nursing podcasts

If you want to expand your nursing knowledge but you’re short on time, podcasts will be your new best friends. Podcasts are an amazing tool to learn more about whatever topic you want to delve in.

These podcasts are perfect to listen to when you are cooking, exercising, or getting ready for bed. They also help you avoid burning out from work.

Here are some of the best nursing podcasts that are beneficial to ICU nurses.


Nursecasts: A Podcast for Nurses By Nurses sheds light on the most difficult subjects for nurses. This engaging program informs people about new topics about the job’s policy.

It also dabbles on education laws and nursing entrepreneurship.

The program helps ICU nurses recognize vital healthcare issues. These include tips to get ahead of their career and policies that have a bearing on the patient’s health.

Joe Morita, the Senior Acquisitions Editor of Springer Publishing Company, hosts it.

Evidence-Based Nursing

Evidence-Based Nursing uses literature research studies to bring focused information to its listeners. This short podcast is suitable for ICU nurses who want to learn relevant matters without having to sacrifice tons of time. It uses actual case files and practical real-world studies to discuss specific topics.

Good Nurse Bad Nurse

Good Nurse Bad Nurse is as interesting as its title. This fun and amusing program highlights one of a kind medical stories. It also stands out due to the host’s famous sense of humor.

The podcast shares two cases per episode. One is an inspirational story, and the other is a mysterious one. Two nurses host the show.

The program also discusses up-to-date events and attention-grabbing topics in the medical field. Some examples of its hit episodes are “Good Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Bad Navy Medic”, and “Work Place Bullying”.

Lab Values Podcast

Being assigned in the ICU does not mean you need to forego all laboratory-related matters.

Whether you want to review your knowledge of compounding, urinalysis, or blood tests, this podcast tackles it. Those who want to listen to this can find it archived in the NRSNG Academy Page.

New Nurse Podcast

New Nurse is famous for being one of the most solid nursing podcasts. This podcast leans towards ICU newbies. It also discusses clinical topics.

Moreover, the host educates her audience about complex subjects in the health industry. It also has a great way of helping listeners grasp topics and techniques about the industry.

Nursing Mnemonics Podcast

The audience of this podcast are students and nurses who are still starting out. However, it is still a hit to those who want to keep on reviewing what they already know.

Using mnemonics is a surefire way of helping people remember things. The Nursing Mnemonics Podcast reminds nurses of what they learned in nursing school.

Produced by the NRSNG podcasting channel, this program presents countless mnemonics. This could be helpful in remembering tasks and key concepts.

Using mnemonics can help you distinguish certain types of sickness. It can even help you remember how to insert intrauterine devices and other more complex nursing techniques.

Nursing Uncensored

If you are trying to find a fun podcast that you can relate to, look no further. Listening to Nursing Chronicles will feel like reading a page from your own diary.

This amusing podcast lets you peek into another side of nursing that you did not know of while you were still in school. In the show, host Adrianne Benning produces an impalpable connection to her guests.

Make sure to get ready for the laugh of a lifetime as you listen to this honest and comical program.

Once A Nurse, Always A Nurse

Nursing educator Leanne Meier heads this podcast.

It discusses issues in nursing and healthcare in general. Once A Nurse, Always A Nurse also offers its listeners a look into human elements that form between patients and professionals.

In her podcast, Meier shares her wisdom as she interviews people from different fields in the industry such as scholars, practitioners, and educators.

It tackles issues such as government policies, including healthcare problems we’re facing today. It also discusses how to deal with conflict in the workplace.


RNFM provides its listeners with a vibrant roundtable discussion. It examines the most pressing issues in nursing.

The show is famous for its charismatic hosts such as Ashley Pofit Miller, Sean Dent, and Keith Carlson. This casual podcast will make you feel as if you are having brunch with some of your best nurse friends.

The Drexel Medcast

This nurse podcast currently has 29 episodes. It puts the spotlight on diseases and medical disciplines. In under 20 minutes, it teaches its listeners about a wide array of topics from alternative therapies to allergies.

It also brings the most distinguished experts in the world to supply information. This is a great podcast for people who want to listen but can only spend time for short bursts of information. Most podcasts can go for an hour or two, so it’s good to have a shorter alternative.

The Nurse Practitioner Money Show

In nursing, money matters. In this podcast, Chris Wood interviews leading people in the industry and extracts economic-related lessons from them that a nurse could apply in daily life.

Highlighting the financial side of working as a nurse, this show also teaches nurses where to start if they want to venture on a business, negotiate contracts, cope with loans, and more.

Listen to These Great Nursing Podcasts Now!

These programs are not only a great way to entertain yourself, but they’re also fantastic ways to update yourself on the latest buzz on nursing.

Most nursing podcasts are free and available online.

Making a hobby of listening to a number of these programs every week is guaranteed to help you provide better service.

But don’t stop there. Visit us now and read our other guides. Here’s one to help you to be a better ICU nurse.

SICU Nurse

Are you a nurse looking for a way to take your career to the next level? Consider becoming a SICU nurse.

If you’re already an RN with a couple of years of work experience, you’re already on your way to specializing in a specific area of nursing.

The U.S. is experiencing the start of a nursing boom with about 3 million RNs currently in the U.S. Now is a great time to think of what’s next for your nursing career.

As a Critical Care nurse, you’ll experience more opportunities for advanced patient care. And if nursing and medical technology are interesting to you, SICU nursing gives you access to more technology when caring for patients.

Read on to learn more about the education you’ll need and the job responsibilities that come with being a SICU nurse.

What is ICU?

As an RN, you’re already working in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Or you might work in a school or nursing care facility.

You’re familiar with the general care of patients. But maybe you’re ready to add more skills and open more opportunities for your career.

