Skip navigation

Critical Care Nurses

Also called: Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN), Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Registered Nurse Supervisor (RN Supervisor), Staff Nurse

Where in the Air Force? In the Air Force: Clinical Nurse, Critical Care; Clinical Nurse, Emergency/Trauma; Clinical Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care

What they do:
Provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.
On the job, you would:
  • Evaluate patients' vital signs or laboratory data to determine emergency intervention needs.
  • Monitor patients for changes in status and indications of conditions such as sepsis or shock and institute appropriate interventions.
  • Set up and monitor medical equipment and devices such as cardiac monitors, mechanical ventilators and alarms, oxygen delivery devices, transducers, or pressure lines.


  • medicine and dentistry
  • therapy and counseling
Math and Science
  • psychology
  • biology
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • customer service


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
  • looking for ways to help people
  • understanding people's reactions


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • notice when problems happen
Visual Understanding
  • see hidden patterns
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Concern for Others
  • Self Control
  • Integrity


You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • eClinicalWorks software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
Information retrieval or search software
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses AACN Medicopeia
  • PEPID RN Critical Care RNCC
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
associate's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
Check out my state Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about critical care nurses.