The coronary care unit, also known as the cardiac care unit, employs registered nurses with the critical care backgrounds. CCUs were originally designed to care for patients with acute heart attacks, but now they also provide critical care to patients with life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, and congestive heart failure. CCU nurses specialize in caring for patients with these and other serious heart conditions that require continuous monitoring and treatment.
Cardiac care nurses are in high demand because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. CCU nurses are among the most sought-after nursing professionals and deliver life-saving therapies that make a tremendous difference in their patients’ lives.
Coronary Care Unit nurse salary
PayScale reports that the average annual salary for registered nurses in the cardiac care unit is $64,750. This means staff CCU nurses earn about $1,245 per week and $31.13 per hour in a 40-hour work week.
Travel coronary care unit nurses can expect to earn more than equivalent staff nurses. CCU nurses earned a gross weekly salary of $1,655 in 2019 per NurseFly data. This amount includes additional tax-free compensations for nurses who can claim a permanent tax home. Compensations may include housing allowances and stipends for meals and other incidental expenses.
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Coronary Care Nurse FAQs
What does a Coronary Care Unit nurse do?
CCU nurses care for cardiac patients of all ages suffering from various severe heart diseases and conditions or They assess patients, administer medications, insert and remove IVs, monitor pain, and update patients’ medical records. CCU nurses vigilantly monitor heart activity and electrocardiograms to detect life-threatening arrhythmias and swiftly respond with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation when necessary. They work closely with cardiologists to ensure quality patient care and educate the patients and their families on heart disease and leading healthier lives. They also go over treatments and procedures, including devices like ventricular assist devices, intra-aortic balloon pumps, and temporary pacemakers.
Where do Coronary Care Unit nurses work?
CCU nurses primarily work at medical centers and public and private hospitals that are large enough to have a coronary care unit. They may also work in a hospital’s telemetry unit or at cardiovascular clinics.
What skills make a good Coronary Care Unit nurse?
Coronary care unit nurses must have advanced knowledge of the cardiovascular system and strong clinical skills to thrive in this fast-paced, sometimes stressful environment. They must remain constantly vigilant to the slightest changes in their patients’ conditions and have the ability to quickly react with life-saving techniques. They’re comfortable using specialized equipment and remain calm and compassionate towards patients and their families. Detail oriented, multitasking, critical thinking, and prioritizing care are other top skills of a good CCU nurse.
How to become a Coronary Care Unit Travel Nurse?
Becoming a coronary care unit travel nurse begins with earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program, then passing the NCLEX-RN and completing all state licensing requirements to become a registered nurse. CCU nurses must obtain Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certifications. Some hospitals recommend or require advanced certification, which can be obtained through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Critical Care Registered Nurse credentialing and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s board certification in Cardiac-Vascular Nursing. Many travel CCU assignments often specifically require nurses to have recent critical or cardiac care experience in a hospital setting.