The ICU is a place within the hospital for patients who are seriously ill to receive specialized care.

ICU nurses serve a limited number of patients. This is great news for anyone considering advancing into Critical Care. You’re in demand.

Types of ICUs

You have a choice of the type of ICU to continue your nursing career, including:

  • NICU: This is a neonatal intensive care unit. Care here focuses on newborns with critical medical issues demand a high level of monitoring.
  • PICU: A pediatric intensive care unit focuses on the critical care of seriously ill children.
  • TICU: This unit is for patients who have suffered severe injury from penetrating or blunt trauma.
  • SICU: The surgical intensive care unit treats patients who could need surgery or who are recovering from a recent surgery.

Is the SICU Right For You?

If you’re looking for a faster-paced environment than a doctor’s office or other general nursing, the SICU might be the perfect place for you.

You’ll need to be comfortable in an environment that is often chaotic. The SICU is a busy and challenging place to work–in a good way.

Critical Non-Nurse Skills

In addition to being an excellent nurse, the SICU will challenge you in other areas and aptitudes.

Collecting data from reviewing reports, monitoring patients, and listening to other nurses and doctors is a critical skill when caring for critical patients.

You’ll also need to work well within a team. Caring for SICU patients is a team effort between other nurses and doctors.

How well do you anticipate changes? A good SICU nurse can use their experience to notice details leading to changes in a patient’s health status. Acting before a patient suffers a setback is critical.

Even with these skills, one of the most important skills to have as an ICU nurse is confidence. You’ll need to make quick decisions in life or death situations.

Confidence in your nursing skills and your medical knowledge will help you succeed in the SICU.

An Emotional Environment

The SICU is also a unit full of emotions–both highs and lows.

Helping patients immediately out of surgery and through recovery takes an extremely caring individual. You must control emotions when an ICU patient doesn’t recover well, or at all.

But you’ll also share the joy of seeing people go from some of the worst health situations they’ve experienced to leaving the hospital with better health and hope.

As with any nursing role, you’ll regularly interact with a patient’s family members. A calm, caring demeanor during emotional conversations is essential.

The SICU is a rewarding environment. Not only will you develop more advanced skills and medical understanding, but you’ll also positively impact the lives of patients on their worst days.

What Kind of Education Do You Need?

If you’re already a nurse, you know there are a couple of education pathways to become an RN.

One of the quickest ways to become a registered nurse and begin working is through an associate’s degree program. This path allows you to get your RN certification in one to two years.

You can also start with your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). This is a four-year degree program. While it will take longer to get into the workforce, the BSN sets you up for continuing education beyond your RN certification.

Beyond the RN or BSN

The demands on nurses continue to increase year after year. This means learning new skills and keeping up with trends in nursing is critical as you continue your career.

Hospitals and clinics will have different requirements for pursuing a nursing position in the SICU.

Consider additional certifications when thinking about a career in the SICU. A focus on general patient Critical Care (CCRN) can help put you ahead of other nurses competing for SICU positions in your hospital or area.

You might also consider a Cardiac Surgery (CSC) certification. This allows you to care for adults within the first 48 hours after cardiac surgery.

As you gain more knowledge and practical nursing skills, you might find you want to continue learning.

With a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, the opportunities to learn and advance your nursing career are almost endless.

Your Career as a SICU Nurse is Waiting

Now that you have a little knowledge of what it takes to become a SICU nurse, you’re ready to take your next career step.

Working in a SICU requires high energy and a self-starter personality. If that sounds like you, we encourage you to get started on your next certifications and gain the work experience you need to succeed. is here to help.

We provide helpful industry resources to critical care nurse hopefuls, connecting them to career advancement options through accredited degree programs.

Not finding what you need on our website? Feel free to contact us for additional help or with any questions.

staffing the ICU

While there are more than 3 million registered nurses trained and working in the United States today, there are still shortages. As we see the largest population of elderly people in our history, their needs are taking up a lot of staff. When staffing the ICU, nurses and administrators need to work together to solve the problem.

Here are five ideas for how nurses and facility managers can work together to ensure that ICUs stay properly staffed.

1. Run An Analysis

If you’re dealing with shortages at your ICU, you could be pulling your hair out trying to figure out what the problem is. Perhaps you think you know what the problem is and you want to solve it ASAP. Just like you would for a patient, you need to triage the problems that you have at your ICU.

Create some parameters for an analytic report of where you could be running into problems in your ICU.

The shortages in staffing could come from having inadequate support for your staff, which leads to frustration and burnout. You need to be careful of burnout for all of your staff, as it will lead to poor medical care and dangerous results for your patients.

You could also be expending too many of your resources in the wrong area. Resources need to be allocated to cover events and holiday where you see a spike in visits. You need to streamline intake so that you can provide adequate care that rehabilitates patients quickly.

Keeping one patient on for one day longer than they need to be in your ICU is the start of a backup that could exacerbate a bed shortage.

Since most medical facilities were built in an era with a healthier and smaller population, you need to consider expansion. As part of your analysis, look at whether or not your facility has adequate space.

2. Increase Support

No matter what the conditions are at your facility, you should find new ways to expand support for your staff. Nurses need to have time and space to work as well as support for their own recovery. Overworked staff will make mistakes that could be critical to people dealing with the problems that lead to admission to an ICU.

One of the ways to improve support is to make sure that you’re never short staffed, this means using better scheduling technology. It also means creating a culture of support for one another that will ensure that there is enough care for patients as well as time off for nurses.

If people need childcare, you need to find ways to create resources for that. Many people can’t cover a shift when they have to stay at home and watch young children. If you have a working childcare facility, you could have people come in on short notice.

