Critical Care Nurse Job Profile

Having a critical care nurse job can be very demanding and rewarding at the same time. Many medical facilities have needs for critical care nurses at all times. Here are the basics of being a critical care nurse and what you should expect out of the job.

Becoming a Critical Care Nurse

The process of becoming a critical care nurse will involve a fair amount of education as well as securing your nursing license. This process will require you to become a registered nurse first. You will need to attend a certified nursing program and obtain either and Associate Of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

Once you have obtained the necessary education, you will have to get your nursing license. This involves taking a test called the NCLEX-RN. After you pass this test, you will also have to become certified as a critical care nurse. You will have to obtain your certification from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Basic Tasks

Critical care nurses will perform a variety of tasks that are designed to help those that are in dire medical situations. A critical care nurse will work in an area that involves very detailed care of patients. For example, as a critical care nurse, you might work in the intensive care unit of a hospital. You can also work in a post operative unit as well. Critical care nurses will be needed wherever there are patients that need constant care.

Critical care nurses will have a good understanding of how to use very complex medical equipment. They will also be in charge of administering complex medication regimens. Some critical care nurses will choose to specialize in a particular area of critical care such as pediatric intensive care.

Work Schedule

Critical care nurses will have schedules that can be very demanding at times. You will not typically work a normal 40 hour workweek. Sometimes, you will have to work on nights, weekends, and holidays. Many facilities also want their nurses to work three 12-hour shifts instead of spreading their hours out over a week.


The median salary for a critical care nurse is approximately $62,000 per year. This can go up as you gain more experience in the industry.

Opportunities for Advancement

As a critical care nurse, you will most likely already be a registered nurse. This means that you are in charge of LPN's and other nurses. However, in some hospitals, you could eventually work your way up to manage more personnel. Advancement opportunities may also come in the form of being recruited by another hospital. Many hospitals will put together attractive incentive packages to try and lure away good critical care nurses. Therefore, you might be able to get a better position with better pay in this manner.

Finding a Job

If you are currently looking for a job as a critical care nurse, you will want to check out They have up to date job listings as well as relevant job information for nurses.