How to prepare for icu nursing? Are you a student or a professional looking to enter the ICU nursing profession? Working in an ICU unit is a rewarding and demanding field.
As an ICU nurse, you would have to be ready to provide essential medical care service under severe conditions and with limited resources.
Nurses play an integral role in today’s health care system.
Being an ICU nurse requires specialized training, certification and experience.
Knowing what it takes to become an ICU nurse can help you decide if this career path is right for you.
To become a successful ICU nurseyou need to meet certain criteria and acquire the necessary certifications.
Moreover, for the safety of the patients, there are specific regulations that nurses must adhere to when working in the critical care environment.
This article will discuss how one can prepare for a career in ICU nursing by covering topics such as licensing requirements, knowledge base, skills development, as well as job openings.
How to Prepare for ICU Nursing
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is an incredible place of healing and compassion.
It takes a special type of nurse to care for the sickest patients in the hospital.
If you want to pursue ICU nursing and prepare yourself for this grueling, yet rewarding profession, here are a few steps to help you get started:
1. Get Your Nursing Degree
First and foremost, the most important step in becoming an ICU nurse is to earn your nursing degree.
You can obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), or take four years or longer to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Additionally, for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, there are also accelerated BSN programs available.
2. Earn Your CCRN Certification
Once you have your nursing degree, it’s time to begin preparing for your certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN).
You will need to become certified by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses either through their Clinical Simulation Exam or their online self-paced exam.
3. Acquire Experience Working on Another Floor
Before you jump into working on an ICU floor, it is beneficial to gain some experience working on other floors within the hospital first.
Being familiar with disease states and how treatments affect other parts of the body will be advantageous when providing ICU level care later down the line.
Plus, taking care of patients on non-critical floors can give you valuable general patient care experience — something that will absolutely come in handy when caring for critically ill patients with multiple comorbidities.
4. Begin Volunteering on the ICU Floor
If your hospital allows volunteer work outside of student placements, volunteering at your local hospital works great too! Some hospitals offer internships specifically tailored towards helping new graduates transition from student nurses to full-time employees — these are great opportunities if available! Becoming comfortable with working in such high acuity settings is key when beginning rotations after graduation day arrives!
5. Consider Additional Certifications & Education Opportunities
Depending upon what specialty units exist within your current hospital’s ICUs – i.e., Cardiac or Surgical – there may be different certifications required prior to beginning work within them as well as additional educational opportunities available via conferences or professional organizations like AACN or AONE during your tenure as an Intensive Care Nurse should you choose them!
Preparation for ICU nursing is essential to ensure success in this challenging role.
Taking the time to learn all the skills, gathering and updating your knowledge of specialized procedures and protocols, and honing your decision-making abilities can make a world of difference not only for patient outcomes but in increasing the confidence of an ICU nurse.
Proper preparation will also help an ICU nurse adjust quickly to unexpected changes in patient care or shifts in techniques or approaches needed during their duties.
Leave a Reply