ICU Nurse Programs

In order to become an ICU nurse, you have to get a formal education. That means you have to go through a college degree to learn the skills and abilities you need for your career. There are plenty of ICU nurse programs in the world, both online and in local colleges. You just have to explore your options to find the one that is perfect for you. Here is an overview of the work associated with these programs so you can figure out if they fit your career training goals.

Different Types of ICU Nurse Programs

There are many different levels of ICU nurse training that you can go through to work in this field. If you want to work as a basic nurse in ICU, you may be able to go through an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. If you want to work as a manager or nurse practitioner, you will need to get a master’s degree or higher. Undergraduate degrees can take anywhere from two to four years to complete, and graduate degrees can take six to eight years to complete. You have to determine which program is right for you. Here is a list of popular ICU nurse programs to keep in mind:

  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Intensive Care Nursing
  • Master of Science in Critical Care Nursing

Common Courses in ICU Nurse Programs

The specific courses you take in your ICU nurse degree program will depend on the school you go to and the specific degree you get. You will have to take standard nursing degree classes, on top of ones designed for acute, critical, and intensive care. Here is a list of common courses associated with ICU nurse programs:

  • Advanced Acute Care Management
  • Advanced Assessment of the Critically Ill
  • Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Common Acute Care Problems
  • Complex Acute Care Problems
  • Comprehensive Adult Health Assessment
  • Dimensions of Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Families in Crisis
  • Pathophysiological Alterations in the Critically Ill
  • Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems
  • Science and Research for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Systems and Populations in Health Care

You school’s classes may be under slightly different names, but those should give you an idea of what you’ll be up against. If they sound doable or downright interesting to you, you should enjoy your time in college.

Life after an ICU Nurse Program

Once you complete your ICU nurse program, you will have the ability to work in a variety of places. Your pay should be high from the start, but it will depend on where you work and which position you hold with your employer. The longer you stick with your work, the more money you will make. Here is a chart that shows what ICU nursing graduates make in different areas of the field:

  • Medical Services: $24,328 – $78,906 per year
  • Healthcare: $38,794 – $92,645 per year
  • Nurse Staffing: $36,000 – $75,000 per year
  • Acute Care Hospital: $34,645 – $97,646 per year
  • Hospital: $40,543 – $86,908 per year

Do you think you have what it takes to become an ICU nurse? If so, start looking at the ICU nurse programs available to you. With the right education behind you, you can apply to any job you want and hopefully start a successful career. All it takes is that first step to start a bright future for you.