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ICU RN Training

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    ICU RN Definition

    • An ICU RN, or critical care nurse, is a nurse that has acquired the specialized training to care for patients who have life-threatening health problems requiring intensive care. An ICU RN has attained a specific level of nursing qualification by completing academic and on-the-job training, or internship, requirements and subsequently passing a national licensing exam.

    ICU RN Training

    • Administering intensive caresupervise image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com

      The training required to become an ICU RN is clearly delineated. An ICU RN must be a state-licensed registered nurse prior to becoming a candidate for the specialized training that allows her to become an intensive/critical care nurse. Upon receiving the RN status, registered nurses must train to specialize in a specific area, such as neonatal or cardiac care.

    Advantages of ICU RN Training

    • Having the academic credentials and practical experience that bestow the title of ICU RN upon the health professional brings numerous benefits. Among which include being highly qualified in a field that is currently experiencing a severe shortage in several areas of specialization. The shortage is such that some hospitals are offering serious incentives to attract critical care nurses to their programs. These incentives can include bonuses paid at hiring, cash incentives for relocating and reimbursement of expenses for continuing education.

    How To Become an ICU Registered Nurse

    • One of the more popular paths for those desiring to become an ICU RN is to first attain an Associate's Degree in Nursing which usually takes two to three years at a junior or community college and transfer those credits to acquire a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from a college or university. Alternatively, a Nursing diploma can become a stepping stone to being a registered nurse. Nursing diploma training is administered in hospitals and are sometimes associated with a community college. Diploma programs usually take about three years to complete. All paths require passing the NCLEX exam administered by a state's board of nursing to become an RN.

      To further qualify for ICU RN status requires additional education and training with a preceptor which is arranged by the employer in most cases.

    Future Prospects for ICU Registered Nurses

    • Nurse on dutynurse image by astoria from Fotolia.com

      With the advances being made in modern medicine and expectations of more and more hospitals becoming critical care centers, it is a wide open road ahead for those registered nurses with intensive care training. In addition to the many pecuniary benefits, intensive/critical care registered nurses with ICU training can expect to enjoy lighter patient loads, on the order of 2:1 or 3:1 as compared to 8:1 or higher on a medial floor.

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