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Critical Care Nurse Job Description

Review this Critical Care Nurse job description for a reference when building your resume. Review the qualifications and requirements listed to get an understanding of what you need to include on your resume for what employers would look for in this field.


A Critical Care Nurse, often referred to as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse, is a highly skilled and specialized registered nurse who provides care to patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Working in hospitals and critical care units, Critical Care Nurses play a vital role in monitoring, managing, and stabilizing patients in critical conditions.

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  1. Patient Monitoring:
    • Continuously monitor vital signs, electrocardiograms (ECGs), and other physiological parameters.
    • Assess changes in the patient’s condition and respond promptly to fluctuations.
  2. Life Support:
    • Administer and manage life support measures, including mechanical ventilation and hemodynamic support.
    • Monitor and adjust ventilator settings as needed.
  3. Medication Administration:
    • Administer and titrate medications according to the patient’s condition, including vasoactive drugs and sedatives.
    • Monitor for medication effectiveness and potential side effects.
  4. Diagnostic Procedures:
    • Assist in and monitor the results of diagnostic procedures, such as arterial blood gases, chest X-rays, and laboratory tests.
    • Collaborate with the healthcare team in interpreting results.
  5. Collaboration with Multidisciplinary Team:
    • Collaborate with physicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care.
    • Participate in multidisciplinary rounds and care conferences.
  6. Patient Advocacy:
    • Advocate for patients’ needs and preferences, ensuring that care is patient-centered.
    • Provide emotional support to patients and their families.
  7. Care Planning:
    • Develop and implement individualized care plans based on the patient’s condition and response to treatment.
    • Reassess and adjust care plans as needed.
  8. Wound Care and Procedures:
    • Perform wound care and manage invasive lines, such as central venous catheters and arterial lines.
    • Assist in bedside procedures as required.
  9. End-of-Life Care:
    • Provide compassionate care for patients facing end-of-life situations.
    • Support families in making difficult decisions and coping with grief.
  10. Documentation:
    • Maintain accurate and up-to-date electronic health records (EHR) for all critical care interventions.
    • Document assessments, interventions, and communication with the healthcare team.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) is preferred; Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) accepted.
  • Current and unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • Certification in Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) or relevant specialty (optional but preferred).
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) certifications.
  • Strong clinical assessment and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and high-stress environment.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to ongoing education and professional development.

Note: Critical Care Nurse job descriptions may vary based on the specific requirements of the healthcare facility and the level of critical care provided.

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