Critical Care Nurses

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.

Common job titles of Critical Care Nurses include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 45% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 45% said they needed a Associate's Degree.


    Assess family adaptation levels and coping skills to determine whether intervention is needed.

    Identify patients at risk of complications due to nutritional status.

    Advocate for patients' and families' needs, or provide emotional support for patients and their families.

    Collect specimens for laboratory tests.

    Assess patients' pain levels or sedation requirements.

    Monitor patients for changes in status and indications of conditions such as sepsis or shock and institute appropriate interventions.

    Ensure that equipment or devices are properly stored after use.

    Perform approved therapeutic or diagnostic procedures, based upon patients' clinical status.

    Identify malfunctioning equipment or devices.

    Collaborate with other health care professionals to develop and revise treatment plans, based on identified needs and assessment data.

    Document patients' treatment plans, interventions, outcomes, or plan revisions.

    Compile and analyze data obtained from monitoring or diagnostic tests.

    Prioritize nursing care for assigned critically ill patients, based on assessment data or identified needs.

    Document patients' medical histories and assessment findings.

    Monitor patients' fluid intake and output to detect emerging problems, such as fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

    Conduct pulmonary assessments to identify abnormal respiratory patterns or breathing sounds that indicate problems.

    Administer medications intravenously, by injection, orally, through gastric tubes, or by other methods.

    Set up and monitor medical equipment and devices such as cardiac monitors, mechanical ventilators and alarms, oxygen delivery devices, transducers, or pressure lines.

    Evaluate patients' vital signs or laboratory data to determine emergency intervention needs.

    Identify patients' age-specific needs and alter care plans as necessary to meet those needs.

    Assess patients' psychosocial status and needs, including areas such as sleep patterns, anxiety, grief, anger, and support systems.

    Supervise and monitor unit nursing staff.

    Assist physicians with procedures such as bronchoscopy, endoscopy, endotracheal intubation, or elective cardioversion.

    Administer blood and blood products, monitoring patients for signs and symptoms related to transfusion reactions.

    Participate in professional organizations and continuing education to improve practice knowledge and skills.

    Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, interdisciplinary health care team members, or community members.

    Participate in the development, review, or evaluation of nursing practice protocols.

    Coordinate patient care conferences.

    Provide post-mortem care.



Ventricular assist devices VAD

Venous Oxygen Saturation SVO2 monitors

Urinary catheters

Urinalysis test strips

Ultrasound transducers

Transvenous pacemakers

All Tools

Transport cardiac monitors

Transfer boards

Transcutaneous pacemakers

Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation TENS equipment

Traction weights

Tracheotomy sets

Tracheal suctioning equipment


Thoracentesis trays

Therapeutic whirlpool baths

Telemetry monitors

Tablet computers

Suture removal kits

Surgical staple removers

Surgical scalpels

Surgical razors

Surgical irrigation sets

Straight surgical scissors

Straight hemostats


Specimen collection containers

Specialty patient care beds

Sequential compression devices

Safety goggles

Pulse oximeters

Pulmonary artery catheters

Protective medical face masks

Protective gowns

Protective face shields

Pneumatic boots

Pill splitters

Pill crushers

Personal digital assistants PDA

Pericardiocentesis kits

Patient walkers

Patient restraints

Patient controlled analgesia PCA pumps

Oxygen flowmeters

Oxygen delivery masks

Oxygen concentrators


Ostomy equipment

Orthopedic splinting equipment

Oral suctioning equipment

Occlusion clamps

Nasogastric tubes

Nasal suctioning equipment

Multiple lumen central line catheters

Multiple line infusion pumps

Medical scales

Medical nasal cannulae

Medical gurneys

Medical examination protective gloves

Mechanical stethoscopes

Mechanical intermittent positive pressure ventilators

Manual resuscitation bags

Laptop computers


Kidney dialysis equipment

Intubation sets

Intravenous IV administration sets

Intravenous infusion pumps

Intracranial pressure monitors

Intra-aortic balloon pumps IABP

Incision drainage equipment

Incentive spirometers

Ice collars

Hypodermic syringes

Hyper/hypothermia blankets

Hoyer lifts

Hemodynamic monitors

Handheld nebulizers

Handheld calculators

Halo traction equipment

Graduated glass laboratory cylinders

Geriatric chairs

Foot cradles

Flexible laryngoscopes

Fetal monitors

Evacuated blood collection tubes

Epidural catheters

Enteral feeding sets

Enema equipment

Endotracheal ET tubes

End tidal carbon dioxide monitors or supplies

Electronic compressor nebulizers

Electrocardiography EKG machines

Echocardiogram equipment

Doppler ultrasound equipment

Digital medical thermometers

Desktop computers

Crutchfield tongs


Crash carts

Cooling blankets

Continuous positive airway pressure CPAP ventilators

Continuous passive motion CPM equipment

Clinical trapeze traction bars

Chest drains

Cardiac monitors

Bulb syringes

Blood warming equipment

Blood pressure monitors

Blood glucometers

Blood drawing syringes

Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators


Bed scales

Autotransfusion systems

Automated medicine dispensing equipment

Automated external defibrillators AED

Arterial line catheters

Arterial blood gas testing equipment

Apnea monitors



MEDITECH software

Oracle Taleo

Allscripts Professional EHR

American Association of Critical Care Nurses AACN Medicopeia

Amkai AmkaiCharts

Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR System

Cerner Millennium

All Technologies

ChartWare EMR

e-MDs software


GE Healthcare Centricity EMR

MEDITECH Healthcare Information System HCIS

Medscribbler Enterprise

MicroFour PracticeStudio.NET EMR

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR

PEPID RN Critical Care RNCC


StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite

SynaMed EMR

Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR


Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Teaching others how to do something.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

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