ICU Travel Nursing Jobs
The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 and its variants have created a huge demand for critical care nurses, also referred to as ICU nurses, globally. As an ICU nurse, the opportunity to provide care to critical patients whose health conditions are deteriorating offers you job satisfaction. ICU travel jobs will allow you to care for patients of various ages with different life-threatening conditions and end-of-life stages in various locations. As a result, you will have a chance to gain a wealth of experience. Although ICU nurses experience incredibly mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging situations and settings, they find career satisfaction and fulfillment while caring for patients at their lowest point and greatest need.
What are the Requirements and Qualifications for ICU Travel Nurses?
Any travel nurse job is appealing to most nurses because of the opportunity to explore new locations, career flexibility, and competitive pay. For you to enjoy such benefits of being a travel nurse, you should understand the requirements and have the following qualifications:
1. Experience levels
2. License requirements
3. Certificate requirements
Experience Requirements for ICU Travel Nurse Jobs
Although the general experience requirement for travel nurse jobs is a minimum of one year, you will need to have at least two years of experience;
● Working as a staff nurse in a hospital setting and
● Bedside working experience as a registered nurse.
Working as an ICU travel nurse jobs or other specialized nursing specialties will require you to experience commensurate working with patients with corresponding needs for those needs. For instance, a travel critical care nurse will need to have at least two years of working experience providing care for patients at the end–of–life stages and patients with life-threatening diseases. If you feel you meet these experience requirements, you are one step away from becoming an ICU travel nurse.
License Requirements for ICU Travel Nurse Jobs
If you are already working as a registered nurse or an unencumbered RN license holder, you have the first and basic qualification. Also, if you are an associate or bachelor’s degree graduate, you are eligible for ICU travel nurse jobs. Healthcare institutions and recruiters may have varying academic requirements. Although some agencies require you to be a BSN-prepared RN, the BSN degree is not a formal qualification. You should, therefore, confirm the specific skills, qualifications, and requirements of the assignment with recruiters before signing a contract.
Certification Requirements for ICU Travel Nurse Jobs
After acquiring your nursing license, various certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) will come in handy. Receiving these certifications is essential for ICU travel nurses because it helps them follow their routine medical care operations. Because you will be working as an ICU travel nurse, having worked with critically ill patients will qualify you to work in an intensive care unit. Other advanced ICU travel nurse certifications include:
● CMC (Adult)
● CCRN (Neonatal)
● CCRN (pediatric)
● CCRN (adult)
Certainly, receiving these certifications will set you apart from other competitors who will apply for the same assignments. Your healthcare facility may also require having those certifications for you to be eligible for filing an ICU assignment.
Important Non-academic Skills and Personality Traits for an ICU Travel Nurse
To succeed in your career, you will need to equip yourself with essential life skills, which include:
Tenacity and Resilience: your roles will expose you to pain and suffering daily. You will need to have a strong personality and inner Resilience that will outshine the emotional struggles in your working environment.
Passion: your roles will emotionally and physically drain you. If you succeed as an ICU travel nurse, you will need to be passionate about working in a daring environment.
Routine self-love and self-care routine: Because you will be working in a physically, emotionally, and mentally difficult environment, you will need routine self-care programs that allow you to retreat and attend to your welfare needs.
Roles/Duties of an ICU Travel Nurse
Overall, working as a nurse, especially an ICU nurse, is rewarding because you offer essential care to patients in life-threatening situations. As an ICU travel nurse, you will have similar duties and responsibilities as a staff ICU nurse. Depending on the healthcare setting, your role as an ICU nurse will vary, although some core clinical duties and responsibilities will be consistent regardless of the care setting.
As an ICU nurse, you will perform the following duties:
● Administer medications to patients,
● Regularly monitoring and reporting the patient’s vital signs and symptoms
● Ensure the patient’s hygiene because most ICU patients are intubated and cannot move.
● Perform diagnostic and therapeutic patients exam
● Complete the necessary paperwork and patient charting
● Work closely with other medical teams forming an interdisciplinary team such as interventionists, doctors, and other ICU healthcare professionals
● Keep close communication with the patients and their families and educate them as you inform them of the patient’s health progress.
Benefits of an ICU Travel Nurse
Research indicates that travel nurses earn approximately 15% higher compared to staff nurses. With the increasing cost of living worldwide, higher earnings of ICU travel nurse jobs are enticing. Nevertheless, a nursing career is a calling, and therefore, money is not all that matters for travel ICU nurses. Working as an ICU travel nurse will offer you other benefits, including free housing and medical and dental insurance coverage.
FAQs about ICU Travel Nursing Jobs
How Much Do ICU Travel Nurses Earn?
Payscale indicates that on-staff ICU nurse earns approximately $34 per hour. However, if you are an ICU travel nurse, you will earn significantly higher, and besides, you will receive overtime commissions, tax advantages, stipends, and bonuses. Nevertheless, your assignment’s location, qualifications and certifications, and experience level will determine your salary, just like other careers.
How often are ICU Travel Jobs Available?
Healthcare facilities and recruiters are always looking for qualified, certified, and experienced ICU travel nurses to meet the increasing demand for their services. When demand is extremely high due to pandemics like COVID-19 and its variants, traveling critical care nurse job openings are readily available. Note that high demand will translate to higher wages.
Will I Have Off Days as an ICU Travel Nurse?
Your recruiting agency or medical facility will require you to present preferred off days as part of the contract negotiations during your application for ICU travel nurse jobs. Your off-day requests will be open as long as they are agreeable and reasonable.