Career Spotlight: Telemetry Nurse Nurse

Have you ever considered becoming a nurse in the ICU?

You probably have a specialty that interests you.

When you think of nursing careers, a telemetry nurse probably isn’t the first thing that came to your mind. But it is a highly rewarding career and can be a vital part of an ICU team.

Read on to find out more about telemetry nursing.

What Is a Telemetry Nurse and What Education Do They Have?

A telemetry nurse already has a nursing degree. Most often, telemetry nurses already have a Bachelor of Nursing or BSN. This is because this is the degree that helps them specialize in different aspects of nursing.

Some, however, may only have an associate degree but may have had extra training as a telemetry nurse. Most hospitals prefer to hire telemetry nurses who have a BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but it is not always a requirement.

A telemetry nurse is someone who works with high tech equipment to monitor patients. In many cases, they use this equipment to monitor patients who are critically ill.

They can also dispense medication and do other basic nursing skills.

This is a newer role within the field of nursing. As such, there is no cemented educational path for a telemetry nurse.

Where Does a Telemetry Nurse Work?

A telemetry nurse may work in an ICU ward and monitors critically ill or injured patients.

They may also work in a telemetry unit. Telemetry units are fairly new in the world of nursing. They are designed to help with the shortage of beds in the ICU that most hospitals have.

A telemetry unit is a step below the ICU, but isn’t quite the same as being in a regular ward. Within a telemetry unit, the patients will be monitored 24/7, but not as intensely as they are within an ICU ward.

How Do You Become a Telemetry Nurse?

As this field is still fairly new, there is no course you can take to help you become a telemetry nurse. Instead, you must become a registered nurse or RN.

Once you’ve become an RN and worked for a little bit in general nursing, you can start to train to become a telemetry nurse.

First, you should find a more senior telemetry nurse in the hospital. You will then shadow them to “learn the ropes.” Some hospitals may even have specific training programs to help you learn the necessary skills to become a telemetry nurse.

How Much Does a Telemetry Nurse Earn Each Year?

Most telemetry nurses earn around $107,000 a year. This is the national average.

Of course, the cost of living will play a factor. If you live in a city that has a higher cost of living, you will earn a little bit more than those that live in cities or towns with a lower cost of living.

It is rare, but it is possible for a telemetry nurse to take home around $68,000 per year. Even still, this provides a stable and reliable income.

Nursing Shortage

There is a nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to only become worse. Because of this, chances are that you’ll always have a job as a telemetry nurse.

No matter where you live, someone will be hiring nurses. As a result, you can help dictate your salary and what kind of work you will be doing.

Because there is a nursing shortage, you won’t need to ever fret about being out of a job for too long at any given time. There will always be someone hiring just around the corner.

What Special Skills Are Needed as a Telemetry Nurse?

A telemetry nurse should have an interest in the technical side of patient care. They should be adept at using these tool and understanding how they fit into a patient’s care.

A telemetry nurse should also be able to not only monitor patients closely but act quickly in an emergency. A telemetry nurse often works in critical care or emergency units.

Therefore, they should know the signs that someone is going into cardiac arrest and know who to call and what to do in order to help the patient.

These nurses may also work with patients to help them move from the hospital to their home. This is the case for those who will receive long-term care from home with a nurse coming in to help every so often or an individual who has left the hospital for hospice care.

They should also be able to advise the families on what to do to help an individual receive continuing care within the home. Telemetry nurses should know how to read EKGs and other readouts that monitor the heart and other vital systems of the body.

Are You Ready to Start Your Journey?

Are you ready to start your journey towards becoming a telemetry nurse?

If so, our website offers you a wide array of resources to help you start your journey today. Whether you’re still looking for the perfect BSN program or thinking of an associate’s degree, we have resources available to you.

Individuals who have a compassionate hand and heart but also a love for science should definitely consider a career in nursing. Because it is so short-staffed, talented individuals are needed to join the ranks as nurses immediately.

Visit our site to learn more about ICU nursing.

Working in the ICU

Every year, intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States admit over 5.7 million patients.

