Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist

Coordinate staff and patient care in intensive care units.
picture of Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialists do?

The intensive care unit is the area of the hospital where the most critical patients are treated. Here, Nurses, Doctors, and Surgeons keep close tabs on patients who have respiratory ailments and advanced diseases, and who have recently had surgery. Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialists work in this unit. Their job is to provide and coordinate care, supervise other staff, and find ways to improve the quality of patient care.

As an Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist, you typically hold a supervisory position. That means you evaluate the patient’s needs, communicate with Physicians, and schedule ICU Nurses who care for the patients. Of course, your hands are also busy changing bandages, caring for wounds, and monitoring vital signs.

When you aren’t the one caring for the patient, you observe those who do. In addition to creating the schedule, you monitor other Nurses’ actions to make sure they follow federal, state, and institutional procedures. You might also evaluate other Nurses’ work and submit performance reports.

One main objective of the Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist is to identify ways to improve patient care. That might mean changing the ways medicines are handled, improving forms in the medical file, or reassigning duties. So whether you’re replacing an IV bag, teaching a class on patient management, or inserting a catheter, you’re always looking for ways to make the process safer and more effective for the patient.


Should I be an Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to Become an
    Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist

    Most Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aada9a&chl=||associate%27s+%285%25%29||master%27s+%2895%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,95
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