Acute Care Nurses
SOC: 29-1141.01

Description:

Provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
2,751,000 employed

Projected (2024):
3,190,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Acute Care Nurse
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Admission Nurse
  • Admission Nurse Coordinator
  • Care Transitions Manager
  • Care Transitions Nurse
  • Charge Nurse
  • Charge Nurse, Cardiac Interventional Care
  • Chronic Condition Nurse
  • Clinical Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Staff Educator
  • Nurse Manager
  • Nursing Director
  • Pediatric Acute Care Unit Nurse
  • Preceptor
  • Progressive Care Manager
  • Progressive Care Unit Registered Nurse
  • Screening Unit Registered Nurse
  • Staff Nurse
  • Supervising Nurse


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.
  • Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental and age-related physiological and behavioral changes in acute, critical, and chronic illness.
  • Manage patients' pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients' responses, and changing care plans accordingly.
  • Interpret information obtained from electrocardiograms (EKGs) or radiographs (x-rays).
  • Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition stabilizing interventions.
  • Assess urgent and emergent health conditions using both physiologically and technologically derived data.
  • Adjust settings on patients' assistive devices such as temporary pacemakers.
  • Assess the impact of illnesses or injuries on patients' health, function, growth, development, nutrition, sleep, rest, quality of life, or family, social and educational relationships.
  • Collaborate with members of multidisciplinary health care teams to plan, manage, or assess patient treatments.
  • Discuss illnesses and treatments with patients and family members.
  • Document data related to patients' care including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.
  • Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.
  • Set up, operate, or monitor invasive equipment and devices such as colostomy or tracheotomy equipment, mechanical ventilators, catheters, gastrointestinal tubes, and central lines.
  • Obtain specimens or samples for laboratory work.
  • Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests and screening procedures based on assessment results, differential diagnoses, and knowledge about age, gender and health status of clients.
  • Participate in patients' care meetings and conferences.
  • Prescribe medications and observe patients' reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.
  • Refer patients for specialty consultations or treatments.
  • Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.
  • Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.
  • Assess the needs of patients' family members or caregivers.
  • Collaborate with patients to plan for future health care needs or to coordinate transitions and referrals.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.
  • Participate in the development of practice protocols.
  • Perform administrative duties that facilitate admission, transfer, or discharge of patients.
  • Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Alligator forceps
  • Angiocaths
  • Apnea monitors
  • Arterial blood gas testing equipment
  • Arterial line catheters
  • Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Automated medicine dispensing equipment
  • Autotransfusion systems
  • Backboards
  • Bedpans
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators
  • Blood drawing syringes
  • Blood glucometers
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Breast pumps
  • Bronchoscopes
  • Bulb syringes
  • Cardiac monitors
  • Cast carts
  • Cast cutting saws
  • Chest drains
  • Clinical trapeze traction bars
  • Crash carts
  • Crutches
  • Desktop computers
  • Diagnostic tuning forks
  • Digital medical thermometers
  • Doppler ultrasound equipment
  • Ear curettes
  • Electrocardiography EKG machines
  • Electronic compressor nebulizers
  • Electrosurgical cauterization machines
  • End tidal carbon dioxide monitors
  • Endotracheal ET tubes
  • Enema equipment
  • Enteral feeding sets
  • Epidural catheters
  • Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Eye lavage kits
  • Fetal monitors
  • Fiberoptic endoscopes
  • Graduated glass laboratory cylinders
  • Handheld nebulizers
  • Hemodynamic monitors
  • Hyper/hypothermia blankets
  • Hypodermic syringes
  • Incentive spirometers
  • Incision drainage equipment
  • Intracranial pressure monitors
  • Intravenous infusion pumps
  • Intravenous IV administration sets
  • Intravenous IV cutdown trays
  • Intubation sets
  • Isolettes
  • Laceration repair trays
  • Lancets
  • Laptop computers
  • Magill forceps
  • Manual resuscitation bags
  • Mechanical intermittent positive pressure ventilators
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical examination protective gloves
  • Medical gurneys
  • Medical scales
  • Microscope slides
  • Multiple lumen central line catheters
  • Nasal catheters
  • Nasal specula
  • Nasal suctioning equipment
  • Nasogastric tubes
  • Nasopharyngeal airways
  • Newborn warming lamps
  • Occlusion clamps
  • Ophthalmic slit lamps
  • Ophthalmic tonometers
  • Ophthalmoscopes
  • Oral suctioning equipment
  • Orthopedic splinting equipment
  • Ostomy equipment
  • Otoscopes
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Oxygen delivery masks
  • Oxygen flowmeters
  • Patient restraints
  • Patient walkers
  • Pediatric crash carts
  • Pericardiocentesis kits
  • Pill crushers
  • Pill splitters
  • Pneumatic boots
  • Protective face shields
  • Protective gowns
  • Protective medical face masks
  • Pulmonary artery catheters
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Reflex hammers
  • Ring cutters
  • Ring forceps
  • Safety goggles
  • Sandbags
  • Skin staplers
  • Specialty patient care beds
  • Specimen collection containers
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Straight hemostats
  • Straight surgical scissors
  • Surgical irrigation sets
  • Surgical razors
  • Surgical scalpels
  • Surgical staple removers
  • Suture removal kits
  • Swan Ganz artery catheters
  • Tablet computers
  • Telemetry monitors
  • Thoracentesis kits
  • Thoracentesis trays
  • Tongue blades
  • Tourniquets
  • Tracheal suctioning equipment
  • Tracheotomy sets
  • Traction weights
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation TENS equipment
  • Transcutaneous pacemakers
  • Transfer boards
  • Transport cardiac monitors
  • Transvenous pacemakers
  • Ultrasound transducers
  • Umbilical catheters
  • Urinalysis test strips
  • Urinary catheters
  • Urine analysis equipment
  • Vaginal exam specula
  • Venous Oxygen Saturation SVO2 monitors
  • Visual acuity charts
  • Wheelchairs
  • Wood's lamps
  • Allscripts Professional EHR
  • Amkai AmkaiCharts
  • Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
  • Cerner Millennium
  • ChartWare software
  • e-MDs software
  • eClinicalWorks software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Medscribbler Enterprise
  • MicroFour PracticeStudio.NET EMR
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR
  • SOAPware software
  • StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite
  • SynaMed EMR
  • Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR


  • healthcare practitioners and technical


    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800