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Acute Care Nurses

Acute Care Nurses

Overview
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Experience

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Education

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

Job Training

Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Examples

These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.

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.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $53K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $61K
Median Salary: $75K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $93K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $116K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition-stabilizing interventions.

Document data related to patients' care, including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.

Manage patients' pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients' responses, and changing care plans accordingly.

Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.

Assess urgent and emergent health conditions, using both physiologically and technologically derived data.

Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.

Adjust settings on patients' assistive devices, such as temporary pacemakers.

Assess the impact of illnesses or injuries on patients' health, function, growth, development, nutrition, sleep, rest, quality of life, or family, social and educational relationships.

Prescribe medications and observe patients' reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.

Interpret information obtained from electrocardiograms (EKGs) or radiographs (x-rays).

Obtain specimens or samples for laboratory work.

Collaborate with patients to plan for future health care needs or to coordinate transitions and referrals.

Refer patients for specialty consultations or treatments.

Set up, operate, or monitor invasive equipment and devices, such as colostomy or tracheotomy equipment, mechanical ventilators, catheters, gastrointestinal tubes, and central lines.

Discuss illnesses and treatments with patients and family members.

Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental and age-related physiological and behavioral changes in acute, critical, and chronic illness.

Collaborate with members of multidisciplinary health care teams to plan, manage, or assess patient treatments.

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.

Assess the needs of patients' family members or caregivers.

Perform administrative duties that facilitate admission, transfer, or discharge of patients.

Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.

Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.

Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.

Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.

Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.

Participate in patients' care meetings and conferences.

Participate in the development of practice protocols.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Electronic mail software
Microsoft Outlook
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
SAP software
Medical software
Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Clinical nutrition
Pill crushers
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Tablet computers
Emergency and field medical services products
Backboards
Independent living aids for the physically challenged
Crutches
Intravenous and arterial administration products
Swan Ganz artery catheters
Laboratory and scientific equipment
Lancets
Laboratory supplies and fixtures
Microscope slides
Lamps and lightbulbs and lamp components
Wood's lamps
Measuring and observing and testing instruments
Urinalysis test strips
Medical apparel and textiles
Protective gowns
Medical diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine products
Sandbags
Medical facility products
Newborn warming lamps
Orthopedic and prosthetic and sports medicine products
Cast cutting saws
Patient care and treatment products and supplies
Patient restraints
Patient exam and monitoring products
Nasal specula
Personal safety and protection
Safety goggles
Respiratory and anesthesia and resuscitation products
Tracheotomy sets
Surgical products
Surgical razors
Wound care products
Incision drainage equipment
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Medicine and Dentistry
93%
Importance

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
88%
Importance

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
86%
Importance

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
83%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Psychology
82%
Importance

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.

Therapy and Counseling
78%
Importance

Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Mathematics
68%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Biology
67%
Importance

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Sociology and Anthropology
62%
Importance

Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Public Safety and Security
60%
Importance

Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Top 10 Skills
Active Listening
80%
Importance

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.

Critical Thinking
80%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring
80%
Importance

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension
80%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Service Orientation
80%
Importance

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness
80%
Importance

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking
80%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning
75%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Complex Problem Solving
75%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Coordination
75%
Importance

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Top 10 Abilities
Oral Comprehension
83%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Problem Sensitivity
83%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Deductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Information Ordering
80%
Importance

The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Oral Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Speech Clarity
80%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Written Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Near Vision
78%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Speech Recognition
78%
Importance

The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Top 10 Work Activities
Assisting and Caring for Others
96%
Importance

Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Documenting/Recording Information
96%
Importance

Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Getting Information
90%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
89%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
88%
Importance

Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
87%
Importance

Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
84%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
83%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Interacting With Computers
83%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
83%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Detailed Work Activities

Treat medical emergencies.

Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.

Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.

Record patient medical histories.

Diagnose medical conditions.

Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.

Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.

Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.

Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.

Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.

Collect biological specimens from patients.

Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.

Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.

Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.

Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.

Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.

Assess patient work, living, or social environments.

Process healthcare paperwork.

Train medical providers.

Maintain medical or professional knowledge.

Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.

Establish nursing policies or standards.

Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.

Prescribe medications.

Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.

Evaluate treatment options to guide medical decisions.

Advise patients on healthcare system processes.

Work Context
Exposed to Disease or Infections

How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Consequence of Error

How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate

How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

Physical Proximity

To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?

Frequency of Decision Making

How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?

Work With Work Group or Team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Education
Majors   based on the broader career Registered Nurses
Major
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Nursing Administration
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing
Nursing Science
Pediatric Nurse/Nursing
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing
Perioperative/Operating Room and Surgical Nurse/Nursing
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Critical Care Nursing
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing
Nursing Practice
Palliative Care Nursing
Clinical Nurse Leader
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing
Women's Health Nurse/Nursing
Forensic Nursing
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing, Other
Interests
Social
100%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Investigative
77%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Realistic
62%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Enterprising
34%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Artistic
29%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Conventional
24%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Top 10 Work Styles
Integrity
98%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Stress Tolerance
98%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility
95%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Attention to Detail
95%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Concern for Others
95%
Importance

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Dependability
95%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Cooperation
94%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Self Control
93%
Importance

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Social Orientation
89%
Importance

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Initiative
88%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values
Relationships
91%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Achievement
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Support
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Working Conditions
74%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Independence
67%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Recognition
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.