Critical Care Registered Nurse

Critical Care Registered Nurse

             Critical care nurses are crucial in the medical field by monitoring and treating patients that have life-threatening illnesses and injuries. CCN’s work environment is fast-paced and has no room for mistakes and constantly be on their A-game.

Critical Care Nurse Duties

            Critical care nurses usually require the same skills as registered nurses but undergo further training to care for acute or critical illnesses. The typical day for a CCN would be monitoring critical medical support equipment and tending to patients that have life-threatening injuries. Key skills for a CNN include:

  • Ability to access and treat patients swiftly and accurately
  • Critical thinker in a fast-paced environment
  • Good communicator between patients and families
  • Physically fit for long, intensive shifts

According to, salary.guide, the following is a list of some of the duties that a CNN would carry out: 

  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Treat medical emergencies.
  • Administer non-intravenous medications.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Administer intravenous medications.
  • Test patient heart or lung functioning.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.

 Critical Care Nurse Work Environment

            There are multiple environments that a CCN will be surrounded by, such as the ICU, which stands for intensive care unit and is the most common environment that a CNN will work in. It’s very important for a CNN to be able to adapt and stay calm under high-stress situations and make decisions that could result in life or death while they’re in the ICU. They could also be working as a step-down unit in the ICU, which is where a CNN will take care of and look after a patient that doesn’t need as much immediate care and illness/injuries aren’t as serve as someone entering the ICU but aren’t stable enough to be sent medical floor or home. Another environment that a CNN could work in is at home, called a TeleICU, where a critical care nurse supports other nurses that are in the ICU. 

Requirements For Becoming A Critical Care Nurse

            A critical care nurse requires having an undergraduate degree. The quickest way to get that completed would be to get an AND, but a BSN comes with more advantages in the eyes of the medical field. The next step would be to pass the NCLEX-RN and receive an RN licensure; every state requires all nurses to have an RN license. The last step would be to acquire acute care experience to qualify to be a critical care nurse. 

Salary for a Critical Care Nurse

            According to, salary.guide, a CNN salary in 2021 can range from $53,410 to $116,230 yearly and $25,68 to $55.88 hourly. 

For more information regarding nursing salaries, visit salary.guide