No wonder then that there was a 15% growth in the number of ICU beds from 2000 to 2009! From the reported 67,579 beds back in 2000, it has grown to 77,809 beds in less than a decade.

This shows how vital ICUs are to health care. In fact, of the $3.5 trillion health care spending in 2017, a large portion went to ICU costs.

These figures alone already tell you how hectic the schedule of nurses working in the ICU is. Despite that, many of the more than 3.38 million registered nursesin the country still work in ICUs.

That’s because there are plenty of reasons to love about being an intensive care nurse. We’re here to share with you five (plus a bonus!) of them, so make sure you keep reading!

1. A Highly Specialized Field

Intensive Care or Critical Care units are highly specialized hospital departments. For starters, they focus on certain patients and specific health and medical conditions.

Granted, ICUs and CCUs have generic unit names that are interchangeable. But they still often have separate units handling a specific patient population.

There’s the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), for instance. Here, newborns needing specialized care receive treatment standard hospital settings can’t give them.

Another example is the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). As the name suggests, this is the specific ICU for patients who had complicated surgery.

ICU nursing staff members also have more specialized medical knowledge. This greater knowledge allows them to carry out advanced life-saving techniques.

They also have a more comprehensive understanding of complex equipment. They’re adept at using ventilators, cardiac monitors, and intracranial pressure monitoring devices.

The bottom line is, ICU practice areas and specialties come in many different forms. That means you have plenty of options you can choose from to further your RN career.

2. One to Two Patients-to-Nurse Ratio

ICUs aim to provide greater intensity, high acuity medical care. After all, patients in these hospital departments suffer from unstable health. That then makes their health even more unpredictable than most other patients.

It’s for this reason that critical care nurses monitor their patients 24/7. Their patients need a high level of constant care, so there should always be a nurse to watch over patients. As such, ICU nurses often only work with one to two patients at any given time.

This doesn’t mean you’ll have more free time than floor nurses. Again, ICU patients have more complex medical and health care needs. However, this concentrated care allows you to deliver only the best care to your patients.

3. Opportunity to Witness the Amazing Recovery of Patients

Given their life-threatening condition, CCU and ICU patients traditionally had high mortality rates. But serious advancements in medicine and technology have pushed these rates down.

We also have the hard-working ICU staff to thank for these lower ICU mortality rates. Through their expertise and focus on patient care, they help improve patient survival.

It’s nothing short of amazing to see a patient survive and recover from a serious health ordeal. But it’s even more rewarding if you had a contribution to the survival and recovery of patients. That’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as an ICU nurse.

4. Empower Patients and Their Families

There’s a certain feeling of fulfillment when you know you’re giving excellent care. But that isn’t the only gratifying experience you’ll have when you become an ICU nurse.

It also gives you the chance to form deeper connections with patients and their families. This is especially true in the case of the latter.

Keep in mind that most critical care patients spend their time unconscious. As such, it’s their loved ones that ICU nursing staff communicate with the most.

The ability to comfort the family and friends of patients is an enriching experience. Their loved one may be in critical condition, but the simple act of showing you care can be enough to empower them.

5. A Challenging Career

The health of ICU patients is always fluctuating. That’s why it’s far more common for them to experience “code” situations.

Because of their patient’s circumstances, critical care nurses face challenges on daily basis. That makes it a must for ICU nurses to have the ability to keep their cool at all times. Especially during these “code” or emergency situations.

This is one of the reasons that becoming an ICU nurse can help improve your critical thinking skills. You’ll learn how to always be on your toes and make quick but sound decisions.

Also, since you’re constantly monitoring your patients, your mental acuity will also improve. You’ll be able to hone your focus and concentration even more.

If constant change is something you live for, then a career in an ICU or CCU may be right for you.

A Much-Welcome Bonus: The Financial Rewards

With all that’s required of ICU nurses, it goes without saying they earn quite a lot. On average, these specialist nurses make $75,832 every year. Some, based on experience and location, earn an ICU nurse salary of $93,000 or higher.