A facility also needs to provide plenty of vacation. The world of nursing is seeing a shortage in staff which means it’s a worker’s market. They can shop around for the job that will give them the most vacation time.

3. Smart Scheduling Software

When you use smart scheduling software, you can streamline the staffing process at your facility. Smarter scheduling means that you’ll have shifts covered when you need them without having to remember what happened a year before.

Smart scheduling software also allows nursing staff to put in their scheduling limitations in advance. When they have control over their own schedules and can put in their limitations, the person controlling the schedule can easily meet their needs.

Finding the right scheduling software or system takes time but can be invaluable to creating a well-oiled machine of an ICU.

4. Train New Staff Better

Poorly trained staff are more likely to make mistakes. When someone is plagued by mistakes on the job, their morale will be broken. If someone loses their morale about their job, they’ll struggle to excel at it.

When you train your staff well, you give them the opportunity to succeed and find new reasons to love their job.

Well-trained staff will also help to treat patients better. When a staff is well-trained, they’ll help patients to heal faster and rehabilitate quicker. This means that a facility will have more beds open sooner than they would at a place where the staff wasn’t working efficiently.

Take a look at your current training materials and make sure they’re up to all recent changes to HIPAA standards. This will ensure that patient privacy and safety is prioritized and that you can avoid legal trouble.

5. Communicate With Other Hospitals

Space and staffing are major problems that any ICU deals with. If you find yourself running out of space, you need a backup plan.

One way to ensure that you don’t turn anyone away without treatment is that you communicate with other hospitals that might have space. By being in regular conversation with other facilities, you can warn each other of outbreaks or anything that could disrupt your ICU.

If you’re constantly dealing with staff shortages, you need to find alternate ways to staff. There are staffing specialists that can send nurses out to you when you hit a shortage. This can be pricier than hiring full-time staff but allows facilities to be flexible in times of growth.

Staffing the ICU Is a Solvable Challenge

While it will take some work for facilities to come up with solutions for staffing the ICU, it’s a problem that can be solved. With the help of technology and telemedicine, more information can be shared more quickly between patients and staff to improve care. AI will soon be able to take away some of the busy work that nurses need to do so that the nursing shortage can be eliminated.

If you’re an ICU nurse or running a facility, check out our guide for the ways that ICU nurses seek to expand their careers.

Travel Nursing: Is it right for you?

Are you an adventurer at heart?

What if the idea of settling down and living in the same town your whole life doesn’t appeal to you? Maybe it’s time to look into something that will give you the opportunity to move around a little.

Are you considering joining the ranks of the approximately 25,000 travel nurses in the US? Take a moment to learn about travel nursing to see if this career path would be a good option for you.

What Is Travel Nursing?

Hospitals have constantly changing staffing needs. Nurses come and go. They take time off for continuing education. They may need maternity or paternity leave for a few weeks. Demand for services rises and falls.

Hiring new employees can be an unnecessary expense for a hospital. Especially when they know they’re only going to need the help for a few weeks. Without a flexible option, many hospitals may just choose to go understaffed for that time and hope their other employees can take up the slack.

That’s not really a good idea for obvious reasons and thus the world of travel nursing has arisen. Hospitals work with staffing agencies to find capable employees for a certain amount of time.

As a travel nurse, you can join one of these staffing agencies and have your pick of available positions needing to be filled.


There are both pros and cons to this flexible style of work. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


Since travel nurses are required to get the hang of different hospitals rather quickly, having well-rounded nursing experience is a must. If you have a very limited specialty, you may find it difficult to do well in the travel nursing world. Thus, preparing for the transition to travel nursing will require a bit of study.

Plus, once you get started you’ll grow and learn things hands-on that other nurses may never get the chance to do. You’ll fulfill different roles at each of your jobs so you’ll learn a little about many different specialties in the field of nursing. You’ll never feel like you’re stuck in a rut with travel nursing.


Travel nursing is very flexible. You can choose where you want to live and have a lot of control over your daily schedule. (Depending on job availability, of course).

For the most part, you work out your days off and scheduling at the start of your contract.


Having the freedom to move around is priceless for the adventurer at heart. If you love seeing new places and don’t want to be tied down to a particular city, travel nursing could be perfect for you.


Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Some aspects of travel nursing are hard and downright off-putting. Let’s look at a few cons.


Travel nurses do enjoy some stability from the staffing agency. The agency tends to handle their benefits packages and even housing and licensing costs.

However, the lifestyle itself is rather unstable. Moving around a lot can be fun and adventurous for a time. After a while, it may feel unstable and exhausting to always be entering a new position.

However, not all travel nursing contracts are short term. You could take a long-term contract here and there to give yourself a break from the constant state of flux.

Lack of Long-term Relationships

When you’re always moving around, it’s hard to maintain quality long-term relationships. Your coworkers are always changing and you can’t pack up all your friends and take them with you.

However, if your spouse works online or has similar flexibility, you may be able to move around together. Once you throw kids into the mix that can get a little tougher. But all sorts of families with the right sense of adventure can make this lifestyle work!

No Paid Time Off

Travel nursing is flexible and you can take time off virtually whenever you want. The downside is that it’s very unlikely you’ll be paid for it. Very few companies include paid time off in their travel nurse benefits packages.


You may wonder if there will always be work available. The demand for travel nurses only appears to be going up. In fact, some agencies report that they don’t have enough people to fill all the positions they have available.

Salary Potential

But the big question always is, “how much money can I make?” The short answer is that travel nursing can be a very lucrative career. The range is large but at the top end, you could be making $100,000 a year. Let’s look at why.

Hospitals will pay well for an experienced travel nurse. You’re helping them cut costs by not having to hire another full-time employee so they can afford to offer a bit more.

