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Crticial Care Nursing Programs

Critical care nursing is a specialization in nursing where nurses care for patients critically ill or having life-threatening problems. A critical care nurse is a registered nurse who cares for patients that are acutely or critically ill patients and their family receive optimal care.

Critically ill patients are patients that are unstable and have complex healthcare needs. The patients need constant vigilance and often one-on-one nursing care.

Critical care nurses can work in a variety of settings. Here are some common areas where Critical Care Nurses work:

  • Home healthcare
  • Managed care organizations
  • Nursing schools
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • Clinics
  • Intensive-care units (ICUs) could be medical, surgical, pediatric, and neonatal ICUs
  • Cardiac care units
  • Cardiac catheter labs
  • Telemetry units
  • Progressive care units
  • Emergency departments
  • Recovery rooms

Critical care nurses often deal with complex cases and multi-system problems of patients. Critical care nursesí need for constant vigilance and intensive care for patientsí over-all needs including their family. Nurses need to provide a calm and healing environment for patients and their families. Critical care nurses need to constantly be updated and study new advances in healthcare.

Here are common roles that Critical Care Nurses should provide:

  • Critical care nurses are patient advocates. Critical care nurses need to respect patientsí rights and give them or the patientsí surrogate the autonomy that they deserve in making decisions.
  • Intervene when the best interest of the patient is in question.
  • Give the patient the care that they deserve.
  • Respect the values, beliefs and rights of the patient.
  • Educate and support the patientsí surrogate to in making decisions regarding the best interest of the patient.

Critical Care Nursing Programs

Critical care nursing is a very demanding job with your patients constantly in need of 24/7 care. If you feel that you can handle the stress then you can go into critical care nursing programs.

The Critical Care Nursing Programs generally have two levels of qualification:

  1. Experienced Registered Nurses (RNs) can earn a certificate in Critical Care Nursing after completing 27 credits and passing the examination required by the area they practice in.
  2. Registered Nurses graduates can earn Bachelor of Science in Specialty Nursing (BSN SN) after completing an additional 33 credits (for a total of 60 credits).

Critical Care Nurse Certification

Getting a certification is not required for nurses to practice in critical care but it is preferred when applying for jobs in hospitals. Certified nurses are required to pass a nationally recognized certification examination (this may demand on the area where you practice in).

The shortage for nurses especially in specialized care is increasing due to the advances of medical technology in the past few years. The increasing need for critical care nurses is due to the increasing critically ill patients. The future for nurses in critical care is promising with hospitals offering sign-up bonuses to critical care nurses with experiences. Some hospitals also offer reimbursements for continuing critical care education to nurses who are interested in critical care.

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