What’s more, the BLS projects a 15% growth in all RN employment sectors come 2026. That’s more than twice the average growth rate for all occupations! Simply put, that means you have more job opportunities in the ICU nursing department.

Make a Difference by Working in the ICU

If the reasons above are things you live for, then working in the ICU may be a great career choice for you. Besides, there will always be a constant demand for specialty nurses. This is especially true those who have the skills and aptitude to provide critical care.

One more thing: The country is experiencing a shortage of nurses. That’s another good reason you should consider furthering your RN career.

If you believe you have what it takes to become an ICU nurse, take the next step now and pursue a specialization.

Benefits of the MSN in the ICU

Are you interested in working in intensive care units? If so, you may be considering getting a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN).

While the MSN isn’t required for ICU work, it will provide you with invaluable benefits.

But why should you go to the effort to get an MSN if it isn’t required for the work you want to do? Keep reading to find out about some of the benefits of having an MSN while working in intensive care.

Additional Experience and Knowledge

You gained a lot of great experience and knowledge while you worked on getting your RN license. Your learning doesn’t have to stop there, though, so why limit yourself?

The work required to get your MSN will prepare you for the rigors of working in the ICU day in and day out. You’ll have additional skills beyond what was required when you obtained your RN, and additional knowledge never hurts.

The MSN requires classes regarding upper-level nursing skills, such as leadership skills. When applying for jobs, hospitals and other health locations that offer critical care will see that you’re a cut above the rest.

More Career Opportunities

There are many different career options within the ICU. You’re not limited to traditional nurse duties if you have an MSN.

Nurses holding an MSN are able to participate in administrative and educational roles. Critical Care Nurses can operate as either Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners.

The skills you’ve learned while gaining your MSN will help you perform the vital functions of these roles. These functions include assessing the health of patients in a comprehensive way, making medical diagnoses, put interventions in place, and ordering diagnostic tests and procedures.

Focused Education

Graduate studies allow for more flexibility and specialization than undergraduate degrees. While you learned many important skills as an undergrad, grad school is the time to hone those skills and drive them in the direction of your choosing.

If you’d like to pursue a career in nursing in the ICU, then you can gear your graduate experience to match that goal.

While a general MSN will help with your work in the ICU, an MSN specifically focused on critical care is even better.

You may need to be an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in order to work in the ICU of your choice. This depends on the hospital’s preference.

The base qualification for critical care nursing is still an RN, but hospitals and other locations may require more if they wish.

To become an APRN you need to have at least a master’s degree. You’ll also need to obtain the appropriate certification. Once you’ve done that, you’ll meet the requirements of just about any healthcare location that offers critical care.

Greater Income Potential

An MSN allows you to work in more and higher-level capacities than an RN or RSN. Depending on the positions you pursue, this can really make a difference in your income level.

Specialists and administrators simply make more than standard nurses. While your focus should be on supporting doctors and performing other nursing duties, the additional funds are a nice perk to getting that MSN.

Show Your Dedication

If you hold an MSN, potential employers will instantly see that you’re dedicated to the work of nursing. You’ll give off the impression that you care deeply about bettering the lives of those you work with and that you want to make a difference.

While an RN is admirable in its own sense, an MSN is a cut above. It shows you take your job seriously and that you want to be taken seriously in return.

It also shows you’re up to taking on the more difficult roles in nursing. Add an MSN to your credentials and peers and employers will know you’re a reliable person to turn to when something needs to be done.

A More Well-Rounded Education

Whether you end up using everything you study or not, the path to becoming an MSN is full of learning you don’t want to miss out on. Here are some of the things you may learn more about while getting an MSN:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health assessments
  • Collaborative management
  • Oncology
  • Surgery
  • Cardiology

While you’re learning about these things, you can focus on one of them if you take an interest in the specialty. If you’d like to focus on ER or trauma work, you can. That will prepare you even more for work in the intensive care unit.

Prepare for Higher Level Learning

An MSN doesn’t just prepare your ICU work. It also sets you up for a higher level of learning.

