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What Is a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner and How to Become One

What Does a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Do?

A critical care nurse practitioner (NP) provides care for patients in an emergency room or intensive care unit (ICU). A nurse practitioner can provide advanced treatment and direct other members of the nursing staff. As an acute care specialist, your duties include monitoring patients’ conditions, performing triage assessments, and ordering tests and treatments. In addition to hospitals, an NP also has the qualifications and skills to handle diagnosis and treatment responsibilities alongside physicians in an urgent care facility. As a critical care nurse practitioner, you can choose to work in a specialty, such as neonatal or cardiac care.

How to Become a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner

The first step to becoming a critical care nurse practitioner is to complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing. Then you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get your registered nurse (RN) license. While it is not a universal requirement, you may need a master’s degree in critical care. Nearly all employers will require that you have one to two years of experience and an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification before becoming a critical care nurse practitioner. You need strong interpersonal skills, and decision-making abilities to be a critical care nurse practitioner. Your job duties include lifting and moving patients, providing acute medical care, administering medications, and assisting doctors.