Coronary Care Unit RNs - or Cardiac Care Unit RNs - provide care, administer medication, and perform health assessments for patients with heart conditions in cardiac post-op or ICU environments. Many of the patients are recovering from heart surgeries and require post-op care. This nursing practice involves pain management, stress test evaluations, inserting IV drips, operating life support systems, and monitoring heart activity and electrocardiograms.
Travel cardiac vascular nursing can be an exciting and rewarding career, especially for those who are excited about experiencing new places and meeting new people. There are many benefits to working as a travel cardiac care nurse, such as an increased income, professional development opportunities, and gaining experience in areas outside of your own geographic region.
188 CCU RN jobs available
188 CCU RN jobs available
Travel CCU Nurse FAQ
What is the Average Salary of a Cardiac Care Unit Nurse?
The average salary of a cardiac critical care nurse can vary significantly based on factors such as geographical location, level of experience, and the type of healthcare facility. According to data from online job and salary platforms such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and Payscale, the average salary for a CCU Nurse in the United States is estimated to be between $60,000 and $90,000 per year. Critical care nurses with specialized skills, advanced certifications, or considerable experience may potentially earn a higher salary.
What Does a Cardiac Care Nurse Do?
A cardiac care nurse plays a pivotal role in the hospital setting, specializing in providing care for critically ill patients with various heart diseases or conditions such as coronary artery disease, or those going through congestive heart failure. Cardiology nurses key responsibilities include monitoring patient's vital signs, administering medications prescribed by cardiologists, assisting with procedures such as angioplasty or open-heart surgery, and educating patients and their families on heart disease and its management. Cardiac nurses work in high-pressure environments like cardiac care units and critical care units and need to make quick, data-driven decisions. They play a crucial role in the emergency response health care team for cardiac patients, often being the first line of response in case of a cardiac event.
Given this critical care nursing role, a cardiac nurse needs to display exemplary nursing skills, deep knowledge of cardiac conditions, treatments, and surgeries, and a high level of emotional resilience.
How to Become a Cardiac Care Nurse
Education & License Requirements
To become an MDS coordinator, one must first embark on a nursing career pathway. This typically involves obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing school. After successful completion of their nursing degree, they need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to gain licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).
Post licensure, aspiring cardiac care nurses are encouraged to gain clinical experience, preferably within cardiac care. This hands-on experience allows them to understand patient needs, medical procedures, and the dynamics of a critical care unit.
Further specialization in cardiac critical care nursing can be achieved through professional certifications. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) and the Cardiac Surgery Certification (CSC), intended for critical care nurses who want to earn cardiac vascular nursing certification.
Where are Cardiac Critical Care Nursing Jobs Available?
Cardiac nurse positions can be found across a multitude of healthcare and critical care settings, most predominantly in hospitals, where dedicated cardiac intensive care units are common. They may also find opportunities in specialized heart centers or private clinics that focus on cardiac care. With the growing trend of home healthcare, a certified critical care nurse specializing in cardiac care can provide at-home care for patients with chronic cardiac conditions. Geographically, these roles are widespread across the United States and overseas, available in both urban centers with large hospitals and rural areas that rely on local health centers.
How Do Pay Packages work for Travel Cardiovascular Nurses?
While compensation offers can vary greatly depending on the contract or agency offering, pay packages for travel cardiac critical care nurses typically have four major components: hourly taxable wages, meals and incidentals, housing, and travel.
Full-time registered nurses working at healthcare facilities receive a salary, but most travel nurse employers offer hourly wages. Every pay package must include a taxable hourly wage, and the amount can vary depending on the shift, location, and specialty required of the assignment.
Housing payments can be included in a payment from a staffing agency. This is typically offered in two ways. Either the company is providing housing, or the travel registered nurse is taking the housing stipend. It is more beneficial for the traveler to take the housing stipend for two primary reasons. First, they will have a choice in where they stay. Everyone’s definitions of comfortable and acceptable are different. The second reason the housing stipend is more beneficial for them is that it can be given as a nontaxable amount.
Meals and Incidentals
Also known as per diems, meal and incidental stipends provide a daily budget for daily living expenses. These standards vary depending on the cost of living in cities and states across the country.
Travel is the last portion of the pay package. Many recruiters may not even offer travel and instead put that money into the per diems or housing for their traveler so they are receiving the benefits over the entire contract, not just at the very beginning or end of the contract. While a travel stipend can be used to cover the cost of a flight for the traveler, it is more often than not used to subsidize the traveler’s expenses to and from an assignment. Travel expenses can be offered as a reimbursement rate per mile, though many agencies will opt to offer a flat rate to and from an assignment.
Getting Started as a Traveling Cardiac Care Nurse
Travel cardiac nurses can find work through recruitment agencies and marketplaces, which means you have better access to job boards to choose your schedule, location, and salary. When you begin browsing for critical care nurse jobs, be sure to consider the housing options, the benefits, the guaranteed hours policy, and the recruiting company’s overall reputation.
The good news is that Fusion Marketplace has everything you need when it comes to finding the perfect job for registered nurses. Here, you have the freedom to explore careers, compare benefits, packages, and staffing agencies—all in one place. So find your next job today.