The work required to obtain an MSN and the experience you’ll gain working in the ICU will prep you for working on a Doctorate degree, should you decide to pursue one. By the time you start this prestigious degree, you’ll have considerable knowledge in ICU and other nursing work, and you’ll be a pro when it comes to working hard.

Go for that MSN if You Want to Work in the ICU

You can work in the ICU as an RN, but why stop there when you can obtain an MSN? The work required for you to obtain that degree will undoubtedly prepare you better for ICU work.

Once you’ve obtained your MSN, you’ll show potential employers that you mean business. You’ll soon be working in the unit of your choice, where you’ll work to save and better lives — as all nurses do.

Interested to learn what your salary may be as an ICU nurse in your region? Click here to find out.

Not every ICU employer has the best training system set up, which can lead to issues for the ICU Nurse.  This can be frustrating and even lead to termination in some cases, where a better training system could have solved the issue instead of termination. If you feel you are not receiving the proper training or support from your Supervisor, here are some strategies that may help:

Journal Your Shifts

It’s important to document your experiences during each of your shifts. It’s far too easy to forget day-to-day instances where a lack of training or leadership comes into play. If you’re able to record these instances, it will give you the specific examples in order to show where something is lacking.

Having a clear argument with specific examples will establish a solid framework for your conversation with your Supervisor. This information can then also be verified by the medical records of the patients involved. On a side note, the others involved in your chain will not have the type of documentation you possess and therefore their arguments or justifications for their actions or lack thereof will naturally be much weaker.

It is important that you find the best way to present your point to your Supervisor. If your tone comes off accusatory or entitled then your message may be lost in your delivery. You may want to schedule a meeting to address your concerns on a day you know your Supervisor has an easier day, so he or she is not under additional pressure and may not be in the right mind to speak with you about your concerns.

Speak Up

One of the best things you can do in your career is to identify your areas that you may not be as strong and want to improve upon. Then speak to your Supervisor about your desire to work through a training plan to improve upon those areas. It is important to ask if they have a training program or if they can find a training program that works. You will never know if you don’t ask.

It is difficult to address issues of training if your facility does not have a good training process in place. If your Supervisor(s) are not providing the adequate feedback and training, speak with them first and let them know you want more feedback and training. If you are not able to get the issue resolved with him or her directly, speak to the Nursing Director for your unit about other options for additional training.

Something to note, when you ask for more feedback, be open to it! You may receive more criticism on how you are performing on the job and that is ok! This is an opportunity for growth. Take in what he or she is saying and be open to the feedback. Do not get defensive, which can be easy to do. If something he or she says upsets you, take the moment to say “thank you for the feedback and I will think about it more after my shift.” This will give you some time to calm down and really hear what the person was saying to you without the immediate sting of what was said. You may not agree with all the feedback and that is ok, but don’t be afraid to ask for feedback at each opportunity.

Build in Extra Time

Another important step is to build in some extra time before and after your shift for training purposes. This will be on your own time and that is ok! It is completely fine to spend your own time on self-improvement. Plus, this shows your employer your commitment to the profession and to your own personal growth. What a way to stand out!

One way to do this is by shadowing another coworker who is competent in the areas where you want to improve. Most people do not want to go in early or late, however, this extra time can have huge offer wonderful opportunities for growth. Act as if your job is on the line, and then plan accordingly.

Once you identify your areas of weakness- find online resources, books, blogs, YouTube videos, to read or watch that will help you improve your skills. Be committed to becoming a life-long learner!

Consider Your Options

If you feel that you are being put in a position where your success is going to be compromised, it’s important to be aware of your options.

Explore other positions in your organization. Look at other jobs. Companies always want to hire someone who is currently working, so if you think things are turning South, be proactive and start looking for another role. It will not t hurt to put out feelers ahead of time for other positions.

Make sure your resume is updated and professional, and that you have references already on hand. All of this gives you an upper hand.  Not every position is right for every person and that is ok! Be your own best advocate and don’t settle for less than you deserve. If your current employer is not putting the effort, time and money into training you appropriately, then go out there and find a place that will. Be your own advocate!