Plus, the position comes with a lot of perks and benefits. The staffing agency typically takes care of your health insurance, retirement benefits, and bonuses. You also may qualify for a number of deals and discounts. Plus, you often have your housing provided and paid for (a huge savings!).

Then there are all the tax breaks you can take advantage of as a travel nurse. You put it all together and you can make a tidy living being a travel nurse.

Is Travel Nursing for You?

What do you think? Is travel nursing for you? Only you can decide if this type of lifestyle would work for you.

The great thing about such a flexible job is that you can try it out for a while and see how it goes! You can even use travel nursing as a way to visit new cities and look for a new job. Some hospitals end up hiring on travel nurses after seeing how they are such a good fit.

Or you may fall in love with the freedom and spend your career city hopping around the United States. It’s up to you!

For more information about getting the right education to become a travel nurse, feel free to check out our resources.

2019's Best Online Clinical Programs

Are you one of the 3.9 million nurses in America?

Working in the healthcare industry is more than a job, it’s a calling. Somehow you always knew you’d end up helping people.

Once you become a nurse, you’ll have countless career paths you can take. If you’re someone who works well under pressure, you should advance into the role of an Intensive Care Unit professional.

Every year the United States admits over 5 million ICU patients. Hospitals across the country are in need of more intensive care nurses and they’re willing to pay.

Starting off as an ICU nurse can make anywhere from $47,000 to $94,000 a year. Besides a healthy paycheck, ICU nurses also enjoy being able to focus their care on only a few patients at a time. Patients facing life-threatening conditions who need you to help them return home.

Are you an aspiring or current nurse looking to advance? Read on to learn about online clinical programs for your professional ICU nursing career.

Finding the Best Online Clinical Programs

You can find online clinical programs for every level of degree. Whatever reason you’re looking into furthering your education, you have to create a plan. Tailoring your education helps when you’re searching for specific job roles.

Here’s a short list of the different critical care areas of practice:

  • Pediatrics
  • Neonatal
  • ICU for adults

Once you know what area of practice you like, you can start planning your education. Critical care nurses don’t have to follow one straight path to reach their career goals.

Here are a few specific job roles that exist in critical care centers:

  • Transport specialist
  • Pulmonary specialist
  • Director of ICU unit
  • Bioinformatician
  • Clinical Educator
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Registered nurse

Establishing a career as an ICU nurse or critical caregiver requires extensive education. Next, we’ll explain the different online programs you can pursue.

What Path’s Right for You?

Before you choose the ideal ICU nursing position, you have to pick an education path. You can always start off with a certificate and later choose to further your education.

The three different education paths include:

  1. Bachelor degree
  2. Master degree
  3. Certificate

ICU professionals looking to advance their career can pick all 3 choices. Taking the courses online will allow you the free time you need to create a work, life, and school balance.

If you’re passionate about a specific area, then a master’s degree could be the best option. Coupled with certifications, you’ll be the prime choice for any employment opportunity.

If you’re brand new to the field, you may choose all 3 options. Help yourself save time by establishing your desired outcome. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? What department do you see yourself thriving in?

Allow your mind to envision where you’d be the happiest. Next, you can start taking actions to help get you where you want to be. Let’s look at how getting a bachelors can help open up new career pathways.

Bachelor’s Degree

For a comprehensive education, start with a bachelor’s degree. Before earning your bachelors, you’ll begin by earning your associates.

There are also LPN and VPN courses you can take to receive your nursing license. Every critical care nurse has to attend nursing school and get their nursing license.

To become an RN you’ll have to at least have your associate’s degree. When you’re ready to advance your career, bachelors will be the next step.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) is a type of undergraduate degree. Some of the areas you’ll specialize in include:

  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Public health updates
  • Promotion topics
  • Health informatics
  • Research techniques

Plan on completing your BSN in as little as 16 months. The curriculum centers around teaching you things you can apply in the field of nursing.

Nurses who hold a BSN from an accredited school are eligible to take the NCLEX exam. The NCLEX exam is a need if you want to become a Registered Nurse. It’s common for nurses with a BSN to make more money and have better responsibilities.

Master’s of Science in Nursing

A Master’s of Science in Nursing or MSN is a graduate level degree. ICU professionals should plan on obtaining their master’s degree.

The MSN course load will continue from where the bachelor classes left off. Here are a few of the MSN courses you can plan on taking:

You’ll take part in courses where you’ll:

  • Speak with qualified faculty members
  • Learn practical applications
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Practice leadership

You can choose a specialized MSN degree to customize your career even more. Here are a few of the specializations you’ll have to choose from:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nursing education
  • Nursing management
  • Executive leadership

If you have a bachelors in one area but want your masters in another, you can do that as well. Let’s look at your online certification options as an ICU professional.

Online Certifications

Is your master’s degree going to be different from your bachelors? A certification could help fill the gap. They are also helpful if you’re interested in a particular area, but aren’t ready to go back for your masters.

Here are a few online certification programs you can look into.

Emergency Preparedness

No matter what stage your career is in, an emergency preparedness certificate can help. Students will learn about risk, disaster, and, crisis management skills.

Health Management and Policy

Do you feel like being a nurse is a part of your identity? Individuals wanting to influence policy development need health education and promotion certification.

You’ll learn how to have the skills to assess current practices. You’ll also find out how to recommend appropriate changes.

Choose Your Programs

Now you know more about the best online clinical programs. ICU Nursing Careers is here to help you on your educational path.

We are on a mission to help nurses grow by finding the degree that will serve them the most. Our featured online degree programs fit a variety of lifestyles and career goals.

