiency and responsibility, but offer lucrative financial incentives and high worker satisfaction.

Salary and Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of registered nurses in general to rise 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, “faster than the average for all occupations.” Because of their experience with critical care patients and proficiency with the sophisticated equipment these patients require, most ICU nurses feel comfortable working as a team leader in other areas of healthcare.

An ICU nurse with an advanced degree and solid clinical experience usually advances quickly to supervisory roles within any healthcare institution. These nurses often become team leaders, head nurses or hospital administrators. ICU nurses typically enjoy robust wages, pleasant working conditions, quick professional advancement and the respect of their co-workers.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
  • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!