Burnout for ICU nurses can happen. Here are some tools and tips to hopefully avoid ICU burnout.

Defining Your Purpose and The Value Of Reviewing It Regularly

It is important to have a clearly defined purpose as a nurse. You may be passionate about helping people on the verge of death to make it back to health. It may be that your purpose as a nurse fits into your larger overall life purpose. Spend some time thinking about what drives you, what inspires you and what keeps you going.

Try writing it down or creating a vision board to help visualize your purpose and refer back to it when times get tough. If you have a locker at work, consider posting your personal purpose inside your locker. If not, perhaps saving it as a screensaver on your phone or even writing it out beautifully and taking a picture of it so you can pull it up anytime. This will allow you to refer back to it when things get tough with a doctor, an intern, when you’re shaken by a development with a patient or when things get stressful.

Visualizing your purpose may help you take a moment or two and re-center your thoughts and refocus your emotions. Check out other ways to better manage your stress at work.

Building a Network

When you notice someone new in your working environment, make a point to introduce yourself and spark a conversation with him or her.  This will allow you to get to know the people around you, and build a very stronger support network. Try to find out what your current coworker’s interests and passions are. There is a wonderful book called, How to Win Friends and Influence People, that speaks to ways to spark up conversations and grow your personal connections with people.  The book was written in the 30’s, but is still applicable today.

Building strong connections at work with your coworkers will help you better deal with tough situations as they come up. You may even be able to rely on your co-workers for emotional support, and possibly even have some additional support as far as your workload in a pinch. People are so much more willing to help people that they like. Try to be likable. We all have crabby days, and your co-workers will be more understanding if you’re having an off-day if you’ve built a strong connection with them.

Participating In Shared Experiences

If there are meetings for your department make sure you go. It is important to feel that your voice is heard and also that you hear the voices of those around you so that you will be able to achieve the best equilibrium you can with your working environment.

If there is a holiday party or an outing involving those in your department, go. Even if it’s inconvenient, it is important to nurture the relationships around you and participating in shared experiences is one of the very best ways to foster strong relationships.

If your department does not have any group activities planned, consider going to your management and suggesting some or even planning an unofficial event. It could even be as simple as having a department potluck. These types of activities allow people to connect on different levels, which helps to alleviate tension in the workplace, and facilitates the department becoming a cohesive unit.

Planning Your Time-Off

It is important that you have some great activities planned for a time when you’re not working. If you are a single person, look at some major events happening in your area over the next year, and plan sometimes with some friends. If you have a family, then plan some getaways and activities to ensure that you’re spending quality time together. At the end of the day, if all you do is go to work, and come home and go to sleep, eventually you’re going to find yourself burned out. Having outside activities you can enjoy and look forward to will refresh your internal strength and you maintain the proper balance.

Being an ICU nurse doesn’t happen by accident. Now that you are here it is important to have a clear plan for avoiding pitfalls and to ensure your continued development. Let’s explore several strategies top ICU nurses implore to keep themselves thriving in their careers.

Embrace Change

It’s no secret that nothing stays the same. The ICU is certainly not immune to this concept. There will be changes in leadership, changes in technology, and changes in procedures. Some of these you will see coming, however many you will not. The best approach is to expect change, and be willing to be on the forefront of implementing it if possible. If you maintain an attitude of being open to change and acclimation, you’ll go far in creating the most positive work environment possible for yourself. The ICU is not a place to be stuck in the past.

Be an Active Learner

If you are an ICU nurse, chances are you already have a high degree of initiative when it comes to education. It is important this does not subside now that you have gotten to this point. This means if you don’t yet have your BSN then pursue it, if you have your BSN consider your next steps towards pursuing an MSN or perhaps a Masters of public health. Have thought about becoming a certified critical care nurse (CCN) through? There are also any number of certifications that will help you specialize in areas to you and your patients. This type of continued initiative towards education will help you to be on the cutting edge of critical care nursing, and put you in the conversation for advancement.