We would love to help you find answers to all your nursing questions. Check out our FAQ page, and find the information you need to make the right choice.

5 Netflix Picks for ICU Nurses

There are almost 3 million nurses in the U.S. Every last one of them works hard at work worth doing, but ICU nurses’ jobs are especially difficult. They’re entrusted with the protection of critically ill and injured patients who require around-the-clock care.

It’s not an easy gig. That means most nurses who work in the intensive care unit need to unwind when they get home from work. Critical care nurses need to shed those scrubs, pop open some wine, and tune into a medical drama in the evening.

Read on for a list of the top 5 best things on Netflix for an ICU nurse to tune into!

Top 5 Netflix Shows for ICU Nurses

This list will cover all the best Netflix hospital shows and Netflix medical dramas. It’ll also suggest a few addicting shows to get your mind off your industry. After a long, hard day at the hospital, sometimes that’s welcome!

Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy is a classic hospital show. It’s loved by millions of Americans, whether they work in the medical field or not.

It’s won tons of awards, including an Emmy, a People’s Choice award, and a Grammy nomination. It’s consistently met with favor by critics. You can usually find Grey’s on many critics’ top-ten lists of the best television shows at the end of the year.

Grey’s Anatomy first premiered in 2005. It follows the professional and personal lives of a hospital staff in Seattle. It includes doctors, surgeons, physician’s assistants, and interns.

It’s currently in its fifteenth season. All fourteen prior seasons are ready to be binged on Netflix!

It’s particularly celebrated because of its color-blind cast. Many modern American television shows have been accused of whitewashing. This includes a failure to represent human diversity in a cast, including women and LGBT characters as well as racial groups.

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is the perfect solution for those who want to watch something generally related to the medical field, but not in the modern, relatable sense. If you get home from work and the last thing you want to see is another version of the same place you just left, Call the Midwife may be for you.

It’s a period drama set in the 1950s/1960s in East London. The show was created around Jennifer Worth’s memoirs. She worked within an Anglican nursing order in the community of St. John the Divine.

Although the show is based on Worth’s memoirs, it’s been expanded past them to create new material. It follows a group of midwives during a crucial time in world history. You get to see how they deal with the post-war baby boom, the threat of nuclear war, and the introduction of birth contraceptives.

The Night Shift

If you or someone close to you is a veteran, you’ll love The Night Shift. It follows a group of Emergency Room doctors in Texas who all work the high-stakes night shift together. Many of the doctors have connections to the U.S. military.

One doctor has to deal with PTSD while on the job. Many veterans can relate to his struggles adapting to post-war life while dealing with PTSD.

Another doctor used to be an army medic. He struggles to adapt his army medic skillset to a whole new set of challenges as an Emergency Room doctor.

Another doctor is actually still active as an army medic, but deals with a different set of challenges on the home front: his homosexuality. He won’t come out as homosexual due to his fear of being treated differently. This is an all-too-relatable concern for many Americans today.

Nurse Jackie

Everyone loves harrowing tales about drugs. There’s just something about these stories that capture the American attention. For instance, 10.3 million people tuned into the series finale of Breaking Bad, a story about a man who starts cooking meth to pay for his hospital bills.

Nurse Jackie runs in the same vein. It’s a very different story, but still deals with themes of drug abuse.

Nurse Jackie follows the life of Jackie Peyton, a nurse at All Saint’s Hospital in New York City. Jackie is a great nurse, except for one thing: she’s addicted to drugs.

If you want to a drama/comedy that takes place in an alternate version of your own world, Nurse Jackie is your bet. She’ll keep you on the edge of your seat as you speculate how she’ll get herself out of this one.

Luckily, all seven seasons are on Netflix for you to enjoy. Pretty soon your TV will be hot from the binge-watch, and you’ll be laughing your way to work in the morning.

Gossip Girl

This show has nothing to do with the medical field, but it made the list because it’s so very addicting. It follows a group of teen socialites in New York City. They’re navigating the world of relationships, drugs, alcohol, school, parents, and everything else under the sun a teen deals with.

This is a great pick for those who get home from the hospital and don’t want to think about the hospital again until your next shift. Sometimes, you just need to check out of your own reality for a little while. Engrossing social drama shows like Gossip Girl can help.

This is partly due to the fact that we can’t all relate to the woes of the characters of this show. They’re members of the wealthy elite, which is always fascinating to lower and upper-middle-class Americans. It’s fun to immerse yourself in a new world in which you can’t identify yourself.

A Hard Day’s Work

Calling all ICU nurses getting off of work right now! Now you’ve read up on the list of must-sees for everyone in your profession.

Maybe you love watching dramatic (or relatable!) interpretations of your industry. Maybe you just want to relax to a show that has nothing to do with it. Either way, we’ve got your picks.

Grab some popcorn, pour a glass of wine, and get watching!

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a long day spent doing good work. Want to feel that yourself? Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you become an ICU nurse today!

Career Spotlight: Critical Care RN

Often times in the media, television or movies the glory goes to the surgeons, but you never really wanted to be a surgeon–you wanted to be a nurse.

And that’s a big deal because nurses are vital to the healthcare system.

As a critical care RN, you’ll be caring for patients at major moments in their lives. It’s a hard job, but it’s also rewarding to be the person a patient and family can rely upon. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about becoming a critical care nurse, from what they do to how to become one.

What is a Critical Care RN?

First, you need to understand what a critical care RN is.

Often referred to as an ICU nurse, a critical care nurse is a type of nurse providing care to patients in critical condition due to injuries or severe illness.

They may care for adults or children, depending on where they work or their specialty. Some CCRNs work in units or wards caring for patients with specific medical problems, like a burn unit.

Responsibilities of a Critical Care Nurse

And, what does a critical care nurse actually do?

