How to Become a Critical Care Nurse
A critical care nurse (CCN) is a nurse with specialized training, knowledge, and skills to provide care to acutely ill patients. A CCN offers care to patients with healthcare demands that require close monitoring. A critical care nurse should take care of 1-3 critically ill patients at a time in an intensive care unit (ICU), but this is just an ideal number. The number of patients can increase beyond the three especially at places where staff shortage in rife. Someone who wants to offer critical care nursing should follow specific steps to attain the position.
Steps to Becoming a Critical Care NurseEnroll for a nursing program
The first step is for nurses to finish the nursing studies to become a registered nurse. It is a prerequisite requirement for critical care nurses to be registered nurses before they enter this specialized field of nursing. Most employers prefer critical care registered nurses (CCRNs) with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Some start by getting an Associate's degree level, but it is essential for nurses who want to be CCNs to consider academic qualifications before writing their applications.Obtain licensing to become a registered nurse
Each state has it set of requirements for nurses to earn their registered nurse license. It is essential to visit the state board of nursing website at the state where you plan to practice and determine the eligibility requirements. Nurses obtain a license to practice after passing NCLEX-RN the (national council licensure exam for registered nurse).
Earn the relevant experience
Critical care nursing requires certification that nurses can only get if they have particular expertise in a critical care field. The period to gain experience in intensive care settings is also an opportunity for exploring desires to become a certified critical care nurse. Experience in critical care nursing is somewhat significant because it is a requirement that a nurse must fulfill before obtaining a CCRN certification.Get a Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification
Nurses who pass the licensure exam to practice become eligible for CCRN certification. Certification is not a requirement to work in the critical care settings, but many nurses in working environments choose to get CCRN training and credentials that they get through professional associations such as American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) in the USA.
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CCRN-E certification is available for registered nurses who work are roles where they monitor the critically ill patients through technologies from remote locations and cameras. CCRN certification is also available to those working in critical care environments and issues, but they do not provide direct patient care.
Nurses who take the AACN route provides training and certification test to RNs aspiring to become critical care nurses in the neonatal, pediatric or adult field. A nurse can fulfill the requirement by AACN for CCRN certification by choosing one of these options:
1.1,750 hours experience working as an APRN or RN offering direct care to acute/critical patients for the past two years. 875 of these hours should be from the most recent year before application.
2.Five years experience that includes a minimum 2,000 hours to work directly with the critically or acutely ill patients. I44 hours should be in the most recent year before the application.
After determining the eligibility, AACN informs the applicants about the fee they should pay to take a computer-based exam and get a CCRN certification that is valid for three years after passing the examination.CCRN Recertification for a Critical Care Nurse
CCRN recertification takes place three years after getting the first certification. CCNs should apply for recertification to maintain their eligibility for the role. Those applying to for recertification should have these qualifications in place.
1.Experience of 432 hours or providing direct care to critical/acute patients during the three-year certification period. 144 of these hours should be in the past 12 months before the renewal date.
2.100 units of Continuing Education Recognition Points in three categories covering areas of caring practice, diversified care, collaboration, and clinical inquiry.
3.Recertification candidates can also use the option passing a renewal exam instead of obtaining the 100 units of CERPs above.
Critical care nursing is a specialty that healthcare professional regard as a valuable practice in caring for patients with acute illnesses. It is a hectic career that suits staff nurses with interest to specialize in a high charged nursing specialty.