Be Curious, Not Furious

It is important to be curious not furious in the face criticism in the ICU. The ICU is an environment where the smallest details can make all the difference. Therefore it is important you glean any bit of wisdom you can from each source presented. This means it may be from another nurse or an intern or doctor who may not present their feedback in the most positive fashion. At the end of the day if intention is to save lives and to improve care, feedback from all sources with a direct perspective is incredibly valuable.

Set Proper Expectations

It is important you set the proper expectations with those you work with. This can help avoid unnecessary turbulence in tense situations later. If you see yourself as a patient advocate first and foremost, then make it clear from the beginning to everyone. This means the doctors you work with you are going to be calling in the middle of the night at times should know you will unapologetically pick up that phone instead of waiting and hoping that what you’re seeing is not correct. It also means the interns and other nurses you work with should know you will not back down from questioning them if you do not feel that something is right about the care or the test results that your patient is receiving.

Respect the Results

Things do not always turn out the way we would like. This is an obvious fact of life, however in a critical care situation this often means you will lose a patient even though you have giving them the best possible care they could have received. It is important to respect the result of your best efforts. Otherwise the emotional investment and ongoing internal turmoil will take its toll on not only you, but your future performance which can put other patients at risk.



ICU Nurses: Have You Started Using these New Technologies?

This is a great read for ICU nurses! Learn about the emerging technology available to you today. Everything you need to know.

Technological advances in healthcare give ICU nurses more detailed and relevant patient information, which frees up time to provide care when it’s needed most. What will tomorrow bring?

Based on what’s already available, we can expect that with the help of emerging technologies ICU nurses will gain even more accuracy, efficiency, and insight into patients’ conditions at any given moment.

Just as importantly, ICU RNs will be able to personalize nursing care more than ever before.

Using Bed Angle Sensors

A bed’s angle is highly important to ICU patients as the correct angle can reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia.

Research is currently looking into algorithms and sensors that detect the angle of a patient’s bed, something many ICU RNs have to estimate by sight or calculate manually.

Researchers have even used off-the-shelf products to do this, including the Microsoft Kinect. This is a complex and highly organized system that encompasses a wide range of benefits, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can make a big difference in patient care.

This is a complex and highly organized system that encompasses a wide range of benefits, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can make a big difference in patient care.

With a sensor to automatically detect bed angle, nurses are able to monitor bed status when the patient is alone. Beyond that, they can also accumulate and analyze data across all the bed sensors in their ICU to better understand hospital-acquired infections and gain more insight into the relationship between bed angle and disease recovery.

The “Medicine-on-Demand” Microchip

While current technological advances are focused on monitoring, future progress should also give ICU nurses more help with repetitive tasks. For example, research is ongoing into tiny microchips that could be embedded under the skin and automatically distribute medications on a programmed schedule to those with chronic conditions.

In one study, a wirelessly controlled biochip was able to safely and reliably deliver doses of medication to osteoporosis patients for up to 20 days, saving them from daily injections.

Fighting Alarm Fatigue

Medical researchers are also working overtime to create an algorithm that will combat alarm fatigue. While ICU monitors are remarkably sensitive, they sometimes miss critical events because they can’t compare different data points. They also tend to be so sensitive that they go off well over 100 times a day per bed.

A group of UC San Francisco researchers, led by three from the School of Nursing, are currently working on a super alarm that could aggregate disparate data and filter out false alarms so that clinicians were only ever called when really needed.

ICU-specific Medical Apps

Healthcare apps are another major growth area. Specifically for ICU nurses, the Emerge app has sprung from Project Emerge, a quality improvement initiative to eliminate preventable harms in the ICU, engage patients and their families in care and increase personalization.

Healthcare apps are another major growth area. ICU nurses could benefit from learning to use new technologies. #icunursingcareersICU nurses perform many complicated daily tasks to avoid preventable harm such as blood clots or ventilator-associated pneumonia in critically ill patients. Currently, that involves monitoring a vast array of machines and technologies, gathering data and combining the information to assess how a patient is doing.