That often depends on the nurse. You could say that they combine the duties of a traditional nurse and emergency nurse, in that they administer basic patient care while also tending to emergency medical situations.

What it boils down to is that you’ll be responsible for the care of critical patients, often individuals who are toeing the line between life and death. As such, you’ll have to carefully monitor any changes so that you can continue to treat them properly.

Common duties of a CCRN include:

  • Assessing a patient’s condition in order to implement patient care plans
  • Providing advanced life support
  • Treating wounds
  • Observing and recording vital signs
  • Ensuring that monitors, ventilators, and other equipment are functioning properly
  • Ordering diagnostic tests
  • Assisting physicians with procedures
  • Responding to life-threatening situations using appropriate nursing protocol

In addition, you’ll collaborate with a patient’s critical care team in order to discern how best to treat a patient. You’ll also act as a key advocate for the patient, as well as a support system and educator for the patient’s family.

Where They Work

In terms of where critical care nurses work, the name says it all.

Most of the time, critical care nurses work in hospitals with critical or intensive care units, sometimes in units with a specific focus like:

  • Burn units
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Trauma
  • Psychiatric intensive care wards
  • Medical ICU
  • Surgical ICU
  • Neurological ICU
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Transplant ICU
  • Coronary ICU
  • Cardiovascular ICU

Typically, nurses receive specialized training in order to work in a specialized unit.

That said, not all CCRNs work in hospitals–some work as transport nurses, accompanying critical patients to facilities that are better equipped to treat them.

What They Earn

Given the intensity of their jobs–long hours in physically and mentally demanding situations–critical care nurses are generally well paid for their work.

The national average CCRN salary is around $75,832 per year, with the lowest-earning nurses bringing in about $63K per year and the highest-earning nurses bringing in $93K.

Keep in mind that salaries will vary based on your experience level, specialized training, work environment, and what state you live in. For a closer look at ICU nurse salaries by region, click here.

Job Outlook

Employment for registered nurses is expected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much higher than the national average.

This is likely due to the aging population of Baby Boomers, given that older people typically have more medical problems than younger people. The demand for nurses who can care for chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease will be especially high.

How to Become a Critical Care RN

If all of this sounds exciting to you, maybe you should think about becoming a critical care nurse. Here’s how to do it.

Personal Qualities

Before you start pursuing education, you should first assess whether you have the qualities that make a successful critical care nurse.

First and foremost, you should have compassion. You’re going to spend long hours caring for the sick and injured, which means you should need to be able to empathize with a patient’s pain and be strongly driven to make their hospital experience as positive as possible.

You’ll also need strong critical thinking skills and attention to detail. Your decisions as a nurse can have far-reaching consequences, and you’ll be asked to make major decisions on a daily basis. Even the smallest error can have tragic results, so you need to be adept at quickly seeing the big picture 24/7.

CCRNs also need to be learners. Most RNs are exposed to critical care units in nursing school, but the real learning comes later when you’re on the job and caring for patients in real time.


If that sounds like you, it’s time to think about what kind of education you need to pursue your career.

You’ll first need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. A degree in the sciences, medicine, or public health will often serve you well here. From there, most CCRNs attend nursing school so that they can pursue professional certification.

CCRN Certification

Once you’ve completed nursing school, you can start pursuing your CCRN certification.

To do this, you’ll need a current RN license in good standing as well as one of the two following practice requirements:

  1. Practice as an RN or APRN for 1,750 hours in the direct care of critically ill adult patients over the past two years
  2. Practice as an RN or APRN for at least five years with a minimum of 2,000 hours in the direct care of critically ill adult patients

These hours must be completed in an American or Canadian care facility in order to qualify for the US standard.

Ready to Become a Critical Care RN?

Think you’re ready to launch your career as a critical care RN?

We’re here to help you do it.

Click here to check out education options. If you’ve already completed your education and are looking for a job, check out our Find a Job tool.

8 Benefits of Earning Your Master's in 2019

In today’s job market, a bachelor’s degree won’t cut it. Sure, it’s possible to get a job–especially in nursing where demand is always high. But what do you get with that degree?

You get long shifts, low wages, condescending doctors, and no say in how healthcare is dispensed–despite being the primary dispensary. I know it’s your passion. You’d be a nurse regardless of wages or long hours.

But what if you could work smarter and not harder? What if you got your Master’s?

8% of the population’s already done it. Most projections indicate that in four years 18% of all jobs will require a master’s degree, nursing chief among them.

But maybe you don’t have the time. Maybe you don’t have the money. Maybe you don’t think it’s worth it.

Well, it is. And I can give you eight reasons why.

Faster Achievement

Getting an MSN, a Master’s of Science in Nursing, used to be difficult. It took three to four years, cost a small fortune, and took you away from work. Nowadays, that’s not the case.

Many MSN programs are now online, allowing you to keep working. You can complete many of them in eighteen months to two years. Some even have accelerated programs you can finish in a year.

An MSN is still expensive; I won’t deny that, but there are ways to reduce costs. Transferable credits from previous studies will limit the number of classes you have to take. You can also get discounts if you’re a veteran, and you can apply for scholarships or grants offered by the university.

Better Pay

What’s better than making more money? Top earners with an MSN bring in around $96,000, depending on their role and region.

Compare that to the average RN salary, around $67,000, and the difference is noticeable. Money may not buy happiness, but it helps, especially if you have a family. Plus, you can recoup the cost of getting your MSN in the first place.

Better Career Options

Let’s face it, BSN nurses have a ceiling. Yes, they dabble in all areas of medicine, but they don’t have many advancement options. When not with patients, they spend their time managing stress or avoiding burnout.

