Acute Care Nurses

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About the Job

Provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

It is also Called

  • Supervising Nurse
  • Staff Nurse
  • Screening Unit Registered Nurse
  • Progressive Care Unit Registered Nurse
  • Progressive Care Manager
  • Preceptor
  • Pediatric Acute Care Unit Nurse
  • Nursing Director
  • Nurse Manager
  • Clinical Staff Educator
View All

What They Do

  • Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.
  • Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.
  • Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests and screening procedures based on assessment results, differential diagnoses, and knowledge about age, gender and health status of clients.
  • Prescribe medications and observe patients' reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.
  • Adjust settings on patients' assistive devices such as temporary pacemakers.
  • Participate in the development of practice protocols.
  • Participate in patients' care meetings and conferences.
  • Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.
  • Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SIR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $69,820 with most people making between $49,930 and $96,690

Outlook

1.40%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 130,070 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 148,240 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 1,817 openings due to growth and about 3,073 replacement openings for approximately 4,890 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education