This new tablet application does all of that for them – it coordinates and integrates data from monitoring equipment and medical records and uses a simple color-coded diagram to tell nurses which actions must be taken and when.

The app also makes the ICU less intimidating for patients and families by allowing them to send questions directly to the medical team and learn more about the machines surrounding them.

Family members can offer to help out with intimate tasks such as washing the patient’s hair and uploading personal information, like their favorite music or TV shows, which will allow staff to understand their patients as individuals.

Monitoring From the Next Room – or Further

ICU nurses could eventually spend more time watching screens and using apps on mobile devices than they do sitting by patients’ bedsides. Learn how you can use this available technology. #icunursingcareersIt seems like a strange future, but ICU RNs could eventually spend more time watching screens and using apps on mobile devices than they do sitting by patients’ bedsides.

The advent of telehealth (essentially, remote medical monitoring) will allow ICU nurses to concentrate on other crucial tasks, rather than spending their majority of time watching patients for signs of deterioration.

Wearable devices and mounted cameras that can zoom in on patients help ICU nurses to monitor patients from afar, with software that filters out normal variations in a patient’s vital signs and only alerts the nurse when needed.

Mobile Devices Could Allow Patients to Return Home Sooner

Eventually, it’s reasonable to assume that will be taken even further, with patients allowed to return home sooner than currently advised, but still under observation from the hospital.

Not only could this ease the burden of overcrowded hospitals, but it would also be a boon to patients.

A bed’s angle is highly important to ICU patients as the correct angle can reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia. What you need to know about this technology. Less time spent in the hospital would reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infection. And while hospitals would be able to call patients back in as soon as relapse symptoms appear, patients would receive the ultimate benefit of more recuperation time spent in the comfort of their own homes.

ICU technology is on the vanguard of healthcare innovation and ICU nurses are key members of the care team implementing these new applications.

This specialization is growing as well, with an expected increase in both employment opportunities and salaries.

Learn more about critical care nursing careers and start your journey.

travel nursing

Considering making a career move to travel nursing? Learn everything you need to know from pay to necessary skills to agency life.In recent years the nursing shortage in the U.S., which is projected to have a shortfall of 193,000 by 2020, has created challenges for hospitals that want to provide an exceptional level of care and improve patient outcomes yet also feel pressure to drive down costs. For some hospitals that need intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, in particular, utilizing travel nursing is an effective and creative solution.

For anyone considering a career as an ICU nurse or looking to advance their nursing career, taking short-term assignments in various locations offers opportunities to learn skills, gain career experience and see new places, with a flexibility – and pay rate – that many nurses find appealing.

Travel Nursing Job Characteristics

According to Healthcare Traveler, ICU travel nursing is one of seven in-demand specialties that have the most promising job outlook.

In 2016 travel nursing was projected to grow by 22 percent, according to a report by market research firm Staffing Industry Analysts.

Generally, travel nurses report satisfaction with their jobs as a result of the flexibility and career options. Nurses hired by agencies also have more satisfaction than staff nurses, according to a study by Health Services Research.

The length of assignments can vary widely, which can help nurses skirt hospital staff politics and allow them to visit more places. The downside is that gaps between contracts equal gaps in pay. Lead times for an offer can be short, especially for ICU nurses who earn high salaries, so it might be worrisome for those who can’t tolerate uncertainty.

Skills, Certifications, and Licenses for Travel Nursing

Since ICU is a broad specialty, some hospitals require specific skill sets and prefer to hire ICU nurses who have worked in the same type of ICU. It’s also common for hospitals to require at least two to five years of experience.

You should have Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certifications, which must be acquired from the American Heart Association (AHA). You are also required to have a state nursing license from the state you work in.

Some hospitals may also require other certifications like Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Certification for Critical Care Registered Nurses (CCRN) or an EKG certification.

A state nursing license from the state where the assignment is taking place is also necessary. Even for agency-coordinated assignments, hospitals often require license verification from the state board of nursing and a worker profile.