An MSN nurse, however, has a better chance of upward mobility. Like a doctor, an MSN nurse can specialize in a field of interest, such as mental health or family practitioner.

Nurses with an MSN can also get into management. You can set schedules, your own plus the nurses who work for you and shape hospital policy. You can even teach nursing if you wanted.

Better Hours

A nursing shift takes a lot out of you. There’s the typical eight hour day plus overtime or even volunteer hours. At the end of it all, you’re wiped out.

Then the next day comes, and you have to do it all over again. An MSN nurse can get a little more flexibility. There are no guarantees, of course.

Who knows, you may even like the long hours. They will certainly make you better at your job.

But if you wanted to take a vacation, spend more time with family, you’ll have an easier time getting that time as an MSN.

More Autonomy

There’s nothing worse than having some doctor breathing down your neck, trying to tell you how to do your job. No one likes being micromanaged.

Yes, you’ll still have a boss, but your advanced degree will allow you more independence. You can make health care decisions on your own. Plus, you won’t have someone questioning your choices at every turn.

More Knowledge

An advanced degree makes you smarter. Period. You learn more about your field, and you get better at what you do.

You can make more informed decisions, educate others, and be a better nurse. You get the personal satisfaction of working hard for something worthwhile.

The Chance to Shape Healthcare Policy

An MSN gives you a wider range of responsibilities. Your role will be about the quality of healthcare delivery rather than the actual delivery itself.

You can implement new policies and procedures based on your knowledge. You can design a patient’s medical care and see how they’re treated at the hospital. You can have your hand on the wheel of your industry’s future.

The Chance to Be a Doctor…of Nursing

True, it’s not the same as an MD, but a Ph.D. will make you a doctor. You’d have to go to school again and a Nursing Ph.D. is research focused.

But it comes with its own benefits. As a Ph.D. you are recognized as an expert in your field. You have greater control over healthcare policy and even more opportunities to advance your career.

You can even start a practice. But you can’t get to that step without obtaining a master’s degree.

Where Can You Get Started on Your Master’s?

Let’s recap. A master’s in nursing will get you a higher paycheck, better hours, more autonomy, more knowledge, an upward trajectory, and the chance to go even higher with a doctorate. Plus, it’ll put you at the forefront of your field.

I think the only question now is where do you sign up? There are hundreds of universities offering master’s programs.

Some offer specialty training. Some don’t have online programs. How do you choose?

Let us help you. At ICU Nurse we have everything you need to advance your career. From articles that help you get through the day to a list of the best MSN program schools, we’ve got it all.

Log on to our site today. We can’t wait to help you become a better nurse.

Working in the ICU

Every year, intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States admit over 5.7 million patients.

No wonder then that there was a 15% growth in the number of ICU beds from 2000 to 2009! From the reported 67,579 beds back in 2000, it has grown to 77,809 beds in less than a decade.

This shows how vital ICUs are to health care. In fact, of the $3.5 trillion health care spending in 2017, a large portion went to ICU costs.

These figures alone already tell you how hectic the schedule of nurses working in the ICU is. Despite that, many of the more than 3.38 million registered nursesin the country still work in ICUs.

That’s because there are plenty of reasons to love about being an intensive care nurse. We’re here to share with you five (plus a bonus!) of them, so make sure you keep reading!

1. A Highly Specialized Field

Intensive Care or Critical Care units are highly specialized hospital departments. For starters, they focus on certain patients and specific health and medical conditions.

Granted, ICUs and CCUs have generic unit names that are interchangeable. But they still often have separate units handling a specific patient population.

There’s the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), for instance. Here, newborns needing specialized care receive treatment standard hospital settings can’t give them.

Another example is the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). As the name suggests, this is the specific ICU for patients who had complicated surgery.

ICU nursing staff members also have more specialized medical knowledge. This greater knowledge allows them to carry out advanced life-saving techniques.

They also have a more comprehensive understanding of complex equipment. They’re adept at using ventilators, cardiac monitors, and intracranial pressure monitoring devices.

The bottom line is, ICU practice areas and specialties come in many different forms. That means you have plenty of options you can choose from to further your RN career.

2. One to Two Patients-to-Nurse Ratio

ICUs aim to provide greater intensity, high acuity medical care. After all, patients in these hospital departments suffer from unstable health. That then makes their health even more unpredictable than most other patients.

It’s for this reason that critical care nurses monitor their patients 24/7. Their patients need a high level of constant care, so there should always be a nurse to watch over patients. As such, ICU nurses often only work with one to two patients at any given time.

This doesn’t mean you’ll have more free time than floor nurses. Again, ICU patients have more complex medical and health care needs. However, this concentrated care allows you to deliver only the best care to your patients.

3. Opportunity to Witness the Amazing Recovery of Patients

Given their life-threatening condition, CCU and ICU patients traditionally had high mortality rates. But serious advancements in medicine and technology have pushed these rates down.

We also have the hard-working ICU staff to thank for these lower ICU mortality rates. Through their expertise and focus on patient care, they help improve patient survival.

It’s nothing short of amazing to see a patient survive and recover from a serious health ordeal. But it’s even more rewarding if you had a contribution to the survival and recovery of patients. That’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as an ICU nurse.

4. Empower Patients and Their Families

There’s a certain feeling of fulfillment when you know you’re giving excellent care. But that isn’t the only gratifying experience you’ll have when you become an ICU nurse.

It also gives you the chance to form deeper connections with patients and their families. This is especially true in the case of the latter.

Keep in mind that most critical care patients spend their time unconscious. As such, it’s their loved ones that ICU nursing staff communicate with the most.

