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Do ICU nurses have any more training/education than a regular nurse?


June 6th, 2022

Absolutely. My transition to ICU from ward nursing was easy as the flexibility I learned as a ward nurse was a plus. You may not believe it but ward nursing teaches us a lot.

To show you truly want this change:

1. Join your local AACN.
2. Take ACLS the next time your facility offers it.
3. Start taking Critical Care CEUs to learn where you need to bone up.
4. Ask the ICU NM about shadowing...you will probably have to do it on your own time and without pay.

Every single aspect of nursing requires regular CEUs. Never forget that. I worked closely with orthopedic nurses when we had a patient in traction. I worked closely with the Heme/Onc nurses when we had chemo, etc. We are all experts in our areas.

Good luck.

August 10th, 2021

Absolutely, the level of care is different in ICU. One must be competent in various critical care skills, such as titrating essential drips, understanding hemodynamics, setting up and maintaining arterial lines, EVDS, lumbar drains, monitoring CVP, ICP and CPP. Drawing your own labs and ABG’s, and being able to interpret them. Understanding ventilators and different settings. Starting IVs on very sick patients, administering sedation and rapid sequence intubation medications, assisting in bedside procedures such as bronchs and G/J tube placement, etc. Critical care is a different world than a med-surg or step down (PCU/IMU) nurse. It’s requires constant critics thinking and being on your toes. Lots of labs and diagnostics, dealing with stressed out family members, lots of death and upper management pressure. Not for the faint at heart.

July 15th, 2022

To be a critical care nurse there is no further college education required. However, a nurse who wants to be competent and able to handle anything that comes through the door should pursue becoming board certified in critical care. Once that is accomplished, the nurse can feel confident her skills measure up to the challenge critical patients present. Mary Wontor, RN, MSN, CCRN retired

November 5th, 2021

If you are asking if they need more education, ie, some sort of specific degree or advanced certification then the answer is generally no. There does, however, exist a different skillset just like in most specialties. The skills, however, are usually learned on the job. Special training or certifications are often offered at the hospital (ie, conscious sedation, CRRT, ECMO, etc). Orienting to an ICU is often between 3-6 mos -- depending on prior experience -- because of all the additional skills needed. The only thing that might not be offered at the hospital is ACLS certification, which is needed to work in an ICU.

August 10th, 2021

yes icu nurses have training in life saving medications that require special parameters for administration and titration according to the pharmacokinetics of the medication and pathophysiology of the patient.

July 4th, 2022

Of course...thats why it is called a specialty

July 1st, 2022

The hospital in CO that I work for has a nurse residency program that you can apply for departments like the ICU, Women’s Care, OR, Medical Surgical, Oncology, and ED. HCA, Centura, UCHealth all have there programs to get experienced and new grad nurses into areas that they want to be in.

June 30th, 2022

I am sorry to answer this way, but, this should not even be a question. The name says it itself Intensive Care Unit. One needs to be well trained and knowledgeable to work in ICU otherwise ONE WILL KILL SOMEONE.

July 2nd, 2022

If you are asking if they need more education, ie, some sort of specific degree or advanced certification then the answer is generally no. Iam 4 years generic bsn nurse.