It’s smart to have a compact license, which allows you to practice in another state that is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Pay Ranges for ICU Travel Nursing

Learn everything you need to know about travel nursing and the job's characteristics. #icunursingcareersSalaries for ICU travel nurses depend on geographic location and experience but range between approximately $45,000 and $103,000, according to

What’s more, a report by Medscape found that travel RNs make an average of $95,000 – more than staff nurses in any primary work setting.

As a travel nurse, you can also enjoy tax deductions for transportation, housing, meals, uniforms and dry cleaning, cell phone and internet service, license fees, continuing education courses and job search.

Travel Nurse Agency Life Advice to Consider

Travel nursing can be a wonderful opportunity but there are some things to consider before embarking on this path:

  • Learn what skills and qualifications you need to become a travel nurse. #icunurisingcareersFind a reputable agency that you’re comfortable working with; their industry experience will guide you through the process
  • Large metropolitan areas have their appeals but smaller cities might offer lower living expenses yet similar compensation
  • An agency can help find accommodation but if you find your own housing it might be beneficial to take a stipend instead
  • It’s wise to set up your own medical benefits plan to ensure continuity of care no matter where you live or what agency you work with
  • Paid sick leave or vacation time is less likely with agency work so this should be accounted for as you consider overall compensation

Why Travel Nursing Might be a Great Change for You

There are many things to consider before joining a travel nurse agency. Learn what you need to know #icunursingcareersFor ICU nurses, changing from a staff position to a contract-based travel basis might be an appealing way to stay in the field but avoid burnout.

The advantages include higher hourly pay, fewer conflicts, and more overall satisfaction. However, there is

However, there is a risk of variable overall compensation, the need to constantly learn new team dynamics and protocols and separation from a home base.

To investigate more options for ICU nurses, explore our careers section.

The ACA and nursing: the Affordable Care Act greatly impacted all facets of American healthcare, and nursing was no exception. Everything you need to know.A Turning Point in American History

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Passed by President Barack Obama in 2010 is much more than a piece of legislature. It is more than a formality, it is more than words on paper. This act marked a turning point in American history and brought real change to the healthcare industry along with tangible consequences. Though millions felt the changes brought by the ACA, nurses were especially affected by it in a variety of ways. Many industries were impacted by the ACA and nursing was no different.

Opposing Views

Reports on the impact of the Affordable Care Act in the nursing industry have come in roughly six years after the bill was signed into law.

Some reports show positive outcomes such as job growth in the field, while others paint a bleaker picture.

Many believe the ACA has resulted in larger patient loads for nurses, which decreases the quality of care. Leaving personal opinion aside, it is unarguable that the ACA has brought about changes in the field.

Demand for Registered Nurses

Among the many outcomes the ACA will bring about, demand for Registered Nurses (RNs) is of the most prominent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that the demand for RNs will increase by 26% in 10 years, which equates to about 3.5 million nursing jobs by 2020.

It is important to note, however, that this increase is not solely brought about by the ACA.

The ACA and Nursing: How Will It Affect Nurses?

The Affordable Care Act will be extremely impactful. The ACA gave millions of previously uninsured people some level of health coverage, but this doesn’t mean more ER or hospital visits.

The rise in insured people means more nonemergency procedures, preventive care, visits to doctor’s offices and things of that nature.

Because of this very reason, the demand for RNs will be found in outpatient settings such as physician’s offices and home health care.

The ACA and Nursing: A Need for Higher Education

The ACA will also affect the skills nurses need to develop in order to succeed and grow in the work environment.

Nurses will serve as care coordinators, case managers, and critical care specialist, among many others and though they can gain knowledge and skills through on-the-job training, having a higher education is invaluable.

The ACA and Nursing: the ACA brought new demand for nurses to gain higher education. What you need to know. #icunursingcareersWhen applying for jobs, RNs with specialized degrees will be at an advantage and have more chances of landing their dream job.

Obama’s Affordable Care Act took the healthcare industry by storm, and nurses, just like all others healthcare professionals are noticing its effects.

Higher education from prestigious schools will put any RN in a better professional position.

Learn more about education options and career opportunities.