The ability to comfort the family and friends of patients is an enriching experience. Their loved one may be in critical condition, but the simple act of showing you care can be enough to empower them.

5. A Challenging Career

The health of ICU patients is always fluctuating. That’s why it’s far more common for them to experience “code” situations.

Because of their patient’s circumstances, critical care nurses face challenges on daily basis. That makes it a must for ICU nurses to have the ability to keep their cool at all times. Especially during these “code” or emergency situations.

This is one of the reasons that becoming an ICU nurse can help improve your critical thinking skills. You’ll learn how to always be on your toes and make quick but sound decisions.

Also, since you’re constantly monitoring your patients, your mental acuity will also improve. You’ll be able to hone your focus and concentration even more.

If constant change is something you live for, then a career in an ICU or CCU may be right for you.

A Much-Welcome Bonus: The Financial Rewards

With all that’s required of ICU nurses, it goes without saying they earn quite a lot. On average, these specialist nurses make $75,832 every year. Some, based on experience and location, earn an ICU nurse salary of $93,000 or higher.

What’s more, the BLS projects a 15% growth in all RN employment sectors come 2026. That’s more than twice the average growth rate for all occupations! Simply put, that means you have more job opportunities in the ICU nursing department.

Make a Difference by Working in the ICU

If the reasons above are things you live for, then working in the ICU may be a great career choice for you. Besides, there will always be a constant demand for specialty nurses. This is especially true those who have the skills and aptitude to provide critical care.

One more thing: The country is experiencing a shortage of nurses. That’s another good reason you should consider furthering your RN career.

If you believe you have what it takes to become an ICU nurse, take the next step now and pursue a specialization.

The CCRN: Credential and Job Potential

As we continue to face a national nursing shortage, America needs nurses now more than ever before.

Maybe you’re interested in becoming a nurse, and working in the intensive care unit especially appeals to you.

Perhaps you’re already working as an RN, and want to learn more about how you can improve your credentials and earn a higher salary.

If you’re thinking about getting your CCRN credential, it’s important that you know what to expect. Keep on reading this post to learn more about what it takes to get your CCRN certification.

We’ll tell you what it is, why it matters, and what the process will look like.

What Is Critical Care Nursing?

If you’re thinking of becoming a critical care nurse, you need to ensure that you fully understand what the job will entail.

You may also have heard a CCRN referred to as an “ICU nurse.” As the name implies, you’ll primarily work with patients who are in critical conditions or more specific critical care issues.

You’ll help doctors to monitor patients who are in the ICU, take their vital signs, and monitor their oxygen levels. However, because these patients are in critical condition, not only will you need to take these signs more often, the stakes will also be much higher.

You’ll need to learn to become familiar with a wide variety of medical equipment and be able to deal with high-pressure and even psychologically intensesituations.

In some cases, you will need to interact directly with a critical care patient’s loved ones. You’ll need to have difficult conversations, calmly explain the options available to them, and more.

You’ll also need to know the signs of a sudden change in condition, and how to perform immediate patient assessments if needed. You will also be trained in life-saving techniques and equipment.

What to Expect from the Critical Care Nursing Certification

Now, let’s quickly talk about what you can expect when it comes to the CCRN certification requirements.

You’ll receive CCRN-specific training, which means you’ll be able to work in trauma units, transport units of critical care patients, cardiac care units, and other types of ICUs.

You’ll need to have a current and unencumbered American RN or APRN license in order to get your CCRN certification.

You can choose between one of two clinical practice requirements.

The first requires you to work as an RN or APRN for 1,750 hours. You’ll need to have spent at least 875 hours in the past year before applying for CCRN certification working with critically ill patients.

You can also choose to work as an RN or an APRN for five years, and have earned 2,000 hours of caring for critically ill patients. Keep in mind that at least 144 of the hours will need to have taken place within the year that you’ve applied for your CCRN certification.

You’ll be able to take your CCRN exam on a computer, and there are countless testing centers where you can schedule an appointment. The exam will take about three hours in total, and will consist of 125 scored questions.

The good news is that you won’t need to wait for your results. You’ll be able to see if you’ve passed immediately after you finish the test.

Once you’ve passed your CCRN exam, your CCRN certificate will be valid for three years. If you’d like to renew it, you’ll need to either retake your exam or meet specific continuing education requirements.

The Benefits of CCRN Certification

It goes without saying that getting your CCRN certification, and passing your nursing exam, will require a lot of work.

So, we understand why you want to learn more about the many benefits of getting certified to work as a critical care nurse.

First of all, getting certified means that you’ll be able to provide a higher level of patient care. You may even be able to save a life using the skills you picked up from your CCRN certification training.

It’s also a way to make yourself stand out to potential employers, and of course, have the chance to earn a higher salary.

Keep in mind that certification is also important when it comes to the public perception of nurses. In today’s world, patients and their families are much more aware of certification options and requirements than they were in the past.

They want to know that their family member is being taken care of by someone who has both the skills and the bedside manner to truly help them. Additionally, becoming certified will help you to feel more confident about the decisions you make in the intensive care unit and beyond.

Plus, getting your certification also allows you to establish yourself as a leader for other nurses to look up to. It shows a commitment to your hospital, your team, and of course, the patients that you serve.

Ready to Get Your CCRN Credential?

We hope that this post has helped you to better understand what you can expect when it comes to earning your CCRN credential.

As you’ve learned, there are countless benefits to becoming a critical care nurse. Of course, the job also comes with its own unique and often intense set of professional and personal responsibilities.

However, the chance to develop your skill set and save lives makes this hard work well worth it.

Looking to learn more about how to get a CCRN credential? Want to understand how you can start to pursue a nursing degree and jumpstart your career?

We want to help you to get the job of your dreams.