Does a nurse have to be certified in critical care to work in the ICU?

Deb Cordes
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
A nurse does not have to have a national certification to work in critical care or an ICU. The nurse must receive specialized and advanced training to care for very sick patients in order to work in CCU/ICU. There is a difference between advanced training to work in a CCU/ICU and receiving a national certification. Nurses can work in the ICU/CCU without the certification but they must have additional advanced training provided by the hospital or ICU/CCU to care for very sick patients.
Joane Goodroe

There are two types of certification programs for critical care nurses. The first is one where each hospital designs special training programs to certify nurses for work in their critical care unit. An optional certification for nurses that want to take on additional responsibility is a national certification program for critical care nurses. Nurses with experience and advanced education in critical care are excellent candidates for this certification.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.