A Guide on How to Become a Critical Care Nurse in the United States
November 16 2019 -Now is a better time than ever to become a nurse. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for nurses is expected to grow by 12 percent over the next ten years, which is a rate that's much higher than the national average.
From an oncology nurse to a psychiatric nurse to a forensic nurse, there are a lot of exciting nursing specialties out there.
One of the most exciting specialties is undoubtedly working as a critical care nurse. But, what steps do you need to take to become a critical care nurse?
Check out this guide to learn how to become one in the United States.
Obtain the Required Education
In order to become a critical care nurse, you need to obtain a certain level of education.
You must first complete your high school diploma or GED, and then you need to complete your bachelor's of science in nursing.
Earning a BS in nursing typically takes 4 years, and there are tons of nursing programs to choose from all over the nation.
If you've already earned your bachelor's degree in another field, don't worry. Due to the current nursing shortage, many schools are now offering nursing fast-track programs as master's degrees or second bachelor's degrees.
Some of these programs can get you in and out in as little as one year if you have the right pre-requisites.
Certification and Licensing
After completing your bachelor's degree, it's time to sit for your exams.
No matter what field of nursing you go into, you must pass the NCLEX exam before you can work as a registered nurse.
Depending on the state you live in, you may also need specialty certifications. There are also sub-specialty certifications that you can obtain through the American Association of Critical Care-Nursing that are worth looking into.
For example, you could obtain additional certification in neonatal critical care nursing or in ultrasounds. If you're interested in getting licensed to perform ultrasounds, check out these ultrasound CME training courses.
Apply for Jobs
After you've obtained the required licensing and certification, it's time to start the job hunt.
As we mentioned earlier, the nursing field is growing rapidly, which means you should have no trouble finding a job, even if you're straight out of college.
To find a job in critical care nursing, we suggest checking out nursing-specific job boards and inquiring with the clinics and hospitals you did your clinicals with about any openings.
Are You Ready to Become a Critical Care Nurse?
Now that you know what it takes to become a critical care nurse, it's time to get out there and fulfill your dream. Becoming a nurse is no easy task; however, there is no career that's more rewarding.
If you liked this blog post, be sure to check back in for more career-related tips and tricks
More Career Articles