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What education is usually needed to become a Critical Care Nurse ?

I plan on going into community college and getting my associate's degree to be a critical care nurse. Would I need to get a higher degree? What certifications should I get? Thank you in advance.

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Erica’s Answer

Yes, as the others stated, you are probably going to need a BSN in the long run. I'd check with what the local hospitals around you require. When I started working in the ICU, my hospital was running a training program. If I recall it was about 6 weeks of extra training. I would think most ICUs won't hire a new graduate, and you'll likely need some RN experience prior to applying to an ICU.
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Sue’s Answer

Hi Ava. Great goals! A 2 year nursing degree will get you on your path! Many employers are looking for BSN prepared nurses but you can step into that additional 2 years, often while you are working and many employers offer tuition assistance.
There are really no other certifications necessary other than Basic Life Support or Advanced Critical Life Support but those are usually paid for by the employer.
Best wishes in your endeavors.
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Mercedes’s Answer

Perhaps, I am not the best professional to give advice since my background is Business/Finance, however I felt compelled to write you. I think it is wonderful you want to be a nurse. One thing for sure, you will always have a job in the nursing field. My understanding is that the sky is the limit for nurses/the medical field. If you really enjoy what you are doing with your Associates Degree, you can proceed to get a Bachelors Degree, Master's Degree and beyond. It is very likely you will be required to continue your education in nursing as you seek more nursing opportunities. Also, did you know you could become a traveling nurse? Yes, you can travel around the country with a great salary and fill in hospitals that are short of nurses. Also, wanting to be a critical care nurse is so commendable. Families of loved ones who are in critical care (intensive care) will be so grateful for your professionalism, expertise and care. I wish I could give you nursing credential specifics, but I want to congratulate you on seeking a career in nursing, asking about education and career options shows you are focused and ready! Good luck.
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Angela’s Answer

Hi. Nursing is a noble and wonderful profession, one where you will not have to worry about finding a job! There is always a need for nurses.
I worked in Healthcare IT, but not as a healthcare professional. I can provide some guidance based on my experience working for a large hospital system. Most nurses i know obtained a Bachelors of Nursing degree (normally takes 3 years). Once you have completed your Bachelor's degree, you would typically apply to become part of a nursing program. Once completed, you take your nursing exam to become licensed. From that point, you can get on the job experience to determine what specialty areas you have interest in, such as critical care/Emergency room, surgical, doctor's office, etc. There are many opportunities! Good luck!
Thank you comment icon The Bachelor's in Nursing typically takes 4 years not 3 Raquel Davis
Thank you comment icon Raquel, thank you for the correction, i appreciate it! Angela McSpadden
Thank you comment icon The BSN is the nursing program. Junior and senior year is normally nursing classes. That is my understanding . I was an ADN nurse. Marie Enos MSN, BSN, RN-NIC
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Allison’s Answer

Congrats on picking a career that is one of the most difficult but rewarding jobs out there. I graduated with an Associates degree in 1996. I have tinkered over the years about going for my BSN but never got around to it. Probably because my nursing experience is extensive, I never needed it for a position. But, if I was to get my BSN, I would negotiate with my employer to pay part or all of my degree.
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