Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurses are registered nurses who specialize in working with children of all ages with serious medical conditions. Patients range from infants to adolescents, usually up to 18 years old, who may have a chronic illness or disease, be recovering from a complex surgery, or have suffered severe trauma. Besides patient care, pediatric ICU nurses offer emotional support and education to their patients’ parents and other family members. It takes a special kind of RN to work in the PICU, which can be rewarding and/or heartbreaking on any given day.
Pediatric intensive care nurses are highly sought specialists on NurseFly, where you’ll find PICU nursing jobs at advanced facilities in various locations nationwide.
Pediatric Intensive Care nurse salary
PICU nurses in staff positions earn an average annual salary of $83,200. This works out to about $1,600 per week and $40 hourly. Travel PICU nurses in equivalent positions can expect to earn more.
NurseFly data indicated that PICU travel nurses earned an average gross pay of $1,998 weekly in 2019. These earnings include taxed pay and additional compensation like stipends for housing, meals, and incidental expenses. These compensations are untaxed for travel nurses who can claim a permanent tax-home.
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PICU Nurse FAQs
What are the best agencies for PICU Nurse jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most PICU Nurse jobs are American Mobile Healthcare (50), trustaff (40), and Stability Healthcare (39).
How Much Do PICU Nurse Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Friday, October 30th 2020, the average weekly pay for PICU Nurse jobs is $1,969, but can pay up to $2,857 per week. In 2020, Pediatric Intensive Care Nurses jobs on Nursefly paid a gross average weekly pay of $2,018 per week working an average of 36 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, and housing which add up to an average value of $1,282 per week.
- min - $1,064
- avg - $1,969
- max - $2,857
What does a Pediatric Intensive Care nurse do?
Pediatric ICU nurses care for children and adolescents with a wide range of potentially life-threatening ailments or conditions. Patients are usually unstable and require constant monitoring, so PICU nurses usually only have one to three patients per shift to ensure swift intervention if necessary. They collaborate with pediatricians, other medical professionals, and family members to create and implement a comprehensive healthcare plan for patient care and recovery. Common duties include:
Implementing age-appropriate treatment
Monitoring, recording, and evaluating responses
Initiating corrective action whenever patients display adverse reactions
Starting central venous and arterial IVs
Administering medications, intravenous fluids, and artificial nutrition
Changing dressings and inserting catheters
Tracking respiratory and cardiac monitor readings
Monitoring and adjusting specialized equipment, such as ventilators
Assisting physicians during examinations, procedures, and treatments
Performing lifesaving interventions to stabilize patients
Providing emotional support, information, and education to family members
Counseling families on treatment options, end of life care, and organ donation
Functioning as patient advocates
Where do Pediatric Intensive Care nurses work?
Ped ICU nurses work at major hospitals with specialized departments that care for infants, children, and adolescents or pediatric intensive care units. These facilities can be community hospitals, large medical centers, teaching hospitals, and children’s hospitals.
What skills make a good Pediatric Intensive Care nurse?
Pediatric ICU nurses must be patient and use kid-friendly approaches that put patients at ease during examinations and treatments that are often painful and/or scary. Age-appropriate bedside manner skills are highly important to help achieve this goal. PICU nurses must be caring and compassionate towards patients and their families, but strong enough to manage tough situations. Coping skills are a must to avoid burnout. Balancing empathy and emotional fortitude can be a difficult skill to master. The best Ped ICU nurses are nurturing and supportive, while keeping their own emotions in check. Good PICU nurses are also team players with great critical thinking skills that allow them and the entire team to respond instantaneously should a patient deteriorate suddenly.
How to become a Pediatric Intensive Care Travel Nurse?
Becoming a travel nurse requires graduating from an accredited nursing program with an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. Caring for children requires Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification and some hospitals require Neonatal Resuscitation Program certification.
Transitioning to the pediatric department provides additional training to pursue Certified Pediatric Nurse credentialing from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Knowledge and skills gained in pediatrics helps when moving to the PICU. Although not required, PICU nurses may pursue Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse credentialing from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Most travel PICU nurse positions require one to two years of recent experience, usually in a PICU setting.