Intensive Care Unit (ICU) RNs use advanced skills to care for individuals who are critically ill and at high risk for life-threatening health problems. Those admitted to an intensive care unity include, but aren’t limited to, heart attack, stroke, shock, severe trauma, or respiratory distress, multiple organ failure, sepsis, and other critical conditions. Because of the critical nature of the patients, it is standard that an ICU nurse only has one or two patients on a shift.
While ICU nursing can be demanding, it offers you the opportunity to make an impact as a travel nurse anywhere there is an intensive care unit in the country. Travel 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 an ICU travel nurse, such as an increased income, professional development opportunities, and gaining experience in areas outside of your own geographic region.
1,992 Travel ICU Nurse jobs available
1,992 Travel ICU Nurse jobs available
Travel ICU Nurse FAQ
How Much Does an Intensive Care Unit Travel Nurse Make?
The salary of an ICU nurse can vary significantly depending on the experience of the nurse as well as the experience, certifications, and location they are working in. The median salary for a registered nurse was $ 80,010 per year or $36.22 per hour in 2020 with most earning between $61,630 and $93,590 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Entry-level registered ICU nurse jobs or those with the lowest 10% salary earned around $53,410, while the highest 10% earned more than $116,230. Typically, a travel nursing job will provide higher hourly and weekly pay than permanent positions in the same location, especially for critical care positions like the intensive care unit.
What Does an ICU Travel Nurse Do?
Critical care nurses use advanced skills to care for patients who are critically ill and at high risk for life-threatening health problems in an intensive care unit. Patients an ICU travel nurse may care for include, but aren’t limited to, heart attack, stroke, shock, severe trauma, or respiratory distress, multiple organ failure, sepsis, and other critical conditions. Because of the critical nature of the patients, it is standard that an ICU nurse only has one or two patients on a shift. Patients housed in intensive care units are often on very specialized equipment and multiple medications.
CVICU, MICU, SICU, Burn ICU, Neuro ICU, Trauma, CCU
ICU nursing professionals typically float to Stepdown/PCU, PACU, Medical-Surgical / Telemetry, and other ICU units
Transfer from ER Requiring Close Monitoring
Patients from inpatient units who deteriorate rapidly
How to Become an ICU Travel Nurse
Education & License Requirements
Registered Nurses need to complete their associate's or bachelor's degree at an accredited nursing school and take the National Council Licensure Exam NCLEX -RN Exam, which is a requirement to practice as a registered nurse in the United States. Once the NCLEX exam is passed, you meet the board of nursing license requirements in your state, and you obtain your RN license, then all that is left is to do is gain the necessary relevant experience in your specialty and explore additional certifications.
ICU RNs are required to maintain basic certifications such as Basic Life Support (BLS). Though it is possible to work as an intensive care unit nurse without ICU certification, it is a requirement in many hospitals. ICU nursing is a demanding specialty as you are caring for critically ill patients, and it is better to be prepared and make sure that you have the skills and knowledge to be able to be successful. Nurses with an ICU certification are also generally paid higher. The most common certifications for ICU nurses include the CCRN (Adult) offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (ACCN), TNCC offered by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and NIHSS (NIH Stroke Scale).
How Do Pay Packages work for ICU Travel Nursing Jobs?
While compensation offers can vary greatly depending on the contract or agency offering, pay packages for ICU travel nurse jobs typically have four major components: hourly taxable wages, meals and incidentals, housing, and travel. Some Agencies may present hourly pay,
Full-time ICU nurses working at healthcare facilities receive a salary, but most travel nurse employers offer hourly wages. Every pay package for a travel nurse 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 to a travel nurse in two ways. Either the company is providing housing, or the travel 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 for travel nursing professionals. 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 travel nurse 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 travel nursing 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 Nurse
Many travel critical care nurses 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 ICU nursing 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 ICU travel nurse jobs. Here, you have the freedom to compare benefits, packages, and staffing agencies—all in one place. So find your next job today.