How to Become a (ICU) Registered Nurse

Nurses working in intensive care units are responsible for treating patients with life threatening injuries or acute medical conditions. Their job duties include bandaging and cleaning patients’ wounds, evaluating their vital signs, administering medications and tracking life support equipment.
In case you are looking for information on how to become an ICU Registered Nurse in the U.S., then you have come to the right place. Read this article to familiarize yourself with the steps involved in joining this noble profession.

Should I Become a (ICU) Registered Nurse?

Critical care nurses have to think on their feet during stressful situations, therefore they need to be patient, calm and alert at all times. If you have these traits, then you should become an ICU Registered Nurse.
The table below highlights the basic education, certification, and license requirements for Registered Nurses.

Education Required Bachelor’s degree/Associate’s degree in Nursing.
Major Training On-the-job training is not required.
License/Certification A license is mandatory. Certifications are voluntary but recommended.
Key Skills/Qualities Emotional Stability, Communication Skills, Physical Stamina, Critical Thinking Skills, Compassionate, Detail Oriented, and Organizational Skills.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $77,460
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 12% (Registered Nurses)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

The job outlook data suggests that the employment opportunities for Registered Nurses will increase by 12% from 2018 to 2028. This information has been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Steps to Become a (ICU) Registered Nurse

In order to become a (ICU) Registered Nurse in the U.S., you will have to pass through the following stages:

1. Complete an Undergraduate Degree in Nursing :The first step is to earn a Diploma, an Associate’s degree, or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. These programs include courses on psychology, microbiology, physiology and anatomy. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) usually takes four years to complete, while the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) usually takes two to three years to complete. The diploma programs are usually offered by medical centers and hospitals.

2. Get Licensed! :After getting done with the Nursing degree, you will have to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), in order to get the state license.

3. Gain Professional Experience:Once you have been issued the license, you should start looking for entry-level nursing positions in trauma centers or critical care units of different hospitals. As a critical care nurse, you will be responsible for monitoring patients, checking their vital signs, and administering intravenous medications.

4. Get Certified and Move Ahead with Your Nursing Career:After gaining some nursing experience, you can obtain a Critical Care Nurse certification from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The Critical Care Registered Nurse credentials are valid for only three years, after which you will be required to renew them.

How Long Does It Take to Become a (ICU) Registered Nurse?

The process of becoming a (ICU) Registered Nurse incorporates many stages. First, candidates have to complete a 2-year long Associate’s degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Then, they have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam in order to obtain the state license. After getting licensed, they have to look for entry-level positions in critical care settings. Moreover, candidates might also want to get certified from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) in order to acquire specialized nursing training and knowledge.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a (ICU) Registered Nurse?

In order to become a (ICU) Registered Nurse in the U.S., candidates have to fulfill a number of requirements.
The individual has to:

  • Complete an undergraduate program in Nursing.
  • Clear the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to get licensed.

How Much Does a (ICU) Registered Nurse Earn in the US?

Occupational statistics published by BLS show that Registered Nurses working in the U.S. earned a yearly mean salary of $77,460 in 2019.

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